OneDrive vs SharePoint. Which one should YOU use?

10 minute read

When moving over to Office 365, one common question is where to store my files? Microsoft provide 2 options, OneDrive and SharePoint

If you are just starting a business we suggest you first store files in OneDrive. Think of OneDrive as One and SharePoint as Shared.

You may be used to storing files in your local documents, pictures and video files. Many of you without this information will still store files on your desktop. As a suggestion, the desktop should be used as an area for shortcuts to folders and files you need access to on a regular basis. Would you leave files on your desk for a month when you have not read them?

Before we continue, for those who like to listen rather than read, watch the video below as this gives you an insight into these systems. This post itself will extend on the points in the video.

What is the same with OneDrive and SharePoint?
Both Microsoft Office 365 OneDrive and SharePoint allow you to store files in the cloud. A local copy will also be available on your computer. This way you can have a copy of your files in 2 or more locations in case there were any problems accessing these files on your computer for example with data loss, theft of the computer or changes to files that you need to recover.

With both OneDrive and SharePoint you can share files as a link both inside or outside of your company (depending on the settings). Both systems also allow you to set an expiry date for files. This can be useful for example with quotes and limiting access externally after a set date when a project has finished.

In 2019, Microsoft added extra features
• Password protect files and folders so people with the link would need to know the password to see or edit the file.
• Back up files from your documents into Office 365. This is useful where you have staff that are not used to the idea of saving files in a new place.

OneDrive vs OneDrive for Business?
For those of you with little data, we wanted to include this one. OneDrive (as we call OneDrive Personal) allows you to link up 1 free account to a PC. This appears as a white cloud icon in Windows 10. OneDrive for Business appears as a blue cloud icon in Windows 10.

OneDrive personal is limited to 1 per user, but OneDrive for Business can be added multiple times (for example you carry out work for multiple companies). In turn, we would suggest you go with the OneDrive for Business solution as it gives more flexibility on computers and mobile devices. A simple package in the UK can be as little as £4.56 (in 2020) with 1 TB of online storage. In most cases this will be stored data in the country you are in. This helps with data compliance. There are also useful backup solutions that tie in with the business storage on Microsoft 365 (previously named Office 365).

Is OneDrive for me?
With OneDrive you can store all your files in Office 365. You can share them for a specific time with outside companies, friends and so on whilst limiting what they can access. As you grow and need a team, we recommend you utilise SharePoint for a shared storage area for all the team.

Moving from OneDrive to SharePoint is easy. So keep a folder structure in place so that you have it available when you want to expand the team.

A common question that is asked is why store files in OneDrive, instead of My Documents and Pictures?

Well the answer here is My Documents folder is specific to the computer you are working from. If you need to access files on a second computer or your mobile and tablet, then OneDrive is made for this purpose. Even if you are just 1 person starting out, ensure you use OneDrive as the first step. Traditionally this would be your home drive (private to you).

Is SharePoint for me?
When you are looking to work with multiple staff, then SharePoint is the next step. With OneDrive, sharing files is still possible, but if you keep sharing files it will be more and more time consuming cleaning up the shared files and seeing what is shared. This is where SharePoint has the advantage.

Unlike OneDrive, you don't need to share files to team members. If they can access SharePoint, they can see your updates. You can lock down folders to specific teams too.

You can keep your shared files in one place. Then when you need to keep sensitive data private, then utilise folder permissions. For example you may have Accounts, Marketing, HR, IT and Directors. Locking down who sees what gives you the access you and your team need.

SharePoint is not just a filing solution for your documents. You can also use it for task lists, calendars, workflows, wiki sites (like Wikipedia), and other features to help a team communicate and collaborate.

Want to know about this topic in more detail, watch this video for the extended guide.

Why use the cloud?
Using OneDrive or SharePoint allows you to prevent data loss. Not only are not able to access your files across multiple computers, you can access your files on your mobile and tablet too. This is extremely useful when a member of your team updates a document whilst you are travelling. You are then able to present documents to your customer or even finalise a proposal. You can find out more on our Office 365 post.

Worried about cloud storage?
This is a huge area of concern for companies. Is cloud storage safe? This may stop you moving over to cloud storage solutions. One way to ensure your data is kept safe is by using backup solutions so you ensure your files and emails are protected. Another reason to protect yourself is from ransomware attacks. This is where malicious software running on your computer encrypts your files on your computer.

Backup can also help you protect your company data when a member of staff has left but in doing so, deletes all their emails and files. We have seen this happen over the years and the help of backups speeds up the time needed to restore all this information from a certain time and date.

In conclusion
To recap, if it's just yourself, utilise OneDrive. If you are going to work with multiple staff, then SharePoint is for you.

If you would like help with the applications and features in Microsoft Office 365, please speak to a member of our team on 01489 290 001. You can also drop us an email if you have any questions about Office 365 that we can assist you with further.

This post was brought to you by Baldeep on 27 Feb 2019.

Small businesses are often left behind by IT companies as the aim is to work with the larger businesses. Baldeep started the company knowing that IT doesn't have to be your frustration. Provide great solutions at small business budgets is helping companies in Hampshire to focus on their goals without the burden of IT overheads or downtime.

Baldeep continued developing his skillset and has multiple accreditations to his name including his degree, Microsoft Certifications, ITIL and VMware Data Center Virtualization Certification. He is always learning to move IT forward for your business.

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