Cloud solutions for email, collaboration and productivity are becoming increasingly popular in the enterprise. Many organizations running Exchange on premise are currently evaluating a move to Microsoft Office 365 cloud services. Two of the additional benefits of moving Office to the cloud are user storage and document sharing through OneDrive for Business.
If you have already transitioned to Office 365 or are in the process of doing so, making the shift to OneDrive for Business is a logical next step. It is offered as part of all of Microsoft’s new SMB and enterprise plans for Office 365 as well as on its own and by way of a SharePoint subscription (Standard or Enterprise). OneDrive for Business supports industry-leading security, compliance and privacy capabilities with integrated management features for administrators. Note that OneDrive for Business differs from OneDrive —formerly SkyDrive — that is geared for personal and consumer storage use.
Here are two key reasons why organizations should care about OneDrive for Business:
Reason #1: Reduced Storage Costs
The cost benefits of moving away from an on-premise Microsoft Office environment to the cloud and Office 365 was likely a key selling point for businesses looking to make the move. By enabling the feature in Office 365, each user automatically gets 1TB of cloud storage with OneDrive for Business.
As a personal library designed for storing and organizing work documents, administrators can set storage limits, retention policies and litigation holds for OneDrive for Business libraries hosted on a SharePoint Server. OneDrive for Business also enables direct access to the company’s address book, serving to make company-wide communication a bit easier.
Adding OneDrive for Business helps to sweeten the value proposition considering the storage costs of using the cloud storage technology are significantly less compared to using an on-premise solution.
Reason #2: Document Sharing in an Increasingly Mobile World
With mobile and ability to provide “anytime, anywhere” access to employees working remotely and in the field, using OneDrive for Business has advantages for enabling the mobile workforce, for example securely sharing large attachments by sending a link to the file instead of the file itself. From a document sharing and synching perspective, using OneDrive for Business makes content accessible across the board, from any device with a modern browser — whether it is a mobile client, Mac or a Windows environment.
Files can be worked on locally with the change synched in real-time with the OneDrive for Business library when online. And in an increasing mobile world, having instant access to documents and publishing to SharePoint Online — while still maintaining enterprise-wise security and policies — can be a huge cost benefit.
From a business perspective, using OneDrive for Business means that workers can have the latest version of a file or document — regardless of the device being used. And the fact that admins can change permissions as needed to enable clients or guest to review specific documents or files, for example, can be a boon to empowering a more modern, distributed workforce.
We will be discussing the administrative powers and other key features in next week’s post on “Enabling OneDrive for Business”.