It’s hard to beat the convenience and flexibility of cloud file storage. Disasters can and do happen and laptops and devices are often misplaced, but with cloud storage you will always have access to your files even when you’re on the go. What’s more, you won’t need to spend valuable dollars on maintaining expensive company servers or support personnel. There’s no doubt about it, cloud file storage is one of the best investments that a business can make. But did you realise that for the same cost, you could also be realizing the additional benefits that a cloud intranet has to offer? Carry on reading to find out about the versatility of an office intranet in not only providing cloud file storage solutions but a whole host of additional business tools as well.
Existing Cloud File Storage Options
Whether it’s as a result of the need to access files from anywhere, including the offices of clients and customers, or whether it’s to support a growing workforce spread across different states and even continents, many businesses have been utilizing cloud file storage for some time now. DropBox, Google Drive, JustCloud or MS OneDrive are some of the more popular options that businesses turn to when they want to share documents or large multimedia files with clients or colleagues. In fact, chances are that your business is already using at least one of these options. But have you ever sat down and really analysed how you are using cloud file storage?
The truth is for most companies online cloud storage has become little more than a dumping ground for all company data and information. The cloud will have developed organically with little thought given to how the information is organized, how it is managed and who has access to what. Files are generally not sorted and ordered in any systematic way. It can, therefore, be very hard for users to find the information they’re after and even if they do, there’s no guarantee they’ve got the most up-to-date version. In these sorts of situations the cloud is more likely to be of the stormy variety!
Intranet File Storage Options
Unlike file only cloud storage options that have been built around file names and folders, the intranet offers a context for each document which helps to guide users visually to the files. Files can be directly embedded in the intranet’s pages and an explanation or instructions given alongside. And so for example, say that you are looking to complete an incident report form, with a service such as DropBox you would simply look for the form by the file name and you would then download it and complete it before perhaps emailing it to a colleague to be recorded centrally. This assumes of course that you know the file name so an additional step in this process might be to first email or check with a colleague to make sure you know the document’s title.
Now, let’s consider this same scenario instead with an intranet solution. Using the intranet’s inbuilt search functionality, you can quickly and easily find the incident report form. Or perhaps you locate the file by using the intranet’s intuitive menu navigation. Whichever route you follow to get there, you’ll find the form embedded in the occupational safety and health page which also provides a context as to why the information is being recorded. Additionally, the page gives you instructions on how to complete the form which is all done online. And once you press the submit button, the intranet will automatically route the form to the appropriate staff member. And so, what previously took at least four steps and several minutes, now takes just two steps and only a couple of minutes. Multiply this by the number of business processes and actions staff members undertake each day, and it’s easy to see the advantages the intranet file storage option has over other choices.
The simple fact is that the intranet is much stronger on the search function so that typing in a term will return a page showing the context a file sits in. This is a far superior experience for the user. And from an organizational perspective it means that staff are not wasting time searching for documents through complicated email threads or annoying colleagues by asking for documents to be emailed.
Additional Business Benefits With An Intranet
But the capabilities of the intranet go far beyond cloud file storage. Your cloud intranet comes with a whole host of other tools that will make the daily working lives of employees easier. How about an intranet news feed that works much like Twitter or Facebook by displaying the latest company news and updates on logging in? Communications is a perennial problem for most organizations and the intranet is a great way to deliver a consistent, timely message to all staff. And if you have large numbers of remote workers and staff that work irregular hours or are constantly on the road, then the intranet news feed ensures that they stay in the loop.
And how about using the intranet to promote opportunities for collaboration across your business? You can set up collaborative workspaces or project areas for employees to get together to work on a specific project. Say your organization is looking to review the marketing strategy, a workspace can be set up on the intranet for members to share information, insights and to brainstorm ideas. Using the straightforward site permissions function, access can be restricted to the project members only. And within the work space, members will be able to simultaneously create and edit documents online and in real-time. And by embedding the document in the intranet page, you won’t even need to physically open the document – you simply go to the relevant intranet page and just start working. This means that the intranet will always have the latest version, so there’s no need to email updates around every time someone makes a change.
You can also use the intranet to keep employees up to speed on key corporate events and company milestones. So staff members that want to check the deadline for completing performance management reviews or the date of the next board meeting or sales conference can check the corporate calendar. And the employee that wants to identify an internal source of expertise on say, employee benefits or digital marketing, can use the intranet’s staff directory feature. The staff directory includes biographical information and highlighted areas of expertise so that staff can easily locate internal sources of help and knowledge.
What’s more, all these great features are located in one platform, with unlimited users and unlimited data storage for a cost-effective, fixed monthly fee. And with many cloud file storage options providing only very limited free storage, why not maximize your ROI by deploying an intranet with all these other benefits for the same price? It’s a no-brainer really.
If you would like more information on cloud file storage for business or intranets in general, then get in touch with us here at MyHub.