An authentic customer case
A customer we can call Jim, called to our support and told us that his OneDrive for Business was out of storage. Jim is a manager of a large team in the company. The first question that popped up was; how is it possible to reach the quota, when you have one terabyte of data storage in OneDrive for Business? After some digging, we found out Jim was building up a folder structure in OneDrive. This folder structure became larger with many documents, as you can imagine. Jim started to share particular folders and documents to colleagues in the team.
So, what’s wrong with this?
- OneDrive is not designed to be used for units/teams around common documents
- Documents and folders should not be shared individually
- The team does not see the complete structure and may miss important information
- Other colleges, outside of the team, cannot see or search, when it’s not shared
- Document in OneDrive for Business are not tagged with metadata
- If Jim decide to leave, and the company’s IT department and delete Jim’s user account from Office 365 before the documents are moved to another workspace, all the documents in OneDrive will be gone
What the correct method then?
First, OneDrive for Business replaces the home directory and is primarily used to save individual content, your own document library. It’s for draft and working documents you will collaborate with others.
My suggestion is that you use OneDrive for:
- Early draft work documents that you work with
- When you cannot identify an existing document workspace where your document belong
- When you temporarily need to work offline from your desktop computer
- For personal documents
Instead, Jim should have used an Office 365 Group Site, a Teamsite or MetaShare as I would prefer. In the back end this is all SharePoint. That’s the place to be used for saving documents important to the organization, and the place to which colleagues can share and collaborate within.
Download the whitepaper: Document Management in Office 365
I should also have configured the document library to get the most out of SharePoint like this:
- Disable the possibility to create folders.
- Instead of folders, use metadata and tag all documents
- Configure some smart views to find the documents easier. I use MetaShare which help me with that, out of the box.
- Set permissions on the document library, that my team has the right to read, write and maybe delete, but the rest of the organization can only read the content.
- Apply some basic document management features like minor and major version handling, the possibility for co-authoring for easier collaborating.
Maybe you may have done this differently, please let me know.