File sharing and collaboration services can save businesses a huge chunk of time and money — if used correctly, that is. Without a game plan, your business could be facing headaches and wasting time.
Cloud-based file sharing and collaboration solutions have two primary benefits: They eliminate the need to pay for and manage extra hardware to store and share data, and they enable employees and teams to work anytime, anywhere there's an Internet connection. But as with any other tech solution, strategic implementation is necessary in order to avoid creating more problems instead of solving them.
Unlike giving employees their own devices to manage files and documents in any way they please, file sharing and collaboration services require a certain level of administrative control to keep resources easily accessible for all users. As a small business user, organization is key. Having such a systematic approach can both prevent digital chaos in the way employees use a cloud service and help keep an eye on data security. [ 5 Dangerous File Sharing Habits You Need to Break Right Now]
Some action items include things like creating individual user accounts for employees, creating data backups, managing file histories and improving the user experience, said Jason Konopka, product manager at Copy, a file syncing and sharing service by security, networking and storage service provider Barracuda Networks.
Konopka provided the following tips for small businesses on how to effectively use a file sharing service as a small business.
When businesses use sync and share tools effectively, users can collaborate with local and remote teams of all sizes from any device, without a complicated setup. By creating project-related folders and groups, users can keep files logically collected and available to the people who need them. When communicating content outside of the project team, users should be able to easily share source material directly and securely, Konopka said.
By syncing files to the cloud and on user computers, critical business files are protected from catastrophe, and they're always available. If a file has conflicting edits, a comprehensive version history should be available to allow users to roll back the file to a desired previous state, Konopka said.
Utilizing central administration allows full control of users' access to the business's assets. Using a service that provides the ability to set proper access rights for each user helps to ensure data integrity and that the only people modifying content are those authorized to do so, Konopka noted.
Konopka pointed out that it's important to select a solution that prioritizes the user experience. A clean and intuitive interface with a single login to reach both personal and business content will encourage active engagement and IT compliance.
Do you have your own IT department? The Copy team at Barracuda Networks also provided several tips on how to best get started with a file sharing service in this blog post.
[For a side-by-side comparison of the best cloud-based file sharing and collaboration services, visit our sister site Top Ten Reviews.]
Originally published on Business News Daily.