SharePoint vs. Google Drive
Updated: Dec 9, 2019
SharePoint vs G-Drive: another battle between Microsoft and Google. These two technology powerhouses are constantly pitted against each other and in this blog will put to bed the endless discussion on which document management system is better: SharePoint or G-Drive.
What is SharePoint?
SharePoint is a document management system for storing and collaborating within an organisation. Based on websites, SharePoint is accessible via a web browser, or through the integrated Microsoft Office 365 applications, such as Teams.
What is Google Drive
Google Drive is a cloud storage service, not to be confused with online back up which uses similar systems but for different purposes. Google Drive also allows for collaboration in the workplace and is accessible via a web browser.
SharePoint Pros and Cons
Able to be highly customised, can be constructed to fit any business need.
Permissions! Allows for in depth collaboration permissions with an information hierarchy in your company. Edit, view only, delete or create files: all important clarifications when working with a large employee base or with external partners.
Branding. Your company brand can be displayed across SharePoint creating a unified professional brand for employees and external users alike.
Organisation. You can organise your files to be filtered and searchable often specific to certain areas.
Single sign on keeps your organisation in one system, making transitions from work space to another seamless.
Cost. All that glorious customisation can come at a price, but with the right vendor you can create a system that comes within your budget. If used purely for online storage it can be too expensive, as there is so much rich detail and functionality it would be a waste not to utilise your SharePoint.
Integration. Microsoft are constantly making SharePoint better integrated, but naturally there is always more to do.
SharePoint Classic has user experience issues, something that Microsoft has recently addressed with the invention of SharePoint Modern.
Google Drive Pros and Cons
Collaboration. The Google G Suite and Drive have great collaboration tools, including the ability to tag documents with colours and favouriting with stars to make documents easier to find. You can assign portions of the document to people and pose questions.
Storage 15 GB free storage, with reasonable price points thereafter.
Work Offline. This feature allows you to still access your documents and edit with no internet connection, uploading the changes when you are connected again.
Storage includes drive, gmail, photos (and back in the day Google+), so that 15GB of free storage does not go as far.
Shared Drive? There isn't a shared drive option, something that many users have complained about.
If the internet connection is poor, then the experience is poor.
No Branding. You cannot apply your company branding at all on Google Drive.
The apps that everyone loves with O365 suite of tools (Excel, Word, Teams, Planner, etc.) have equivalents in Google, but they have issues within the Gsuite, most infamously the poor processing capabilities of Sheets. (But that’s a blog for another time.)
Security. Google has fantastic integration across it's tools, but this leaves them open to risk from 3rd parties that develop publicly accessible extensions, or apps that can be used with Google.
Which is best?
The biggest pro for SharePoint is the rich detail and customisation available, to adapt to your business needs.
One if it’s biggest cons for SharePoint is usability, and this is now being rectified by Microsoft in Modern SharePoint where content creation and editing is incredibly easy.
The biggest pro for Google Drive is it's editing powers and accessibility across a range of devices.
The biggest con for Google Drive is the issues with storage and the functionality of the drive.
This is a tricky one. As always it depends on your use case, but we favour SharePoint.
If you just need data storage then perhaps SharePoint is too sophisticated a solution, but if you need a document management system that spans the whole of your organisation allowing you to work collaboratively and securely then this is for you.
Want to learn more?
At ClerksWell we work closely with the Microsoft roadmap to bring you intuitive solutions. If you want to know more about SharePoint and how it could benefit your business, please get in touch here.
We regularly hold webinars about all things SharePoint, follow us on Twitter to see what we're talking about next.