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Can OneDrive file sharing displace shadow IT collaboration?

Microsoft is touting OneDrive for Business as a compliant alternative to consumer file-sharing services, but will that message translate into enterprise and user adoption?

One problem with OneDrive for Business is that it's trying to be too many things. It's out there directly competing...

with Dropbox and Google Drive and all of these other cloud-based storage services, but OneDrive for Business really shouldn't be competing in that market. It is, because Microsoft is horrible at promoting and marketing things, and that's just where we are. But the truth is, OneDrive should have been leveraged -- and should still be leveraged -- as basically an augmentation of the entire expanding Office 365 platform of services.

Microsoft is finally getting around to doing that, but they're trying to do it after tainting people's idea of what OneDrive should be. The biggest drawbacks in OneDrive are that it continues the old file-storage paradigm. Microsoft, when it first came out with SharePoint, began to rebuild the business world's idea of how to manage content and made many strides in that area. OneDrive is positioned to do the same thing, but that's not what's happening. Instead, we're basically doing old storage techniques in a new way. OneDrive file sharing lets you do it more cheaply and more efficiently, and it has that wonderful trick that cloud storage can do --  making all of your content available on all your devices at once -- which is a great feature to have in the enterprise. But it's also perpetuating poor habits, because it was given a poor launch, and people don't understand the real content-management features of OneDrive for Business.  I think that's a big drawback. 

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This was last published in January 2016

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What role does OneDrive for Business play in your collaboration or file sharing strategy?
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