Microsoft OneDrive is an excellent cloud storage option included with your Microsoft 365 subscription. Many storage levels from 5gb (free) to unlimited storage (included in higher subscription levels) are available and can be a valuable tool in managing user’s data. There are alternatives such as Google Drive, Box, Dropbox etc however with the storage included in your Microsoft subscription and complete integration with the Microsoft Office suite you would be mad to not utilise it.
Microsoft OneDrive integrates seamlessly with Windows on your desktop and your Microsoft Office package on the computer. There are clients available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and it can be accessed at the simplest level through your web browser on anything else.
The clients integrate seamlessly and allow not only access directly to your cloud files but also add a host of backup features, from the simple automatic upload of the camera roll on your mobile phone, to the backup of your important folders by default on Windows. This allows automatic protection of a user’s desktop, documents, photos etc. How many times has a hard drive failed on an end user device only to find that rather than saving to the network they have been saving everything for that critical job or project on their desktop or documents folder? The OneDrive backup functionality which can be configured through your domain group policy to automatically move these critical folders to OneDrive, protecting this data without requiring additional backups of end user devices.
For collaboration a user can choose to share a folder / files with users within and, where allowed, external to your organisation. Again, this sharing can be blocked or allowed at a group policy level to protect your organisation. This sharing can be configured to be time limited, limited to a specific user where they need to sign in, read only or editable and can be removed at any time.
Many of the storage / backup features are available through alternative services from Google, Box, Dropbox etc however OneDrive is the most integrated with Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office. It is the easiest to manage at a system level through its domain group policy integration and most importantly it is included at no extra cost to most Microsoft 365 packages – why pay extra for a less manageable cloud storage solution?