More an more, businesses, governments, and other organizations are starting to leverage Google Drive, G Suite’s cloud-storage app as their preferred document management solution due to its tight integration into apps such as Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, compatibility with legacy apps such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint and ability to become a full-blown document management system. Companies such as Airbus, for example, are in the process of moving billions of documents from a myriad of servers and document management systems into Google Drive so they can a single source for all of their data and drastically improve their ability to collaborate.
By doing this, they are shedding their dependency on on-premise Windows-based storage solutions with the security-first cloud-based solution in Google Drive which gives their employees access to their files from any device and protects their documents from machine failure or local disaster. And Google Drive meets or exceeds most data security, privacy, and confidentiality requirements including HIPPA and FERPA out of the box’ and can even meet stringent CJIS requirements with a 3rd party tool.
With Google Drive, documents can easily be discovered using Google’s powerful document search and can be shared with collaborators both inside and outside the organization without setting up expensive networks, VPN’s or FTP sites. Documents and folders can also be natively categorized using customized metadata fields for more refined searches, a feature that would cost thousands of dollars on an on-premise Windows-based file management solution.
While Google Drive is built for the browser, it is designed to work in the Windows environment and with applications such as Microsoft Office. For example, users on Windows machines can work on all of the Windows-based files from a mapped Windows folder using Google Drive File Stream which displays the virtual folders in Google Drive in Explorer. Files are downloaded on demand, so they take up little to no local disk space.
Within File Stream, users can also jump into Google Drive in the browser, copy a share link and even change share permissions by simply right clicking on a file or folder. Microsoft Word users can also work on a shared file without having to worry about someone else working on it at the same time and soon will be able to collaborate in the Word file just as you can a Google Doc.
But, where G Suite and Google Drive really shine is its advanced machine learning and the vast ecosystem of 3rd-party integrations.
For example, machine learning allows users to have important, relevant files automatically surfaced based on actions such as their email communications and scheduled calendar events, helping users stay on top of things and eliminating the need to search for files. Machine learning also assists users by automatically suggesting files that are similar to ones a user may be looking for, further increasing a user’s productivity.
Likewise, 3rd-party integrations give Google Drive another huge advantage, as users can employ other powerful tools to reduce costs and streamline processes. For example, apps such as AODocs can be utilized to trigger sophisticated workflows and comply with retention policies; the time it takes to obtain signatures can be reduced from days to minutes with integrations with tools like DocuSign, and law enforcement can achieve CJIS compliance with apps like Virtru.
Finally, since Google Drive is cloud-based, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides are immune from common Windows-based malware such as ransomware and Windows-based files such as Word, Excel and PDF exclusively used and stored in Google Drive can also be protected from many of the inherent Windows security risks.
With G Suite and Google Drive, organizations now have the ability to shift money and effort away from maintaining expensive IT infrastructure and into productivity and innovation.