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We could easily spend a few paragraphs in today’s blog talking about how business has changed in the last twenty, ten, or even five years. Or rather, how technology has changed within business, and how the business landscape has changed along with it. But they would be long paragraphs and full of information that you already know. Yes, ‘digital transformation’ has now moved firmly into buzzword territory and technology continues to push us all forward both professionally and personally.

One of the fundamentals – throughout this change – to any office over the last couple of decades has been the file server. For anyone under the age of thirty, see below:

A file server is a device which centrally controls access to, and management of, files as part of a multi-user system. Essentially, it’s the cupboard in the basement of the building where all the company’s files are stored and can be accessed by a network of connected computers. You could also think of it as large hard drive that everyone in the office can work on and save files to

There are plenty of offices and companies that still use a file server to store their files. Relying on one is not on par with, say, using fax over email or a typewriter over a PC. However, if you are still using a file server but are thinking about replacing it with something faster, more flexible and secure which allows for better organisation, then read on for the benefits of SharePoint and its powerful document management capabilities.

The file server is a fine solution if you have the money for the IT team it takes to design, create, and maintain them, as well as the physical space required to store file servers. The great thing about digital transformation and the evolution of cloud computing is that the file server question has been answered for you. Storing your files and company data in the cloud with Microsoft’s SharePoint Online is much more cost effective, frees up more space, needs no maintenance or other infrastructure and enables instantaneous mobile working that’s scalable to your business. There are many reasons why SharePoint Online is different to and, in most cases, better than a traditional file server.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of SharePoint below:

 

Everywhere access

One of the big revolutions of modern business has been the emergence of remote working. Our technology now affords us the ability to reach our files anytime, anywhere we need access. SharePoint Online gives you access to the important stuff right from your desktop, tablet, smartphone, etc. via a web browser or desktop application.

 

Powerful search

Microsoft pride themselves on enhancing business productivity, and here is a great example of how. One of the great benefits of SharePoint is its search functionality. While a file server can hold a lot of files, it can be difficult to find the file you need for a whole range of reasons – disorganisation can creep in even with best practice file storage; or even simply because there are just a lot of files and you can’t remember which file is in which folder, etc. In SharePoint Online, you can search for your document using specific filters, metadata tags, preview documents, search for key words in the file itself etc., all of which makes locating your work a much quicker, more fluid experience.

 

Check-In/Check-Out

In SharePoint, you can check out a document to work on while preventing others from doing the same. This stops people from working on the same document at the same time without knowing about it and cannibalizing each other’s work.

 

Versioning and better backups

It’s happened to all of us. You edit a document but for many reasons (a client changes their mind, or you edited the wrong file, etc.) you need the previous document. Don’t worry, your work is not lost. In SharePoint, you can retrieve previous versions of files with the click of a button. That also goes for backing up your platform. In short, you don’t have to worry about it – Microsoft have taken care of this and it’s automatic.

 

Infrastructure savings and storage space

As we pointed out above, SharePoint Online (along with Office 365) requires no infrastructure costs, nor does it need to be maintained or updated (Microsoft take care of this). That means you have always the very latest edition of the technology without even having to think about it.

 

More sophisticated document management

We could continue our list all the way down the page and into the next blog post if were to go through all the benefits of SharePoint over a traditional file server. But instead, let’s think about it like this: business is dynamic and ever-changing and your company needs to be just as dynamic and flexible to continue to grow. There are many ways in which you can make this happen, but a great place to start is where your business lives and breathes – your files, documents and content.

 

As Microsoft experts, talk to us today to see how we can help you with your Microsoft investment.

benefits of SharePoint

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