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SharePoint vs OneDrive: What’s the Difference?

By July 4, 2020March 19th, 2021No Comments

Since the inception of the “cloud” in 2006, the internet has seen a proliferation of data management tools like Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud. Microsoft has developed the two most popular platforms in business with SharePoint and OneDrive.

Post 2020, collaboration has gained greater importance to all organizations because the right people with the right data, could make the best decisions or create the best content.  800 million people (and growing) using Windows OS find that SharePoint and OneDrive serve well as cloud management tools.

Both platforms assist users to maintain order through file storage, and bolster productivity at a company-wide level.

Although it seems like they perform the same function, there are some nuances you should be aware of. In effect, comparing the two is like comparing apples to oranges.

We sought to make it easier for you to compare the two by providing a graphic for you.

sharepoint vs onedrive

A Few Similarities Between SharePoint and OneDrive

Office 365 can integrate with SharePoint and OneDrive to manage data and save files across the cloud. Both platforms have a limitation in that files larger than 15GB become harder to wield or transfer. The additional, shared benefit is that users have access to files on demand.  Although both platforms can store and share data, they approach the tasks in different ways.

Both platforms allow for team collaboration (although OneDrive has some limitations). Helpful features like being able to leave comments for your team mates in real time turns out to be a real benefit in the collaboration process.

Now we have covered the similarities, let us contrast the differences between SharePoint vs. OneDrive.

SharePoint: The Perfect Solution for Team Collaboration

Microsoft SharePoint focuses on teamwork and creating a foundation for communication at a company wide level.

Collaboration is easy for small and enterprise sized businesses where users can access important project information from any internet connected device. It does not matter whether your team is centralized to one location or dispersed around the world, the process of collaboration is the same.

The user is presented with a SharePoint site that contains everything they need to execute their role for their organization: calendars, to-do-lists, project updates and of course your documents. Each team can have their own homepage once they can articulate what they need to the site administrator.

Files uploaded are given a “permission” level from the admin. Put another way, team members share the same level of “trust” to edit or create each file that is uploaded.

You can keep several projects in order, by having multiple SharePoint sites to represent each project. This approach allows you to multi-task across several projects with greater efficiency.

SharePoint for Website Building

Some companies have been clever and utilized SharePoint to build and maintain the company website.  Those companies harnessed the CMS component of SharePoint to allow users to publish documents directly to the website so customers and employees can stay in the loop.

SharePoint also has an internal analytics tools for building customized applications.

When comparing SharePoint vs. OneDrive, there’s no question about which one comes out on top for website building.

SharePoint is right for you if:

  • You frequently share documents with others
  • You need a collaboration tool for upcoming projects
  • You want to publish documents directly to the company website

OneDrive: Perfect for Personal Projects

If your team is smaller, like say three people, then OneDrive is great. The platform serves as a global filing cabinet that you can distribute the keys to specific drawers, to specific users.

When you create the data, then you must give permission to each new member of your team to be able to edit or create documents.

Collaboration is possible, but not to the same extent as SharePoint because it is more ideal for large teams that share files frequently.

OneDrive seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft Office tools like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint but has no website content management capability like SharePoint does.

OneDrive: Personal vs. Business

OneDrive comes in two flavours: Personal and Business, for managing cloud storage in one central location.

Sign-in to your Microsoft account and have immediate access to your OneDrive personal account with 5GB of free storage for files, photos, and videos.

OneDrive for Business is specifically designed for businesses. Staff are provided with personal storage. However, it’s managed by the company (not just by the individual user).

All team members with permission can access the documents uploaded to the OneDrive business account.

OneDrive for Business harnesses the document storage and team collaboration mechanisms of SharePoint, but leaves off the CMS and other marketing elements of the platform.

OneDrive is right for you if:

  • You need a central location to store and access files
  • You work in an Office 365 environment
  • Your files are specific to you, or…
  • You need a place to draft files before uploading to SharePoint

SharePoint vs. OneDrive: Which is Right for You?

Still need more clarity about which is the correct solution to choose between SharePoint vs. OneDrive?

To summarize:

With a OneDrive personal account, the user always remains in control of his or her account. This makes it the perfect online storage solution for personal documents or files that are shared among a select few individuals.

Although SharePoint is mainly marketed as a cloud storage management system, it packs more powerful features. It enables content collaboration across the entire Microsoft 365 suite of services.

If you frequently work with greater than 10 users, using a SharePoint team site is a better fit.

However, don’t completely rule out OneDrive. Using both of them is an option if you need the best of all worlds for your business.

Please be sure to check your local  jurisdiction regulation as it pertains to storing customer data or other sensitive information on a public storage cloud.  Consult with a managed, IT services provider like ISM Grid to have a solution crafter specifically for you.