With the amount of digital data businesses hold growing exponentially, the need for best practice file management is more important than ever.
One of the most frequently cited problems among office workers around the world is trying to find files they need quickly; this is because best practices around file management are far from ubiquitous – most people save files to their desktop, because they think it is easier, only to become overwhelmed by their overcrowded desktop down the line. We discussed this problem with TechQuarters, a provider of business IT support London based SMBs have been working with for years; according to them, with the right tools, and some pre-planning, it is very easy for businesses to get their digital file management under control. In particular, they sided the business productivity solution, Microsoft 365, as a means for doing so.
Digital File Management with Microsoft 365
Is Microsoft 365 the best solution for optimal digital file management? It is certainly a very competent solution. It is worth noting that all the technology in the world won’t solve the problem, but in today’s age of digitally-native business and work, it is certainly a major factor. Furthermore, many of the IT support companies London organisations rely on recommend modern solutions to aid with the process – because it is at least true that modern solutions (such as cloud storage) have features that can make the process easier. But, going back to Microsoft 365, what are the main products that a business would use for file management?
M365 contains two main cloud storage solutions. The first is Microsoft SharePoint, which is in fact a cloud platform with many different capabilities – however, the most common use is for shared storage, archiving, file management, etc. SharePoint consultants like TechQuarters often help businesses setup SharePoint as a primary means for company file management. Some of the useful features of this product include:
- Centralised Cloud Storage (access your files from anywhere)
- Version Control
- Secure File Sharing
There is also a product in M365 that is designed for individual usage. Microsoft OneDrive provides 1TB of storage for all Microsoft business users. Users can create folders and subfolders to organise their work, and essentially use OneDrive as a replacement for their internal storage – which most IT professionals recommend, as heavy usage of internal storage can impact computer performance.
When it comes to file management, local storage is the most commonly used option. Though, as was just mentioned, using local storage is not very good for performance. However, with Microsoft 365, users can connect cloud drives to their operating system’s local file management app (File Explorer for Windows, Finder for Apple). This means that users who prefer to access files locally can still get the benefit of cloud storage.
Top 10 Tips for Digital File Management
Microsoft 365 clearly has all the functionality that a business needs in order to implement optimal digital file management practices, but it is the practices that are important. So, below are 5 tips for digital file management that can be applied to the Microsoft 365 stack.
1. Archive & Delete
Assuming that a business is migrating their filing system to SharePoint, it is imperative to first audit one’s files and archive, or delete, files that don’t need to be used imminently. For instance, files that are a certain number of years old may be deleted – or, if they are compliant with data retention laws, archived.
2. Choose How to Organise Files
One of the most important things – something that will determine the future success of the new file management system – is deciding how files will be organised. For example, will they be ordered by date? By project? By department? Or simply by name?
3. File Naming Conventions
Having a consistent file naming convention will make it much easier to search for files later down the lined. So, picking a naming convention and sticking to it is important.
4. Establish File Protection
File security is very important. The easiest way to implement file protection is to encrypt sensitive files, and folders containing sensitive information.