Why file sharing matters
Ideas may come from a single person or a team, but the feedback you get from other people is critical to realising you, and your company’s, full potential. This was one of Steve Jobs’ guiding principles at Apple: he didn’t just ask for feedback from his employees, but from their families, friends and even random people on the street!
And today’s online file sharing tools make collaboration so much easier than it ever has been. Collaboration used to mean scheduling physical meetings, bringing along a load of paper documents, making copious notes and then repeating the process until a consensus had been reached. But now you don’t even have to leave your desk to instantly collaborate with people in other departments, offices and even other countries.
Teamwork makes the dream work
Today’s file sharing services allow you to do so much more than simply sending a document to someone to get their thoughts. Almost all today’s file sharing platforms are cloud-based, so they allow multiple people, in multiple locations to access and edit a document simultaneously.
It’s a far more efficient way to work than emailing attachments back and forth. And it also eliminates any version control issues, since you’re only ever working on one document, and every change is saved in the cloud. But perhaps the biggest benefit is that you can collaborate from any networked office or mobile device, in any location. And that’s ever more vital, as more and more employees work remotely.
Of course, the colleagues you’re working with won’t always be available to work on a project at the same time. That’s why most file sharing services will automatically send you alerts if someone has made new comments or changes. And if you want someone to see but not edit a file, you can control their level of access.
Which file sharing service is right for you?
There are a range of online file sharing services out there, most of which offer very similar core capabilities. So the best option for your business will probably depend on your specific needs, your budget and the other software your company is using.If you need help deciding which service is right for you, we’d be happy to talk through the options and help you make an informed choice. But to get you started, here are some of our favourite file sharing platforms:
A suite of collaboration and productivity apps that allow you to share files and folders from any device or location, and choose who can view, edit or comment on them. Google Drive automatically tracks and saves every change you and your colleagues make as far as 30 days back, or you can choose to save a revision forever. And even if someone you’re working with doesn’t have Google Drive installed on their device, they can access your files using their browser.
A good choice if you already use programmes like Word and Excel, Microsoft 365 allows you to easily share any file that you’ve saved in OneDrive or Sharepoint. It provides a great collaboration workspace, where multiple people can work on documents simultaneously. It’s easy to give people different levels of access – for example, if you want their feedback but don’t want them to edit your files. And it offers anywhere, anytime file sharing from pretty much any device you can imagine.’
Egnyte is an enterprise file sharing and cloud collaboration platform, that gives you seamless access to your files from any location or device. You can even use private sharing to access content stored behind a firewall, without the need for a VPN. Egnyte’s local file access and cross-office collaboration tools allow remote teams to collaborate from different locations. Each user gets a single view of their files, and full control over where they’re stored. And you can upload files in a range of ways, including desktop sync, map drive, web browser and FTP transfer.
Box offers simple, secure file sharing from anywhere, allowing you to sync your content with your colleagues. You can photos, presentations or any type of link, and the recipient views the file from within their browser. Real-time updates and email notifications let you know when someone has accessed or worked on a file. And Box’s native apps allow you to view and share files using any office or mobile device.
One of the most popular file sharing services out there, Dropbox offers effortless file synchronisation, with support for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and Blackberry. When you add someone to a shared file or folder, it will appear in their Dropbox, allowing them to edit, add or delete files within it. Alternatively, you can give non-Dropbox users access to your files by sending them a link.
Are you looking for advice on choosing and implementing a file sharing service? Just get in touch to find out how we can help.