5 pitfalls of using a shared drive for company document management

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October 20, 2020
3 min read
Shared Drive Document Management

Do you rely on your shared drive for your company document management system? Then you may want to consider these 5 disadvantages of doing so.

In recent years, we’ve seen a rise in technology, especially in the workplace. Many organizations have gone “paperless”, transitioning paper documents onto an electronic document system. While a number of organizations have installed specialized document management software, some are still just relying on the shared drive to manage documents. However, there are some disadvantages to using a shared drive for company document management that you should be aware of.

Here are the 5 pitfalls of using a shared drive for your company document management:

1. Losing or misfiling documents

One of the most common disadvantages of relying on a shared drive for document management is the risk of losing files. It’s highly possible for a user to mistakenly delete a file, move it to another folder or save over it using a different name. This makes it difficult and time-consuming to retrieve the file.  Not to mention, it can cost a company up to $120 in labor just to find one lost or misfiled document.

In this case, not having a proper document management system can be time-consuming and costly to your organization.

2. Lack of security

Another problem with shared drives is that they have limited security. There are certain security capabilities, such as limiting access to specific folders or files, but there is limited functionality beyond that. Shared drives also don’t give users the ability to easily secure documents at a granular level which makes security and access permissions inefficient.

With a document management system in place, you have many more security options available, as well as the ability to get granular with security permissions

3. Multiple versions or redundant documents

Document version control is another common issue for shared drives. As a result, you’re often left with duplicate or redundant documents. Aside from being a major time-suck to go through and delete multiple files, a lack of version control poses the threat of employees unknowingly accessing the wrong version of an important document, such as an outdated policy or procedure. This can create numerous problems if an employee follows old procedures that are no longer meet the requirements and regulations of your industry.

Proper document management eliminates the risk of accessing outdated documents.

4. Limited out-of-office access

Perhaps the biggest frustration of using a shared drive for document management is that employees can’t easily access the shared drive remotely. Many employees today don’t work in traditional office settings, or they have to travel for business. In addition, many employees require mobile access to documents, which just isn’t possible with a shared drive. Not having access to specific documents or files can be detrimental.

Having a document management system allows employees to access documents and files from anywhere, and mobile functionality gives employees documents on-the-go.

5. Inefficient search capabilities

Lastly, there is limited indexing functionality on a shared drive, which greatly limits search capabilities. You don’t have the ability to add metadata or tagging to your documents, and it isn’t easy to cross-reference. This makes it tough to search for specific documents, especially if you’ve forgotten the name of the file you’re looking for.

Most document management systems come with the ability to tag your content, as well as search beyond just file name and actually scan your content within a document.

Document management system > shared drive

Using a shared drive to manage documents is inefficient and not effective. An actual company document management system is more comprehensive and provides way more functionality than a shared drive. If you are experiencing any of the 5 pain points above, request a free one-on-one demo with one of our product specialists to see our document management functionality in action.  And be sure to check out our assessment tool to know exactly what aspects of your internal comms strategy are working and what aspects need improvement!

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IC transforms businesses with state-of-the-art internal comms software. Since 1999, we have connected workers to their organization's goals and each other. Adopting our purpose-built software has led to measurable successes for our customers: productivity increases, turnover decreases, and better employee experiences.