Due to digitalization penetrating every business today, there’s a rising need for software and tools. There are no questions about how effective and helpful they can be in helping your business operate optimally. For instance, in a normal day’s job, you will need to collaborate with the entire team on tasks and projects, making the use of software and tools imperative.
One effective tool to make your collaboration more streamlined is the file sharing tools. With these alternatives, you can finally ditch paper and reduce waste accumulation in the office. There’s no need to print every file and paperwork and travel to your colleague’s office. With secure file sharing, you’ll be able to share all the files in a few clicks.
That said, here are some file-sharing options worth considering for your business operation:
- Electronic Faxing
Contrary to what many expect, online faxing is one of the most effective ways to share files and confidential documents. Their best asset is that they come with the most secure system with strong encryption. You don’t have to fear data getting leaked or hacked by unauthorized people.
Sending faxes online can also be pretty fast and easy. Everyone in your organization can learn how to use them without using the physical fax machine. Nowadays, there are more and more companies relying on e-faxing as a way to share files and gather signatures. Whether in law firms, business offices, or hospitals, people can send sensitive information with just one click and receive any signed document after.
- Peer-To-Peer Networks
One effective tool for file-sharing is the use of peer-to-peer networks. With peer-to-peer (P2P) networking, a group of computers shares data processing responsibilities and permissions. This is the same technology online gamers use to share screens, chat, and talk on audio while playing games together. The same technology can be used in your workplace.
Unlike a traditional client-server network, no device in a P2P network is solely dedicated to serving or receiving data. There is much p2p software that you can use to collaborate effectively with your team. Some chatting apps, social networking apps, and instant messaging services use p2p networks. Your business can use this to exchange and share files in the timeliest manner.
- USB Storage Or External Hard Drive
Storing physical papers in your filing cabinets is no longer a viable and productive work strategy. There are high chances for some documents to get lost, stolen, or damaged. Not to mention, it would waste a lot of time sifting through all the drawers when finding one specific file.
And so, one good alternative for file sharing is to take advantage of removable hardware storage on computers. For instance, these can be your external hard drive, USB, and other drives. What’s good about physical drives is that they can be used without an internet connection. The only downside, though, is the storage capacity. They might not be sufficient enough to fit large files. If you want to share larger files, transferring them from the external drive could take time.
Also, there’s the possibility of misplacing your USB drive and other physical storage. And worst, they can be stolen, or the files could get corrupted. Before such things happen, creating backup files is paramount to ensure security. Also, protect your drives with encryption, so even if they get stolen, the hacker won’t be able to go through your stored files easily.
Compared to your computer’s RAM and internal drives, these physical storage drives are more convenient for colleagues to manage files. Files can be transferred or inserted from the user’s device onto the removable storage medium and then physically handed to the recipient.
- File Transfer Protocol Software
This next file sharing option is often called ‘FTP,’ which stands for transfer protocol software. This is considered the most common file transfer system among offices today. FTP is a method of sharing files among a group of users with a password. FTP servers allow users to access shared files.
Many sites currently apply FTP systems to users who can share their files with their chosen audience or team. But the best thing about it is the high security that uses passwords. This means no outsider or stranger can go into FTP easily.
The most basic form of file sharing is via email attachments. Email is an avenue that allows everybody to share files easily in the corporate world and personal and academic situations. All you need to know is the recipient’s email address. Then, you can send as many files as you want for a day.
However, do note that each file type comes with file size constraints. For businesses dealing with large file sizes, this can be very troublesome. Even the attachment of files also takes longer than normal. Also, other workers could be confused with the multiple threads contained in one email when there has been previously too much communication and file sharing. To avoid confusion, the best way is to begin a different set of email threads.
Unlike other file-sharing devices and software, emails may also be easily hacked by cybercriminals. Due to the lack of security in email platforms, your account can be compromised. Errors and data breaches are common in email platforms, so it’s not entirely the best file-sharing option for companies that deal with sensitive data.
- Collaboration Tools And Software
When your company deals with many projects and each one comes with a designated team, it’s often the best decision to use collaboration tools and task management software. These are usually hosted by third-party companies that develop and enhance their features and security.
The app can be accessed by authorized people in a team. Multiple users can simultaneously work on the same project file by hosting the documents centrally. Collaboration is possible from anywhere and on any device with this type of shared access. All you need is internet connectivity to access all shared files in a project team.
- Cloud Services
This next file-sharing option is getting more raves from business owners. Files are uploaded to a central repository by one user, then downloaded by others. Cloud technology has a larger storage capacity than any other file-sharing option. Third-party providers host all data, and users can specify the permission levels on the files. This option is scalable, so it will fit any business that requires as little as 100 GB storage or as much as 10 TB.
Cloud computing services are also recommended as a backup for all your company data. In the event of disasters, accidents, data breaches, and other accidents, you can extract all your backup files from the cloud technology you subscribed to.
Service providers are responsible for protecting data stored on their remote servers by cloud storage. Data leaks are prevented by deploying security and encryption technologies. This makes cloud services a safe way to keep all your company and customer data.
Benefits Of Using File Sharing Tools
The digital transformation of workplaces has highlighted the flaws of some outdated file-sharing options. Before you decide which specific system to adopt for your business operations, evaluating each one’s pros and cons is crucial. But in essence, these are some of the benefits when you invest in any file-sharing tools mentioned above:
- Automated Syncing Of Data
Every organization dreams of a well-organized system to manage its data and files. With a cloud-based file sharing platform, you can organize thousands of disparate files, create backups, and roll back to an earlier version of documents if necessary. This way, all stakeholders can access the most recent versions of the files, regardless of where they are and what device they use.
- Enhanced Security
By operating file-sharing, documents can be sent back and forth securely instead of via email. File sharing options like electronic faxing or collaboration tools offer enhanced security features, allowing no one to gain access to the files you’re sharing. Every transaction is encrypted with a password. If stored in a central version, documents can’t be accidentally lost or erased.
- Improved Work Collaboration
One of the most significant benefits of using file-sharing systems is improved work collaboration. With the help of such tools, you’ll have a centralized knowledge base, improving work collaboration efficiency. Shared cloud-based files make it easy to work together.
As long as the person is authorized to gain access to the company files, has access to the cloud software, or they have the link where the files are stored, they can easily view content. Since your company is the one that transacts with the third-party file sharing provider, employees don’t have to subscribe on their own and pay any fees.
The proper file-sharing systems can make it easy for employees to download content and company files needed for their work. And authorized leaders can also block restricted people from accessing such documents.
You can freely edit your document if you grant your recipient full editing permissions. Just ensure you have the changes tracker enabled so you can see and approve all adjustments. For this step, it’s also best to limit the number of people who can edit files to prevent errors and confusion in the team.
Choosing the best file-sharing solution for your organization when you think about all the variables involved can be challenging. But with the different options presented above, you can now evaluate and assess which ones would be an ideal fit for your business operations. Consider backups, the ease of sharing files, and security when choosing the best tool to use.