Migrating to a Google Drive fileserver might seem like a dramatic change, but with sophisticated administrative tools, built-in encryption and backup services, lower overhead in managing files, among other benefits, many companies are making the move. That said, before migrating a single file, companies need to spend time taking stock in their needs, and how the cloud can meet them.
When not to move your fileserver to Google Drive
Yes, we’re biased, but there are only a few good reasons not to migrate to the cloud, given today’s options.
Use of files that aren’t Google Drive-compatible. A manufacturing company, for example, will almost certainly have engineers and other experts who both build and access complex binary files, which aren’t human-readable. CAD files can’t be accessed by Google’s tools, and access likely needs to be restricted to a single user at a time for versioning.
That said, there’s no reason a company can’t split their filesystem architecture into two systems—one for these binary files, and a cloud-based one for sales and marketing activity.
Access needs to be restricted to on-premises. Some businesses actually want to actively keep employees from working away from the facility, for a variety of reasons. Google Drive can’t be restricted by geography or which network one is connected to, so a standard filesystem remains the only option.
Compliance dictates otherwise. Some businesses simply aren’t allowed to have their files flying across the wider internet, or need to have specific infrastructures in place to prevent sensitive data from possibly leaking.
When to move your fileserver to Google Drive
Every business needs to conduct a strong audit on their systems to make the analysis for themselves, but we find that most will see the benefits of migrating to the cloud outweigh any potential negatives.
Costs are low compared to on-premises. Cost just might be the No. 1 reason for migrating to the cloud. With G Suite, 30GB comes packaged, and can be expanded to unlimited for $10/user/month. One has to factor in the cost savings of not having to keep as many IT staff on-hand, which can add up in an organization of even a dozen or two employees. Even better, freeing up their schedules allows them direct those bright IT minds toward more work that earns the company money.
If you need files to be accessible from anywhere. As previously mentioned in regard to utilization, there are some technologies that help organizations with an on-premises filesystem to allow remote employees to access it. With Google Drive, users can easily access the company’s filesystem via a laptop or mobile device, from wherever they might have internet access.
If easier collaboration will increase performance and utilization. Microsoft Word and a VPN do not make for a truly collaborative arena for employees. With Google Drive, users can forget about complex permissions or locked files, and can collaborate in real-time, all while preserving historical data.
When you’re not currently backed up, or not confident about the existing solution. Some companies might prefer to add additional backup services to their cloud infrastructure (and yes, we can help with that, too), but for the most part, Google’s data center is going to be far safer and more redundant than even the most ambitious IT manager could dream up.
There are plenty other appropriate business cases for migrating to Google Drive, although we find that these are the primary concerns that companies address while considering the move. Filesystems are complex, and companies fear giving up even a fraction of control, but the truth is that by outsouring the headaches to those that live and breathe cloud filesystem management, most businesses can realize significant improvements in efficiency and security.
Think you can’t possibly move to the cloud? Let us hear your story—we love a challenge.