In 2020, many businesses are discovering the limitations of local storage and actively exploring the cloud as a more flexible alternative, one that’s capable of meeting the needs of employees who have been thrown head-first into various working-from-home arrangements.
SharePoint and OneDrive are two popular cloud storage solutions from Microsoft, and both of them can help businesses of all sizes remain agile and productive in the current era of uncertainty and change. But despite offering similar features and capabilities, they are not identical, and understanding the differences between them is essential for unlocking their full potential.
What’s the Difference Between SharePoint and OneDrive?
Both SharePoint and OneDrive are part of the Microsoft 365 line of subscription services, which also includes Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, and Access), hosted email, security services, and more.
- What Is Microsoft SharePoint?
Microsoft SharePoint is described as a web-based collaborative platform that empowers teamwork with dynamic team sites where team members can share documents and other resources and is usually deployed as a cloud-based service rather than on-premise.
Even its name suggests sharing is the name of the game. Typically, each team is assigned their own SharePoint team site to collaborate on files, manage lists of information, and access important apps and web pages, among other things.
All team members with the same SharePoint access rights can work on all documents in their team site—no need to obtain an access link first. The sharing-oriented nature of SharePoint makes it an excellent repository of all “we” documents.
- What Is Microsoft OneDrive?
Launched in 2007, Microsoft OneDrive is a file hosting service and synchronization service that enables access to files from any place and any device. Its name reflects the fact that it’s meant to be the place for all “me” documents.
Top 3 Benefits of SharePoint and OneDrive
Even though SharePoint and OneDrive target a different use case (the storage of “we” files versus “me” files), they both offer many identical benefits for businesses of all sizes.
- Streamlined Document Sharing
No business, regardless of its industry or size, should rely on email for document sharing. Not only is email highly inefficient, but it also doesn’t provide sufficient security and access control mechanisms to protect sensitive documents from unintended disclosure.
SharePoint and OneDrive can greatly streamline document sharing by acting as centralized repositories of all team and personal documents. Thanks to their seamless integration with other Microsoft products, they make real-time collaboration possible and effortless.
What’s more, SharePoint and OneDrive users virtually never run into any version control issues because they can always view a previous version without overwriting the current one and restore it with a simple click if the current version is corrupt or worse than the previous one.
- Enhanced Remote Collaboration The nature of work is rapidly changing in 2020, and more employees than ever are working from their homes or various remote locations. When remote employees can easily access all important business files, they can be just as productive—if not more—as in the office.
Since both SharePoint and OneDrive are web-based products, they work on any device, including smartphones and tablets. This gives employees the freedom to choose the most suitable device for the task at hand without having to clumsily transfer files on USB flash drives, which can easily get lost or become damaged.
SharePoint is particularly beneficial for supporting remote work because it gives employees the ability to easily create and share just about any data-rich content, from news messages and calendar events to graphs and charts.
- Strong Data Security Modern-day businesses are rightfully concerned about the security of their data. Not only are they facing a growing number of cyber-attacks, but they must also protect themselves against the potentially devastating consequences of natural disasters and human errors.
SharePoint and OneDrive take data security very seriously, incorporating state-of-the-art threat protection mechanisms to keep data safe both in transit (encryption) and at rest (physical, network, and content protection).
Businesses can also go a step further and partner with a Managed IT Service Provider that offers an integrated backup solution with an infinite retention policy for all SharePoint and OneDrive data. At BCA, we’ve been offering this service for a long time, helping businesses like yours avoid costly data loss. If you would like to learn more about our infinite retention backup solution, don’t hesitate to contact us.