File server vs Microsoft SharePoint
Microsoft SharePoint and a file server are both equal solutions for file storage.
Typically, companies have used local (on-premises) servers to manage their corporate data. This often consists of a common drive to which the connected desktops in an office have access. The IT staff from the organization are the ones in charge of managing and controlling the local server and have restricted access to it. In the past, when it was first introduced, this was a big step forward for businesses. Employees were able to share files to a common drive and thus team collaboration was significantly benefited.
The downside? Well, let’s use the following example. Think of a library, this vast recollection of knowledge presented in paper form. When an author releases a book, this current edition is received, classified, and stored in the library. And what happens when the book is highly acclaimed, and the writer decides to launch a second edition? Yes, exactly, the librarian adds this newer version of the same book next to the first edition. Now, imagine that the same phenomenon happens to every single title in the library. It may come to a point where the number of books surpasses physical capacity. This is exactly what happens with on-premises file servers.
Fortunately, we all know technology evolves every day and newer, enhanced solutions to common file storage have already stepped in. This takes us to SharePoint, a cloud-based document storage and collaboration platform, part of the Microsoft 365 package. The big question here is: can SharePoint replace a file server? Let’s dive into this in more detail:
Why should I move my files to SharePoint?
As SharePoint is a cloud-based service, it makes things a lot easier for employees to access their content. They only need an internet connection to open and work on these files from anywhere, anytime. This creates the ideal digital environment for the staff members to work remotely.
Cloud tools like SharePoint made the traditional office-based enterprise model outdated. You cannot achieve the same with a local file server, as it is built inside the company’s facilities and users can only access it from inside.
Searching made easy
One of the most powerful advantages you can get from SharePoint is the search power for finding files using metadata tags. You can search by keywords or document name and get results in a snap. Remember SharePoint deals with all your company’s data. So, to manage with this volume of information and still show results in seconds is an excellent return on investment.
Is searching through an on-premises file server this efficient? Typically, it is not without the need for additional software.
Yes, I know. We’ve all been there. Searching through a ton of versions of the same file only to realize you don’t remember how you named the latest one. Painful, isn’t it? Well, in SharePoint there’s no need to create multiple versions of a single file and rename it every time. Whenever you edit and save a document, the previous version is kept safe in case you ever need to backtrack.
Eliminate the trouble of VPN
Forget about messing around with VPN tokens, and passwords. Just like Facebook and Wikipedia, you can access SharePoint and Office 365 from any computer with an internet connection. Also, SharePoint has great access control. You can control who accesses what data. In addition, there are strong compliance controls. What else can you ask for?
Thanks for reading! By now you should see the value and power of SharePoint and M365. As a Technology Adviser, we’re here to guide you through the adoption process. We can create a custom roadmap and make your adoption of SharePoint an empowering experience.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to empower your business.