Organizations can save resources and time and enhance efficiency by adopting simple solutions such as Dropbox and Google Drive available in the IT world. In this article I am going to introduce two solutions or services that helped me and my team save a huge amount of time spent in sharing data, documents and information, reduced the number of emails exchanged between the team members, and made it easy to access my documents from my office desk or from home.
The two solutions have some common features while they are developed and introduced by two different companies. In the next part of this article I will provide brief information about both solutions, their features and how can organizations use them to improve collaboration among teams and their departments.
Google began working on an online storage platform in 2006; because more time and resources were allocated to the search engine the idea was delayed for six years. Google Drive was initiated in April 2012 by Google as a storage, team collaboration, file sharing and document, spreadsheet and presentation editing service. Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides used for collaborative editing of documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings and forms are included in Google Drive. As of October 2014, Google drive was used by 240 million users on a monthly basis.
Dropbox was founded by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi in 2007. Dropbox was initially developed based on the need the company faced in information sharing and hundreds of emails exchanged between employees everyday. Dropbox offers 2.0 GB free storage, it can be increased up to 15 GB by inviting your friends and colleagues and using other services offered by the company. Dropbox has over 300 million active users worldwide.
A. File Storage
With Google Drive you can save up to 15 GB of files for free, where you can keep photos, stories, designs, word documents, drawings, recordings, videos and any other type of files or documents. Additional storage costs users $1.99 per month.
While with dropbox you can start with 2.0 GB of free storage, the free storage can be upgraded up to 15 GB by inviting your friends and colleagues to join dropbox. Dropbox offers storage solutions for businesses with additional charges.
B. Access From Anywhere
You can access your files in Google Drive and Dropbox from any smartphone, tablet, or computer. So wherever you go, your files follow. The documents stored on your computers are available for offline use as well, which means any changes made by user(s) to a document will be automatically synchronized with the same document on the cloud after your device is connected to the internet.
C. File Sharing
You can share files with your colleagues and friends to view, download and collaborate. This features reduces time spent in emailing documents every time. Changes made by your colleague or friend in a document will be automatically saved and synched with the file in your account and in your device(s) where dropbox is installed.
Other features of Google Drive and Dropbox include:
- Create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations while this is not available in Dropbox, you can create create these documents in your computer using third party programs such Microsoft Word or Excel.
- Works with products such as Gmail and Google+, this works directly with Google Drive. You can have access to your Dropbox files through a the Gmail plugin for Dropbox.
- Search tools to look for desired files or documents
- View over 30 file types including Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, this feature is available in Google Drive.
- Files are saved automatically
- Start a discussion, this feature is available for Google Drive and is powered by Google Chat and the comment feature.
In conclusion organizations can achieve the following by introducing Google Drive or Dropbox at workplace.
- Reduce number of emails exchanged between staff members by sharing files or documents
- Avoid data loss in case of physical damage to the organization
- Improve collaboration between staff and team members
- Reduce printing and paper expenses by sharing documents and files online for free or at a very low cost
- Improve over all efficiency by having timely access to files from anywhere at anytime
Pleas leave a comment if you find this article informative or if you want to share information about other solutions available in the market.