Ever wish you could collaborate on documents in real time - and most importantly, quickly remove any typos you spot even after you've sent the document to the client? Discover why Google Drive is a miracle.

Thinking of moving to Google Drive and Google Docs, the web-based editing system? Do it - but know these six things first!

You business will be transformed by the advantages of collaboration!

You know that employee who’s been at the business since 1995 and knows how the business is run? Problem is - that crucial information is saved in a spreadsheet on their desktop. If you want to glimpse the spreadsheet on their screen (let alone receive it as an email attachment) you better start begging.

Google Drive is a better way of working. Google Docs can be shared at the touch of a button. It’s less formal - you can share a work in progress, and ask colleagues for comments. (Or duck into a doc and quickly remove a typo even if you’ve already shared the doc with a client.)

Every change is tracked, so it’s easy to see who did what when. (Or to find out if your clients have looked at the document yet - that trick has saved my bacon multiple times!)

Of course, if your document is personal, it’s easy to change the sharing settings to ‘private’ - or to only share it within your organisation.  

2. You will never lie awake worrying about backing up again.

As Carrie Bradshaw discovered in Sex and the City - not backing up could destroy your business. (As her business apparently involved writing one news story a week, she was quickly back up and running.) But there’s no need to lie awake worrying about it - with Google Drive, everything’s in the Cloud.  

Nuff said. Which leads us to...

3. Big Brother isn’t watching you.

Recently, some people became worried about Google owning the docs they had uploaded to Google Drive. They feared that even if their business ceased trading, in fifty years’ time Google would still own their docs. 

It’s no small matter - intellectual property is likely your company’s most valuable asset. However, it's not true. You still own the documents - Google is just hosting them. 

(You must still be careful to explain to your staff that sharing docs beyond the organisation is risky. Security advice from the right IT support company could be useful, especially if you handle customer data.) 

4. That client will never learn how to use Google Drive (but it’s OK).

So even though you've seized the day and discovered the miracle of Google Drive, and you're ready to collaborate with clients and suppliers - a small number of them will never bother to try it. In my experience, there are some people you can throw logical arguments at until you're blue in the face - but they're sticking with Microsoft Office.  

Don't worry, because Google Drive is excellent at converting all sorts of documents. Files can be uploaded into Google Drive formats (‘Docs’, ‘Slides’ and ‘Sheets’). Then, when you're ready, they can be downloaded into any format you need. About three years ago, I found this process a little glitchy - but Google is improving Google Drive all the time, and now I never have issues with file formats. 

5. Google Drive is only a bit free.

Google Drive is free, but only up to a certain storage limit. This means it’s easy to scale the service as your business grows and you only pay for what you need - much more appealing than storing your data in expensive data centres.

6. With offline support your always be able to work!

Having a great internet connection will really help with live collaboration. But, if your internet were to go down, offline support would kick in and catch up with the changes once connection was restored. Google Docs ‘save’ as you work. This is far less frustrating than using Office where, if you don’t save and it crashes, you lose everything.

Ready? 

In the old days, you need to own or rent an expensive server to store all your business data.  Google Drive is so intuitive, you'll only need IT support to:

  • Deploy Google Drive.
  • Advise on security issues. 
  • Help staff make the most of the features.

Contact Kimbley IT for further advice on moving to Google Drive today.

About the author

Lucy Busuttil previously worked for a client of Kimbley IT for three years. A former technophobe, she has been transformed into a Google evangelist!