Why exactly are shared drives still so widely used? Shared network folders impose a significant cost to organizations that rely on information and are not suitable as record-keeping systems. Sure they're familiar, easy to use, and hugely convenient, but that isn’t enough to tip the scales in their favor. Let’s consider some of the problems with shared drives that has 9 out of 10 organizations looking to scale back or remove theirs entirely.
Lack of Structure
Without relevant metadata or classifications, retrieving information becomes increasingly difficult. Inconsistency in folder structure and haphazard permissioning create information silos and make enterprise-wide search impossible. As a result, information is often re-created or edited from older versions creating multiple versions of the truth. Decisions are made based on incorrect or out of date information which can have a profound effect in terms of cost and reputation.
Lack of Governance
Without audit trails or version control it is impossible to prove the authenticity or integrity of information. Departmental sharing can be difficult, external and mobile access is not supported, and a lack of offline synchronization means individuals and teams resort to manually transferring information via email, thumbdrives or saving to the desktop. Data is exposed and completely outside of compliance, leaving organizations open to legal risk.
Increased Storage Costs
Shared drives inevitably leads to significant duplication of information. Documents are needlessly recreated and multiple versions proliferate. Without a process of defensible disposition, document volumes can become unwieldy (not to mention exposing organizations to unnecessary risk). Lack of rigour and regular housekeeping means the continued growth of redundant, obsolete and trivial files pushing the limits of storage.
Given these problems why aren’t organizations working feverishly to eliminate shared drives and moving information into their existent ECM system? Especially now that there’s a disruption-free, zero-change method of transferring data to an organization’s ECM investment. Let’s talk.