My company uses Microsoft 365, but where do I store my data?

Where do I store my data?

You’re used to saving your data on your C-drive, or on a file share where you have a personal folder and some folders that your colleagues have access to. The structure is clear, and everybody uses it. There are a few drawbacks, though…

  • You need to be on your laptop or PC to get to the documents stored on your C-drive
  • You have to copy files to other locations if you want to share them
  • You can’t see who has access to the files you store in the file share
  • The structure is folder based and often disorganized
  • Searching for the right document in these locations is a challenge

You’re in luck because the new IT guy with a coffee cup in the shape of Darth Vader’s head and a “Hello world” tattoo on his arm knew an alternative solution. Congratulations, now you have Microsoft 365! We understand you must be thinking: “well, thank you very much, but uhmm, what now?”

Personal documents

Let’s start with personal documents that you create in a professional context. This means files that you are working on that aren’t ready to be published or shared with your team or the rest of the company. The best solution to store these files is OneDrive for Business.

OneDrive for Business is a safe personal location where you can easily store loads of files. Some of the additional perks that come with OneDrive for Business are:

  • Because it’s cloud storage, you can access the documents form any device connected to the internet, anytime, everywhere.
  • You can search for files by filtering on file properties or use the powerful search functionality and scan for keywords inside documents.
  • OneDrive keeps the history of a document available thanks to “versioning”. If something went wrong, you can always recover an older version of the document.

On top of these improvements to your previous way of handling personal documents, you can also easily share them. If you’re working on a draft for a new proposal and want to share it with a colleague for a review, you can easily do so in OneDrive for Business. In the interface, you can easily see what files have been shared and with whom.

Team documents

After the review with your colleague, the proposal is ready. You want to share it with your team.

The typical applications for team collaboration in Microsoft 365 are SharePoint Online or Microsoft Teams. Your team will most likely have a location on either of these applications where team-related information is stored. In OneDrive for Business, you can easily move your document to these applications. Once they are in SharePoint Online or Teams, the members of that location can view them and collaborate on it if needed. The same features like versioning, search, etc. are part of these applications, so you will feel familiar when working with your document in its new location.

Published documents

You also have a company intranet to broadcast information to the rest of the office? There's a chance that this is also a SharePoint Online intranet. Another option would be to use Yammer as a companywide communication and engagement platform.

If your company uses SharePoint Online, the interface will be familiar. The way documents are stored is exactly the same as you have been doing in your team collaboration space. Moving data to a SharePoint Online intranet can be done in the same way you moved the document from OneDrive for Business to your team area.

If Yammer is the target location for your published document, you can post your content directly to Yammer or link to the source documents stored in SharePoint.

Need guidance to a transparent approach for managing data in Microsoft 365?