The Internet and its opportunities are a huge advantage to many companies across all industries. It has improved client engagement and allows convenient sharing of data. The innovations significantly increased collaborative efforts regardless of where people are physically working.
Although the file-sharing capability appears to be perfect, several difficulties may arise. With this in mind, it's critical to examine a handful of considerations while integrating a file-sharing system for the first time. As more information is transmitted back and forth as part of business processes, your organization must maintain an organized and secure structure.
If you want to ensure that the file-sharing system seamlessly integrates into your organization while prioritizing good organization and keeping your files secure at the same time, here are several tips to successfully create a file-sharing system.
#1 Choose A Secure File-Sharing Method
Standardizing the way your employees send and share documents while ensuring the privacy and integrity of your business data requires a secured file-sharing method. Today, there are various ways of sharing files in the workplace. Popular options include:
- File-Transfer-Protocol (FTP) was one of the initial ways to share files and continues to be a reliable method requiring a command prompt window.
- Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file-sharing makes use of individuals connecting to a network and readily accessing each other's shared files.
- Cloud file sharing allows the uploading of files to one central location, and users can access them anywhere from any device.
- Sharing files via email involves attaching documents, but most providers limit the attachment size.
- External storage such as USB thumb drives and external hard drives allows sharing files if you lack access to the Internet.
Depending on your company's unique requirements, selecting the proper one is critical. If your business requires sending and receiving faxes and would like to go paperless, checking out reliable providers of document scanning, digital signature, and eFax services such as eFax.com would be a good starting point for your business.
#2 Create A Logical Folder Structure
Depending on the nature of your business, decide on a filing system (e.g., alphabetically, numerically, or some other way) that works best for your business. Things might get out of hand if you fail to follow a structure while creating and sharing folders and files in an organization. Any inconsistencies in the file names and folder structures can negatively affect productivity.
Some of the practices to consider are the following:
- Keep the structure simple since complex file or folder names will be hard to remember. Make sure to create a system with sufficient detail to keep everything organized.
- Avoid the folder within a folder practice. It's best to limit three to five folders to keep everything simple.
- After implementing a file structure, avoid changing it or allowing exceptions.
Make sure everything is clear to your employees. It's best to create a document showcasing the file-sharing guidelines and post it in a location that anyone can readily access. The approach can keep all your employees aware of the rules.
#3 Implement A Folder Hierarchy
Aside from the file or folder structure, it's crucial to develop an effective naming convention. If you don't have one, your employees are likely to name files anything they like, which isn't ideal if you want to keep everything organized. Stick to a simple but precise file naming convention.
Some of the best practices include the following:
- Name the files according to function and content to allow employees to find the files they need to use conveniently
- Be selective by having only the crucial data in your file names
- Maintain consistency by avoiding any changes or allowing any exceptions.
#4 Review And Reorganize Existing Data
Once you have set up an efficient system, revisit your existing files and re-organize them accordingly. This allows easy and fast access to your files for both new and old ones. However, depending on the platform you'll use, it's best to make the most out of extra tools such as file tagging to make it easier to find the correct files.
Depending on the tools available, make sure all employees are aware of it. You can also lay out a general guideline on creating, sharing, and storing documents to make your files organized. If possible, it's best to hold training sessions to improve efficiency in the workplace.
#5 Regulate Accessibility To Data
Not everyone in the organization can access data. One way to keep your files secure and prevent unwanted mistakes or modifications is by creating a system that clearly defines who should have access to and what documents, especially if you're going to utilize cloud services.
A good practice is to determine individuals who can edit documents or set limits on viewing or commenting access only. Setting permissions is an excellent technique to restrict access to data that you transfer digitally. This strategy is one way to ensure you have total control over the accessibility of vital data.
With this method, you may revoke access to the files after sharing, restricting the amount of time others can access them even after downloading them.
#6 Improve Collaborative Efforts
Depending on the file-sharing system you'll use, it allows employees to collaborate within the organization efficiently.
Consider implementing access controls and passwords to protect data, especially if there's a need to share files with those outside the organization. Additionally, since various platforms nowadays offer options that allow easy collaboration, such as comments or notifications, you need to make the most out of them for better productivity.
#7 Proper Implementation Of File-Sharing System
Implementing a file-sharing system in an organization would require all employees to entirely understand what's at stake. Possible data leakage can occur if employees fail to follow the guidelines carefully. Remember that they need to know how the service works, especially when uploading and downloading files. Additionally, they should also be aware of their limitations regarding access to specific files.
It would be best to communicate the reason for utilizing the file-sharing system. To efficiently implement this file-sharing system, you can:
- Set rules on file ownership, permissions, and access levels of the files, especially if it's only within the organization
- Communicate with your employees and set expectations about the new file-sharing procedures
- Provide training and ongoing updates to your employees.
With the right file-sharing system, it can work wonders in boosting your organization's efficiency, collaboration, and productivity. Before setting up a file-sharing system that can cater to your company's specific needs, make sure to find ways to make the most out of the system by observing the best practices to make it a crucial element in boosting the overall efficiency of your organization.