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Should You Move Your Unorganized Data from Your Company Shared Drive to SharePoint?

Author: Nidhi Gupta | | September 26, 2018

Lately, we’ve had customers inquiring if moving their Shared Drive data to SharePoint is a good idea. Typically, they have a company shared drive that’s been configured for years and as time passes people will start dumping the data making the drive messy and unorganized. In turn, this leads to too much time searching for data and it becomes a question of what to do with the unrecognized data, i.e. delete?

Our response – Yes, you should totally move to SharePoint.

SharePoint will not only organize your data and make it­ available with the advantage of security and trackability, but it also has additional benefits.

  1. Data becomes searchable – The data added in SharePoint is crawled and searchable, so you can run normal and metadata-based search using advanced search options to search by authors, documents with some specific phases, specific languages and lots of property-based search options. In short, SharePoint search documents can be searched, filtered, sorted, ranked, categorized and even promoted in search results.
  2. Versioning helps determine changes – Versioning when turned ON in the libraries will help you regulate how many times a document is updated and by whom, making it easier to track the changes made over time. You can also revert to the earlier versions if someone tainted the file or made a wrong update.
  3. Metadata and taxonomy – SharePoint provides you with the option of taxonomy (predetermined hierarchical categorization) and folksonomy (categorization driven by users mostly via tags or metadata terms). This opens a door with tremendous possibilities of categorizing and finding the data you like, you need. Along with this, metadata feature lets you create a term driven navigation for your sites, have social tags (trending tags) and custom organizational dictionaries (sort of collection of important words which are unique for your organization). In a most basic form, you can make term sets to classify your information based on the glossary of term used by your organizations, these terms add up as part of your document’s properties using managed metadata column which enhances the searchability and filtering of documents.
  4. Retention and Deletion policies for documents–  Let’s say you keep specific files only for a year and then delete them, SharePoint can do it for you with automated retention. You can set these policies and these documents can either be deleted at the end of their time or archived to different location to keep your workspace clutter free.
  5. Protect your files with IRM-  Protect your important files with Information and Rights Management (IRM) policies, when a file is IRM-protected only authorized people can view them, it typically disables the copying of the text, making a copy of the file and printing the file.
  6. Co-authoring –  Co-authoring is another good feature with Office and SharePoint supports it. Here multiple people can work together on a file which can be Word, Excel, PowerPoint so everyone can get their job done without having to wait on a serial queue.
  7. Mobile friendly access to data –  You need to access your VPN to connect to your shared drives.  And at times when you’re on the move or on a customer visit you might need these files faster and without hassle. SharePoint makes your files mobile accessible and editable with online Office features, so you work with the data you need as quickly as possible.


How to Migrate the Data.

Our team possess an expertise in all sort of data migration to SharePoint on premise or Office 365 (O365) environments. We’ll first run an assessment on the data which needs to be migrated. We then arrange it sites, lists, libraries, folders, files and so on as per customer needs. We can set permissions on this data so only the authorized people can see the files the need to see.

We can use various methods to migrate the data depending on the type and the size of data available we sometimes might take an approach of doing this migration with third party tools as well.


Things to Consider Before You Migrate.

Blocked File Types:

Some file extensions are blocked on SharePoint (example: you might need to check a list of these in your data that needs to be migrated, these extensions cannot generally be uploaded and downloaded from a SharePoint site for security reasons.)

Working with Large Files:

By default, 250 MB is the allowed and the max file upload size is about 2 GB for SharePoint, this can defiantly be increased from Central administration.

A few other points to consider:

URL length restrictions, special characters in filename and absence of metadata when you move the files.

Our teams work with these and bring out the best solutions for you. So, let’s move from unorganized cluttered data to a data which is useable and manageable and available when you need it.

For additional SharePoint resources please click here.

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