As a small business owner or manager, it could be hard sometimes to spend time innovating your daily processes, especially if you look at how rapid nowadays’ digital movement goes. With you being busy running your business, it is easy to forget to pay attention to how you can better organise your processes. With all the many different and fragmented providers, it could look like a digital jungle. In this article, I would like to help you understand why it is important to innovative your processes and organisation internally and how you can better understand this jungle. We will do this by providing you a brief comparison between Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox.

 

Why You Should Digitalize

The last decade, our digital world moved very rapidly. Many new platforms and services have been developed. These services and platforms allow your business to work in a more productive and collaborative way. However, it is all still very young and not always error proof. There we understand many companies’ concern: is it safe to go digital. For many companies, larger companies in general, this is a reason to stick with old fashioned operating systems like windows 7. These companies have too much on stake from different stakeholders that they can’t simply take the risk of moving with the current digitization, which is a shame. But you are someone who likes to move forward, so you should consider the advantages of digitization and mitigate the risks. This allows you to be more productive, more collaborative and more efficient.

In this article, we will mainly discuss three big players in the data storage and their productivity interfaces. These are Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox.

 

Comparison of The Big Three

Below we have summarized the advantages and disadvantages of Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox. Based on your personal preferences, this could identify which of these cloud storage providers suits you best.

 

Google drive

Google Drive is outstanding in its real-time shared working with its companions Sheets, Docs and Slides. With the good interface documents are easy to find and that is what makes Google Drive outstanding from its competitors. Besides, their 15GB free storage space is a good start!

Advantages

  • large free storage of 15GB
  • multiple price tiers for premium accounts
  • advanced collaborative working
  • allows to store third party files
  • allows offline editing
  • includes a ‘suggestion mode’ in shared documents.
  • allows file recovery and creates different versions after any action
  • excellent customer services

Disadvantages

  • no incremental uploads or downloads for external files
  • no password protection possible on files and expiry date

 

OneDrive

OneDrive outstands with its clear, simple and consistent interface. OneDrive’s relatively cheap plans that include almost all the Microsoft Office software, is a great advantage of the service. However, this integration causes many cons as well. For example, OneDrive doesn’t offer third-party app integrations and misses many features that are offered by others.

Advantages

  • relatively cheap plans available
  • fully integrated with MS office

Disadvantages

  • no incremental uploads or downloads for external files
  • only 5GB free storage
  • doesn’t recognize external party files
  • third-party apps are not very available for OneDrive yet. Still in development
  • limited in-rest encryption
  • no password protection possible on files and expiry date

 

Dropbox

Dropbox wins by far in the syncing of documents. It has various features that are not commonly offered by its competitors, such as the incremental uploads and download and the file protection by password and expiry date.

Advantages

  • fast incremental uploads and downloads
  • allows file protection by password and expiry date
  • allows file recovery and creates different versions after any action

Disadvantages

  • only 2GB free storage
  • no flexibility in premium plans

 

The Best Way to Organise Documents

Many big players have entered this market by providing their online cloud service with Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox being the largest. All three come with a free plan, which contains storage to just try-out the services. Whereas Dropbox gives 2GB free storage and OneDrive 5GB, Google Drive starts off with a high 15GB free storage.

When you are looking for a paid service, Google Drive and OneDrive are more flexible in plans than Dropbox. Since prices and plans change rapidly. We will only provide you with our conclusion of what they offer. OneDrive is the cheapest option, Google Drive is a close second and Dropbox is just more expensive. However, Google Drive does offer more pricing tiers as OneDrive does.

For best organising your documents, we would suggest to try them out and see what works for your business. Google Drive’s interface works fine if your business has G Suite, which means that your domain is connected to Google’s other services such as mails and agendas. Having everything connected within Google, provides your business with easier storage and communication.

 

Collaborative Working

One of the biggest pros for Google Drive is their interface to work in documents with multiple people. Working at the same time with someone else in a document is very smooth where you can use the suggestion mode (see image below), leave comments with a personal tag to send a notification and  and many more. This is for a range of productivity tools, such as Sheets (Google’s Excel), Docs (Google’s Word) and Slides (Google’s PowerPoint). These tools can be used for free. OneDrive and Dropbox have a similar interface.

 

Google Drive Suggestion Mode

The disadvantage of Dropbox is the speed and flexibility of the shared working integration. Using an external partnership that is allowing users to work in an online office extension, the other two providers seem to be more flawless than Dropbox is.

OneDrive offers Office 365 to their storage. However, this is not included in the storage plan. This needs to be paid for additionally. OneDrive has great plans for packages where all the Microsoft are included in. These are relatively cheap and come with many benefits, such as 60 minute/month skype calling to landlines, Microsoft Access and more. All these benefits together can be great complete packages for small businesses.

An article written by Joseph Gildred explains the differences of these three platforms very detailed. We recommend reading this article as well to get the full picture.  

 

Our Conclusion

From our research we conclude that our favourite is by far Google Drive. Although this requires you to use Google’s other services as well, it works the best. The collaborative working interface is its biggest reason to use it. It is flawless without any lags, and even allows you to work offline. The free storage they provide is also very long lasting for when you would just like to try it out and their flexible pricing allows you to upgrade little by little, instead of having to buy a big amount of data per month that you would not fully use.

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