Cloud file sharing

One thing the internet has brought us is the expectation of being able to access our information at the press/tap of a button.  This includes buying the latest music, checking our bank balances, updating our social media timeline by sharing information.

So, what about your data and what does the word “data” really mean? 

Data is one of those words that covers a multitude of different things but it basically boils down to “information”.  That information could be your holiday snaps or the latest company marketing presentation.  The thing about data is that it’s everywhere and because of that sometimes we forget about its importance or ensure that it’s protected.

Think about the way that you share your data/information?

You post a picture of your night out on Facebook.  That picture is now shared between all your friends and possibility their friends.  Although it is your photo is still owned by you, you have delegated additional ownership to all your friends and probably their friends, in short you’ve lost control of it.  In the case of a photo that probably isn’t a big deal, but what if that was an important business document? I’d guess that you’d treat that information differently to your photo, you’d want to maintain ownership of that document and ensure that only the people that need access have access.

This is where the business and personal space separate, in business you are always looking to get that competitive advantage over your competition and the last thing you need to do is share your latest product design with a random audience, you need to be able to control the data that you are sharing.

Using products like Microsoft OneDrive you have the power and flexibility to manage your data.  You can access your data from anywhere that has an internet connection and you can share your information with your colleagues or business partners quickly and securely.

What is OneDrive?

There are a number of OneDrive products offered by Microsoft which can be confusing.  For the personal user, there is the standard OneDrive service, this is associated to a user’s Microsoft account i.e. Outlook.com, Hotmail.com etc.  This is great for person use but has some limitations when compared to the business offering.

OneDrive for Business is the OneDrive offering that is included with an Office 365 Business subscription.  This has a number of advantages over the personal version including bigger initial data allocation limit (1Tb), version control on files (enable you to recover an item even if you over-write it) and integration with all the Microsoft Office and Office 365 products.  Both products allow users to sync their data to a device(s) so they retain an “offline” version to allow access when an internet connection isn’t available.

So why do I need OneDrive?

Imagine you’re working away from the office at a customer’s site or maybe sat in a hotel/airport.  Having your files available at the tap of a button enables you to provide a professional service to your customer and be able to quickly answer questions.  With a click of a button you can share any item of information on your OneDrive with the customer.  Additional security controls enable you to keep ownership of the data by restricting what interaction the customer has.  At the end of the project you can simply revoke the permissions to the files.

Moving forward on the OneDrive concept would be to include Microsoft SharePoint.  SharePoint enables true collaboration between you, your colleagues and customers and is also included with an Office 365 subscription.  It can be used to share information, much as OneDrive does but now the data is centrally managed.  This enables your team members to perform updates on the information, you can even update the same item in real-time.  In addition to the storage of documents you have the added functionality of calendars, task lists, project style tools and coupled together with enterprise workflows and PowerApps.  SharePoint really does build on the foundation that is laid by OneDrive.

Like OneDrive you can invite customers to either view selected documents within SharePoint or permit them greater access so they can participate at a lower level.  This builds trust with your customer by providing a more transparent service.

As with OneDrive all this data and information can be accessed while out of the office on mobile devices and via internet browsers.  Data can also be sync’d to devices to allow you to work while you have no internet connection.

Worried about the cost of data storage?

Most people have personal cloud storage, weather this be with iCloud, DropBox, Microsoft OneDrive or one of the other services available.  Generally, these services give you a free allowance of data storage and if you’d like more they charge a nominal fee for this.  With OneDrive (with Office 365) you receive an impressive 1Tb of storage to consume, and SharePoint takes this level even higher with 25Tb included in the standard tariff.

Is my data secure?

Form a technical point of view your data is very secure, there is a number of security measures that have been implemented by Microsoft to ensure that your data is safe and secure.  In addition to the security measures Microsoft guarantees that your data remains within the EU borders and is covered by the EU Privacy Shield.  The EU Privacy Shield ensures that no other countries governments can obtain access to your data.  Of course, with the addition of the Microsoft UK data centres you also have the option of storing your data directly within the UK.  For more information on data protection with Office 365 please refer to the Microsoft Trust Centre.

In this modern age, everything is moving quicker than it used to and this includes your customers’ demands.  Being able to provide answers quickly and sharing information with them can be key to maintaining that working relationship and profitability that brings with it.

OneDrive and SharePoint are available as part of an Office 365 subscription; you’d like to know more about Office 365 visit our page here.  Alternatively, please get in contact and we’ll arrange a demo for you to try free of charge.