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A detailed comparison of SharePoint vs OneDrive

It is often said that Microsoft has endless possibilities when it comes to both cloud storage and solutions – however how do you establish which one is right for your business? In our latest blog article, we will be providing a detailed comparison of Microsoft SharePoint & OneDrive. 

Let’s make a start by defining each one, so what is OneDrive? 

Microsoft OneDrive if you didn’t already know, is a cloud storage solution which is designed for individuals that are looking to both store, share and access files and folders. Granted, it is still able to be used collaboratively for smaller teams, however it isn’t really designed for bigger projects or workloads consisting of countless members of staff. The most efficient way of using OneDrive is to use it for your own storage and share in colleagues into your files as and when you need to. 

The good news is that if you have a Microsoft 365 subscription, regardless of which license you have, you will have at least 1 TB of OneDrive storage at your disposal. OneDrive is also firmly engrained on both Windows 10 and 11 via Windows File Explorer, meaning that you can easily access your files whenever you require them and uploading files to OneDrive is as simple as dropping them into the OneDrive folder in Windows Explorer – so you don’t have to upload them elsewhere. 

Now, we know what OneDrive is let’s move onto defining SharePoint! 

As we mentioned above, we know that OneDrive is designed for individual use, SharePoint was created to be used as a collaboration and content management platform and to serve as your company intranet. The way it works is that it operates using SharePoint sites that are specific to businesses as opposed to being individually assigned like OneDrive is. Put simply, SharePoint is in its element when used for projects involving more substantial teams. As well as this, SharePoint also provides businesses with the capabilities to be able to access information and automate workflow processes, which means it’s a much better option for SMEs. 

You will find that just like OneDrive, SharePoint is accessible with all Microsoft 365 licensing options without any additional costs, although from our experience it is much better to get one of our fully qualified SharePoint consultants to set this up for you and to help you with the data migration element of the project

So, which option do I choose for my business? 

In our professional opinion, we would suggest that you go down the SharePoint route for these specific reasons: 

1 – Offline synchronisation – You will be delighted to know that OneDrive and SharePoint work well together – meaning that it allows you to sync your SharePoint files up with your local computer or laptop, in the same way that OneDrive does it. This is really useful when you need to access files quickly when not online! 

2 – Permissions – By using SharePoint, you have much better control of your permissions and the capability to limit access for certain users for certain locations from within the data structure of your business. This is a great function to have for bigger companies who have complicated data structures or for those dealing with potentially sensitive data. 

3 – Retaining data – You will be pleased to hear that given SharePoint sites aren’t linked to specific user accounts which is the case with OneDrive, data is stored no matter how many changes are made within the account such as a member of staff leaving the business. This is not the case with OneDrive as the data stored is removed after 30 days following the closure of an account. 

4 – Organising files - SharePoint provides you with the capability to sort your files through the use of metadata. Meta gives extra information such as when it was last changed, modified by who, who is the original author in addition to any custom metadata columns you want to build. You will find that different metadata views can be utilised to build your own personalised views, they work in a similar way to views in Dynamics 365, enabling SharePoint to give you a similar look and feel to that of Dynamics 365 / CRM. 

5 – Controlling the version -This is a real game changing feature in SharePoint. You will notice that when you edit or change a file, a version is built that enables you to follow any track or list changes and provides you with the luxury of going back to a previous version if required. This makes it a perfect way of resolving accidental edits or assessing how the document has evolved over time. 

In Summary 

Even though, SharePoint and OneDrive are similar in certain situations, and even make use of similar technologies, both prove useful for different types of business with different purposes. If you are a business that requires the ability to collaborate and share your work with various colleagues, with content along with documents that your business owns, then for sure it is best for you to select SharePoint.  

Next Steps? 

If you are a business that has read the above and is looking to make the move to SharePoint along with data migration but need some help from our team of experts then please reach out to us now to discuss how we can help you make the transition as smooth as possible.  

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