Friday, March 17, 2017

Empowering admins and inspiring confidence in teams - Google Drive

Last week, our team lead attended the Google Cloud Next '17 event in San Francisco. With over 100 announcements and unveilings it's difficult to cover everything in a single blog post. To begin, we'll take a look at Google's recent announcements about Google Drive since data storage is a hot topic in the business IT world and Drive now has over 800 million monthly active users. In the near future it will be the 8th Google product to reach 1 billion monthly active users.

After you migrate to the cloud, it's normal to expect easy access to all your content using your existing tools and processes. While other cloud-based solutions use traditional, time- consuming (and hard drive-consuming) syncs, Drive File Stream, now available in the Early Adopter Program (EAP) allows teams to quickly stream files directly from the cloud to their computer. This means that all data can be accessed directly from your laptop (Mac or Windows), even if you don’t have much space left on your hard drive. There's no syncing needed so you can work directly with PDFs, Autocad files, and much more. The Drive File Stream, as the name implies, show placeholder files on a user’s desktop, then downloads them only when a user needs to look at them, similar to Dropbox’s Smart Sync feature, which recently entered beta.
Google also made one of its key enterprise-focused Drive features generally available last Thursday. Team Drives is a feature that now lets administrators create shared folders for groups inside their organizations. A Google Team Drive owns the files, not the creator, ensuring important data is not lost when a team member leaves. Team Drives delivers the security and ease-of-use needed by making it simple to add new team members, keep track of files if a team member leaves, understand and manage sharing permissions, and manage/view Team Drives as an administrator. Set up Team Drives now for your organization.

Google also announced Vault for Drive which now lets companies manage data retention and legal hold policies for content stored in the service. This new feature gives admins the governance controls needed to manage and secure all their files, both in employee Drives as well as in Team Drives we mentioned earlier. It lets admins set specified retention policies that automatically keeps what they need and purge what they don't. With a powerful data protection tool like Google Vault for Drive, administrators can now have full control of data in the cloud. Search for files in your Google Drive.

Cloud migration - it can be a scary phrase if your current infrastructure is heavily invested on an on-premise or hybrid platform. To help move businesses more easily to Drive, Google acquired AppBridge - an enterprise grade G Suite migration tool that helps seamlessly transition to Google Drive. With AppBridge, organizations can now migrate files effortlessly to G Suite from existing file servers or content management systems like SharePoint or other cloud platforms. File permissions are also brought over when you migrate, which means your team's file access remains unchanged and your data stays safe.

Machine intelligence is an arena where Google consistently comes out on top. Once migrated to the cloud it's important to let the technology make the most of your content for you. For this reason Google introduced Quick Access in Drive. It works with Team Drives on iOS and Android devices, and is coming soon to the web. Quick Access is powered by Google's machine intelligence. It's the same technology used in Gmail’s Smart Reply and Google Sheets Explore, which means that teams can save time and make smarter decisions because the right knowledge will surface to the right employees at the right time. It intelligently predicts and summons files based on who specific files are frequently shared with, when relevant meetings occur, what files are used at specific times of the day, and much more. With all the time and ease it presents, Quick Access alone can be a great reason to move to Google Drive.

Check out Google's The Keyword to learn more about enterprise-ready tools for Drive.

Before you consider another competing enterprise file sync and share service like Dropbox or Microsoft’s OneDrive for Business, give Google Drive a look for yourself. Most of the items discuss in this post are generally available to all G Suite Business, Education, and Enterprise customers. For expert advice on Google Drive, be sure to contact our InterlockIT team. What's your excuse for not moving to the cloud? Tell us, we'd love to hear from you!