Disadvantages of Using a Shared Drive to Manage Documents

Posted by Mike Lynett on Jul 26, 2017 11:00:00 AM



With many document management solutions out there, it may be difficult to pick the right one. Some companies opt for the most reliable technology, others are looking for cost-efficiency. A shared drive will often be chosen because it’s quite affordable. There are various problems linked to its use, however. Here are a few of the biggest shortcomings that you’ll need to familiarize yourself with prior to opting for the solution.

Very Limited Security Features

A shared drive is probably the most insecure document management solution. It is possible to restrict the access to certain files or folders. This is as far as security goes, however.

Security access permissions are quite clumsy and some people even consider them entirely inefficient. All of this has to be examined in the context of modern technologies. Many other highly affordable solutions like cloud document storage, for example, are highly advanced when it comes to guaranteeing the safety and the disaster recovery of sensitive data.

Basic Search Capabilities

With modern digital storage systems, people can search for files relying on meta information, tags and other indicators. Shared drives don’t come with such features, which can make it difficult to recover a document of interest.

The indexing functionality of these drives is limited. Cross referencing becomes a massive task in this instance. There’s no tagging and no possibility for the addition of meta data. As a result, searching becomes a rigid process that doesn’t allow for the setting of criteria based on user preferences.

Most often, people will be capable of searching solely on the basis of file name. If the title happens to be obscure, the task will be nearly impossible.

Duplicates and Lost Files

Files can be easily misplaced or lost when a shared drive is used for storage purposes. It’s as simple as moving a file accidentally to the wrong folder. Retrieving lost documents will often be impossible. Alternatively, a lot of time and effort will have to be dedicated to the recovery of the information.

Not only that, a shared drive also makes it likely for duplicates of the same file to be created by multiple users. A lack of version control isn’t just about inconvenience. Often, people could be using the wrong data to do their job, leading to bad outcomes and expensive mistakes.

Alternatives track modifications and maintain a single up-to-date version of the file. Extensive logs are available for the purpose of figuring out who has worked on a certain document. These logs increase accountability and simplify the process of resolving mistakes.

Access Limited Solely to the Office

A shared drive makes documents available solely at the office. This is a serious problem for many contemporary businesses. Many companies have employees that travel a lot. Some employ telecommuting professionals, some work with freelancers. If these people have to visit the office every time they need to access the corporate database, they will be losing time that could have been dedicated to other activities.

Cloud-based document storage eliminates such problems. When documents are stored on the cloud, they’ll be accessible from every venue featuring internet connectivity. Thus, cloud solutions are a much better idea for modern businesses that feature flexible arrangements or that have multiple offices.

A shared drive may seem affordable but it’s a costly solution in the long run. The lost of efficiency and mistakes will disturb business processes and reduce productivity. This is why it really doesn’t make a lot of sense to stick to such a solution when much more advanced and cost-efficient options are available.

Why Shared Drives Fail as a DMS

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