Over the past few months, we have been asked by many of our clients: “Should we switch to OneDrive from…” fill in the blank here with one of the many cloud-based file syncing services on the market today, e.g., Box, Dropbox, Egnyte, Google Drive, etc. The simple answer is “no, not yet.” That said, OneDrive has made some considerable strides in the past few years that have put it on a relatively level playing field with those other file syncing tools.

We will run through the some of the current OneDrive pros and cons while keeping mind that Microsoft continues to improve its feature set and may someday soon be the most compelling product in this space.

Pros:

  • Automatic backup of data on the desktop, and in the documents and pictures folders:
    • Yay, backup!
    • To set this up, right-click on OneDrive, select Settings, and then click on the Backup tab.  A button will appear that that says, “Manage Backup.” Click that button and select all three folders:
blog_2021-03-04_onedrive01_compressed
  • File sharing:
    • Internally
      • It is very easy to share a link to file to anyone in your organization with a simple right-click of the file and select the “Share” option in the resulting menu.
    • Externally
      • Microsoft has recently updated their SharePoint and OneDrive sharing for Businesses.
      • This will allow real-time busines-to-business collaboration without email, chat, or another program.
      • OneDrive mobile app (iOS and Android):
        • The app is very good at syncing or displaying files that are located within your OneDrive instance. If the files have a cloud icon next to them, then this means the file is currently stored in “the cloud” and so when the file is clicked on, it will, in turn, be downloaded and opened.
        • If a SharePoint library or Teams library (technically, these are the same thing) is shared, then there is a sync button that can be used to sync that library directly to your computer.
      • Space:
        • 1TB of space is included with every license!
      • Price:
        • If you or your organization are already on the Microsoft 365 business email platform, then it is very likely you already have OneDrive included in your plan. That means ZERO additional cost apart from your existing subscription plan. (If you don’t currently have Microsoft 365, current pricing can be found here.)

Cons (and they are BIG ones):

  • Group management:
    • There is currently NO simple way to create shared folders from an admin perspective. Yes, SharePoint and Teams can both do this, but SharePoint has a difficult interface to navigate and it’s difficult to understand where the files are in Teams.
  • Drive mapping:
    • Google Drive, Engyte and Box all have a drive mapping feature. OneDrive still does NOT. (Yes, there are third-party tools out there that can map to OneDrive, but nothing native within OneDrive…definitely a CON for this product.)

 

Do we think Microsoft will continue to improve OneDrive? Of course! Given Microsoft’s track record, we believe that OneDrive will truly be ready for “primetime” soon, but not quite yet!

If you’re a business looking to do a file migration to “the cloud” and would like to consult with us on the best product choice for your business (which may NOT be a Microsoft product at all), please reach out to us at getstuffdone@gsdsolutions.io.

Scott Davison

Co-Founder, GSDSolutions

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