In modern times, sharing data can either be an absolute pain or a splendor than you barely notice. If all of your users are working on their own computers, saving everything to an internal drive, sharing will require a physical transfer. Whether you’re putting it on a CD or memory stick, it takes extra time that can’t be afforded.
Instead, you can have all of your business’ data in the cloud, ready for anyone to use. There are only a few companies that offer an all round service when it comes to your data and documents. These include the likes of Microsoft’s Office 365 for Business and Google’s Business Tools. This post will focus more on a service provided by Office 365, simply because they’re the most expansive.
If you’ve ever looked into using online collaboration/sharing tools, you’ve probably heard of SharePoint. It’s one of Microsoft’s products and comes included with a lot of their subscriptions. It’s a platform that allows your business to have a company facing website that can host all of your business’ documents and sharing. Your staff can save their work directly to your SharePoint, and choose exactly who has access to it.
When files are opened by other staff members, any changes they make will be displayed for everyone else. This is done in real time so that two people can both work on the same document. When everything is set up, there won’t be anymore work that needs to be done.
Now, it may seem silly considering sharing files using traditional means to be slow or inefficient. But, if you do some maths, you’ll see quite the opposite. Say that one staff member has to share one file using a memory stick, with another staff member. As a best case scenario, this will take at least 5 minutes from both staff member’s day. If they work two hundred and fifty days a year, this works out to a hefty twenty hours of time wasted, for both staff members. All in all that works out to forty hours between them, which is a standard full-time week. So, in reality, your transfers could be costing you a week a year… or even more.
Getting your site setup may require the help of an experienced SharePoint integration consultant.
They will talk to you before the setup and determine how best to get your system going. A lot of consultants will also be happy to help you get other aspects of your data up to scratch. This will include help with getting backups running and maintaining a clean filing system.
Keeping your data locked up with any service like this will improve your security and minimize the risk of data loss. Your data will be backed up by the company you pay, and they’ll usually offer compensation if it get’s lost because of them. Most services offer upwards of 99% uptime, as well. So you can sleep easy knowing that you can access your data from anywhere, at anytime. Just do some research, and find the best option for your company, before you buy anything.