As training consultants, we are often asked what is OneDrive and why do we need it? Before I go into why I think it’s essential in our everyday lives – both working and personal – I think we need to understand what OneDrive is.
For me, OneDrive is your My Documents but deposited in the cloud on Office 365. It offers a simple, single way to store, share and synchronise files of different types. The files stored within OneDrive are personal to you; they are your files and owned by you. It gives you a protected space to keep your files where you know no one else will have access to them. Yet, you can also share those files and grant people access to them, which is where you can take full advantage of working collaboratively in the cloud. One of the major benefits of using OneDrive is that it integrates so well with other Microsoft products like Windows, Office, Outlook and it allows synchronisation across platforms.
So, you’ve read a quick overview of what OneDrive is, but why do I think everyone needs it? What makes cloud storage a better way of working and why would I use OneDrive?
Accessing your files from anywhere, on any device and at any time.
OneDrive is not device-specific and allows you to synchronise and work on files across different platforms. This means you can start a document on one device and then seamlessly carry on working on that same document on a different device. As mentioned, OneDrive integrates with other Microsoft products so when working in the installed version of Microsoft Office, it gives me a simple way to save files directly to my OneDrive, without having to take any extra steps.
Asking why we need to use One drive is similar to asking why you need a My docs area. It’s the one place where you can keep personal documents that are not ready or meant to be shared and have the reassurance of all the usual benefits of storing files in the cloud. e.g. 24/7 access to them on any device.Wing Leung, Hable
Sharing brings the ability to work collaboratively
OneDrive brings in great ways to work collaboratively with the ability to share files and documents instantaneously and with multiple users. No longer do I have to attach and email documents, resulting in the creation of numerous versions of that file and causing the difficulty of having to make sense of who has edited text or modified files. Working in OneDrive means I can share a document with a co-worker and work on this document in real time simultaneously with them. There is no need to continuously worry about saving as any changes to a document are saved automatically for me.
For me, the world has changed considerably over the last 20 years. I remember when people wouldn’t share documents with colleagues because they didn’t want them to get the credit for their work! Collaborative tools have changed all that as well as things like social media and now the question that is asked is not why should I share but why shouldn’t I share? As they used to say at Parliament Digital Services, sharing is caring!Sarah Mann, Hable
When to use OneDrive over other storage areas.
As OneDrive is “Your” space, the work you do in there is only seen by you by default. This means it becomes a perfect space for you to create and draft documents, then once you have finished working on it, you can move it to a shared space such as a Microsoft Team or SharePoint site.
I use OneDrive for working files. So, if I am working on a proposal or presentation or internal document I do that in OneDrive until I am happy with it and then share it for the wider team either in SharePoint or most of the time now Teams.Alan Richards, Hable
You do need somewhere pre-publishing where you can work on stuff, either on your own or with specific colleagues. Your work in progress and I think an important place to be creative without that being judged! It should only be seen as a temporary place until it’s moved to its proper shared home though.Sarah Mann, Hable
Security and compliance.
A concern for some people with cloud storage can be associated with where your data is stored and who has access to it? With OneDrive you have the peace of mind that your data is securely stored in whichever region you choose to store your data. Here in the UK, we know that our data is stored in the EU and it can be requested to be stored in data centers here in England. Office 365 ticks all the boxes for you to be regulatory compliant. With the new GDPR regulations in the UK, you know that your data is safe and secure, and it takes away any need for the use of external devices due to the amount of storage you get with OneDrive and the compatibility of OneDrive across devices.
The next steps…
If you are thinking of migrating your files to OneDrive or would like to know what steps to take next to enable the use of SharePoint or Microsoft Teams, then please get in contact with us here at Hable and we will be happy to help!