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Using OneDrive for Business

Using OneDrive for Business

Microsoft’s cloud file storage solution is called OneDrive. It is their competing product to Google Drive or Apple’s iCloud. There are many advantages to having file storage in the cloud including, data accessibility. Files store in OneDrive can as easily be modified from home as in the office. OneDrive is integrated with Microsoft’s Office365 product and there are some important distinctions that must be clarified before rolling out to an enterprise. First and foremost, OneDrive Personal and OneDrive for Business are not the same. Many people assume OneDrive is one entity, either OneDrive Personal or Business, and do not understand they may not be getting the feature set they are expecting.

OneDrive for Business has much more capacity than the personal OneDrive. It comes with a terabyte of storage per user as opposed to five gigabytes for personal. OneDrive for Business offers end-to-end encryption with files securely stored in the cloud, OneDrive personal does not. OneDrive for Business has some additional features like version history, data loss prevention (depending on the plan) and advanced search options that are not available in the personal edition. Click here for more on OneDrive from Microsoft.

How do you know which version you have? There are a few key indicators. First, your OneDrive for Business icon in the system tray will be a blue cloud, whereas the personal OneDrive will be a white cloud. If you are still unsure, right click on the icon and choose the “Settings” tab and you will be shown the amount of available storage. If you see “1 TB”, you have OneDrive for Business, if you see “5 GB” you are using the personal.

Before rolling out OneDrive to your enterprise, there are a few key considerations that must be determined. Data accessibility and data security are often at odds. Take a good look at your data and think long and hard before putting any kind of protected data in the cloud. Data that businesses have a legal obligation to protect may not be a good fit for OneDrive. If you do decide to put protected information in the cloud, make sure you spend the time to properly secure it. There are ways to secure that data in OneDrive, but it requires some planning and configuration. OneDrive also has syncing capabilities so files and folders can be in the cloud but also synced down to local clients. This is another area where careful consideration must be given prior to rollout. If you allow syncing to local clients and have large amounts of data in the cloud, it can easily cause local hard drives to fill up prematurely.

Finally, we recommend looking at the entire Office 365 suite of products and decide which are the best for your business to utilize. Perhaps Teams is a better place to store data than OneDrive for certain test cases. Perhaps you already have SharePoint savvy users and may want to choose SharePoint Online over OneDrive. A holistic look at your business and the tools available is recommended so the best decisions can be made.

These are just a few of the considerations that businesses must plan for prior to a rollout. Careful planning ahead of time will likely determine whether your business deployment of OneDrive is a success or a failure. In the words of great American Ben Franklin, “Failing to plan is planning to fail”.

Interested in hearing more?  Please click here for a recording of our webinar on OneDrive for Business or call us at (888) 600-4560.

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