SharePoint vs File Shares: It’s really no contest


Teamwork has been reimagined and modern collaboration tools have significantly changed how most people work together and manage file content in the workplace. But there are still many of us who have yet to experience the benefits available because working with File Shares is what we’ve always done and we’re comfortable with them. However, if I can provide an analogy; using file shares is a bit like using fax over email and instant messaging or a typewriter over a PC. It’s limiting your business and you are effectively operating as a ‘traditional’ worker and not a modern worker leveraging digital workplace practices. In today’s economy where mobility and productivity are vital keys to the success of a business, you need tools that promote collaboration. While file shares have been useful in the past and still have some recommended use cases; sole reliance limits the collaborative potential of your people, not to mention it poses a certain level of risk if no appropriate security measures are in place.

Having migrated file shares to SharePoint on Office 365 for many of our customers, we know you are missing out on a huge opportunity to improve the way you do business. Here are a few reasons why we think SharePoint rocks and really, it’s no contest to compare it against a file share:

Access anytime, anywhere on any device

This capability is perhaps one of the many things that are hard to match by a simple file server. Built in the cloud, SharePoint on Office 365 allows you to access your files on a desktop, laptop or mobile, anywhere you are via a desktop application or web browser. It is perfect for employees working remotely, for dispersed teams or those frequently on the go.

Find information quickly and easily

Unlike your file servers with tons of confusing folders or varying names of the same file, SharePoint provides you with the much-needed search muscle to help you find the information that you need in mere seconds! Using specific filters, metadata tags, indexing, preview documents and even search for keywords in the file itself, it all adds up to a much more flexible and better search experience overall.

Automatic versioning and file recovery

With SharePoint’s versioning, you can now say goodbye to adding ‘v1, v2, v3’ to your files and documents. SharePoint keeps track of your file versions in the background so you’ll never have to save multiple copies of the same file and it only shows the latest version in the main view; so there’s rarely confusion on which file you should be working on. Its version history allows you to backtrack easily if you ever need to and it even has its own Recycle Bin so you can get back to files that are accidentally deleted.

Work on the same file, at the same time

With file shares, collaboration means you generally need to wait until a colleague completes their work before you can then edit and update a document. Or you email an attachment and now have file duplication!  SharePoint improves team collaboration by allowing your people to work on the same document together at the same time, through its co-authoring capability.Unlike file shares that never tells you who has done what in your files, SharePoint provides you with a full document access tracking. It lets you know who viewed the document, who edited it or who deleted your document.

Automate business processes with built-in workflows

Business process automation is a capability that you will never be able to do in a file share. Because SharePoint is a collaboration and content management platform, it has built-in workflows that can transform and automate many paper-based forms and business processes. You can create workflows for approvals so you can streamline tasks and improve turnaround time.


Still having second thoughts about migrating your file shares to SharePoint?

You don’t have to take our word for it. Take a cue from some of these customers on why they jumped on SharePoint’s bandwagon and never looked back:

“It’s neat. It works. People can find what they are looking for. At the end of the day, for me, that’s what the first phase was all about,”Graeme Henderson, IST Manager of annecto.

“It's much easier to maintain files in SharePoint and we're in a good position because a lot of our employees are used to social media. They are used to having files available wherever they happen to be.  For the majority of employees, this concept is not a huge change.

”Melanie Fisher, Manager of People and Culture at Hawthorn Football Club.

If you want to get started on your migration, call us at 1800 126 499 or you can comment below. You can also schedule a 1-hour free consultation with one of our SharePoint experts to help you plan your migration too.

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