Whether your organization is still relying upon a local server to store all their shared files or it’s moved onto the cloud, there are 5 elements your system needs to be able to function properly and allow for knowledge to be shared across your company.
Here they are:
Online Storage and Sharing
This can be local, as long as it’s shared through a server (e.g. Microsoft Exchange) or remote (i.e. on the cloud).
Generally this is a shared space where team mates can store and access files that are used across the organization. There’s little more they can do when the workspace is on a local server, whereas using a cloud system can allow for online collaboration (in this case you would need an adequate allotment of personal storage space for each user account).
The advantages of online collaboration are multiple:
- Save space on your local device as everything is stored on the cloud (unless you opt for the ‘mirroring’ option – see below).
- Avoid having multiple versions of the same file existing parallely (i.e. “single source of truth”)
- No need to wait for files to be shared back and forth as they live in a space that’s always accessible by team members.
- Version management: platforms like Google Workspace allow for version tracking and also let you save specific versions while others can progress adding new edits.
- You can preserve all the capabilities of local file management (including editing files via your local software, such as MS Office) by installing apps like Google Drive for Desktop (available for Mac and PC).
- In addition to streaming files from the cloud, with Google Drive for Desktop you get the ability to mirror them on your local machine, allowing for offline editing.
This would be your domain based email. Both Google and Microsoft, as well as many other providers, offer e-mail solutions based on your company’s domanin name (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org).
It could be a suite (e.g. Microsoft Office, Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, etc.) or a set of separated apps, in both cases they are the tools your team members need to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more.
They include both video and chat platforms and can be separated (e.g. Skype or Slack + Zoom) or integrated (e.g. Google Hangouts, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, etc.). Generally speaking they include all of the tools that are meant to facilitate internal messaging, online meetings and video conferencing.
This is the interface that allows you to manage the backend and the architecture of the system. It can be Microsoft Exchange if you are on a local server, or Google Workspace, as well as Microsoft Office 365 for cloud based services (along many others).
In conclusion this is a list you can just keep for your reference or it can actively be used as a checklist to assess the health of your system. In the following posts we’ll dive deeper into the solutions we suggest for your system and how you can get the most from them, stay tuned!