When it comes time to find a cloud-based file storage solution, Google Drive may seem like an obvious choice. However, there are a few key issues that make Google Drive a problem for businesses.
What’s So Great about Drive?
Google Drive is easy to use and, from an investment standpoint, relatively cheap for a company. Drive makes collaboration between departments and employees easy as it allows multiple users to work on a file at the same time. These features, along with Google’s brand recognition, have made Drive a very popular storage and collaboration solution. Let’s face it: when you see TV commercials with happy collaborators deciding what to eat for lunch in a Google document, mass appeal is almost a guarantee.
Drive is not without its drawbacks. For one, Drive uses Google’s own Word Processing, Spreadsheet, and Presentation programs. Functionally this means if you upload a Microsoft Word Doc, Google converts it into a Google Doc. Docs and Word do not share all of the same formatting features. This can cause formatting headaches that take up your employees’ time to fix. While Google’s office programs are relatively inexpensive (or free), they are not as robust as their cousins from Microsoft and you may find you are not able to do everything with a Google Doc that you can do with Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.
Little in the way of audit trails
Drive’s simple and cost-effective collaboration comes at a price. With only basic document governance and auditing, it may be impossible to understand who made changes, where a document has traveled offline, and which individuals took specific actions on the document. These features aren’t used on a daily basis, but finding out you don’t have an audit trail when you need it most can mean big trouble.
Security? Leaves much to be desired
Sharing documents is simple (perhaps too simple) with Drive. With few security options for administrators, documents may easily find their way into the wrong hands. If an employee accidentally makes a key document visible to “all,” you could end up with a major data breach. In addition, all other drawbacks of cloud storage also apply to Drive.
Compatible with most Google devices
Finally, Google Drive is optimized for use on Android-based devices, which is great if your company uses Android-based devices. If your company uses Apple, Windows or Blackberry products, you may find that Drive is not the ideal platform for you.
Drive is great for collaborating on lunch
Drive is a great platform to store grocery lists, share calendars with your bowling team, or write your great American novel. When it comes to your business? Security, audit trails, and other essential enterprise functions are nonexistent.