When choosing which Google Drive fileserver design is right for your business, there are two primary choices: the decentralized owner-based design, and a centralized IT-driven design. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and whether a business picks one design or the other depends primarily on what they’re comfortable with and whether they think individual employees can efficiently manage their own files.

Does migrating your company’s fileserver make sense?

Owner-based design

In this method, each employee is responsible for creating and organizing their own files, which are kept inside of their personal Google Drive storage. This allows employees to create organizational structures that are logical to them, but still retains the ability to share files and collaborate in real-time as needed. For many companies, there is value in knowing that the experience feels exactly the same to employees as if they were organizing personal files on their home computer.

In this case, IT needs to be aware of what the entire workforce is doing, rather than keeping tabs on a single account. This makes administration more difficult and taxing on time. Also, it can be difficult to trust individual employees to maintain a logical file structure and either retain or delete files according to company policy.

Many people argue that this is the way Google Drive was meant to be used, although that’s making the situation more simple than it should be. In fact, Google recommends an IT-driven design for companies that are 200 employees or less.

IT-driven design

With a centralized IT-driven design, a single G Suite account is used to allocate, store, and administer the company’s entire fileserver. In this case, the entire existing on-premises can be migrated over, fully retaining what employees are already comfortable with. Administrators can then create or maintain an overall structure for different business operations (such as sales vs. marketing vs. HR, for example) and control permissions to keep edit access, or even viewing access, to only those that have the right credentials.

One major disadvantage of this approach is that if users want to enable syncing with their desktop or mobile devices, they need to manually add certain files or folders to their own drive. This could create some duplication issues, or at least add an extra hurdle to the process that some employees won’t remember or won’t be able to reliably replicate without IT help. For larger businesses—Google says more than 200 is the threshold—a centralized system will create some speed issues, particularly if there are tens of thousands of files or deeply nested folder structures.

The Bi101 touch

No matter which approach your business wants to take, partnering with Bi101 makes the entire process easy. The migration itself can be a major headache, but we have years of experience in onboarding businesses to G Suite through our managed Business in a Box solution.

We’ll walk you through the entire process, and help you decide which approach is best for your employees, and your vision. The company fileserver should enable collaboration and growth, not hinder it. With Bi101, it’s easy to immediately unlock a new level of utilization with a go-anywhere cloud fileserver built on top of G Suite.