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Microsoft SharePoint vs. Google Drive

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Determine which solution best aligns with your collaboration goals.


A document management solution is a must-have in today’s increasingly digital world. With businesses producing thousands of documents every day, it’s crucial they have software that captures, stores, and shares files across the enterprise. Additionally, business teams should be able to easily access and collaborate on documents any time, anywhere, and from any device.


Is SharePoint Like Google Drive?

Two of the most popular document management systems are Microsoft SharePoint and Google Drive. Both have amazing capabilities. Both are widely used across multiple industries and teams. So, when is one better than the other?


Below, we’ll provide an overview of each solution, how they differ in the document management space, and how to determine which will help you reach your collaboration objectives.


sharepoint vs google drive


What is SharePoint?

SharePoint is part of the Microsoft 365 technology stack. It originated as an effective document management solution for its ability to efficiently store documents for users to easily access and collaborate on. This allows users to easily collaborate and edit files in real-time.


As well as being a document management solution, SharePoint contains the expansive capabilities of a knowledge management solution. Information on what a knowledge management solution can do for your business will be found towards the end of this article.


What is Google Drive?


Google Drive is part of the Google Workspace family and is a document management solution that allows for effective storage and collaboration. Users can create, store, and edit documents and files in Google Drive. The platform syncs all stored files, photos, sheets, and more across all devices, including smartphones, tablets, and desktop devices, allowing users to access files from anywhere.


5 Differences Between SharePoint and Google Drive

Both SharePoint and Google Drive provide business teams with a single location to store and collaborate on documents. Here are five ways the two differ to help identify which is the best document solution to improve collaboration in your organization.


Price

SharePoint is typically more expensive than Google Drive (at a single user level) with the most basic plan starting at $6 per user per month and $10 per user per month for the more advanced plan. Businesses that already have a Microsoft subscription have access to SharePoint at no additional cost.


A personal Google Drive account includes 15 GB of free storage. Business teams who need more storage can purchase a workspace plan for $6 per user per month. However, this price does increase as additional storage and features are added.


Some questions to help you decide which solution is best for you could be: how many users do you have, is this going to be a long-term document storage solution, do you want your users to operate on their own personal workspace, or under your organizations general subscription. Keep in mind that additional capabilities that SharePoint, a broader knowledge management solution can have, and how it may be more bang for your buck if your organization would benefit from being able to collaborate on additional types of content.


Applications

With Google Drive, business teams have access to Google apps such as Gmail, Chat, Meet, Docs, Forms, Calendars, and others. These applications help with document creation, collaboration, and meetings; however, Google Drive itself does not go beyond storing simple document file types and collaboration applications. If you wanted to access other, more advanced applications in the Google suite, they are accessed through Google Workspace.


Because SharePoint can allow for integration with additional file types, applications, and content it can provide business teams with even more collaboration possibilities. These can include simple documents and files, other types of content and communication tools (video, Microsoft teams, etc.) as well as additional organizational applications that include things like web parts, news posts, events, pseudo webpages (often used for Intranets) and more. If your organization collaborates on more than simple documents and applications, SharePoint will provide the functionalities you are looking for.


Security

In terms of security, SharePoint goes to great lengths to ensure optimal security for its users. Because SharePoint is not usually tied to personal user accounts, organizations are generally more protected from outside threats. Additionally, SharePoint has several advanced security capabilities as it is backed up to the cloud, and Microsoft has extensive technologies that only allows permissioned users to access and collaborate on files. Security levels are created in SharePoint to ensure only the users with the right credentials can either read, write, or edit certain documentation.


Google Drive also prioritizes security but does so in a slightly different way. Google Drive information is always stored in their cloud data centers both in transit and at rest. This means when a user wants to edit a document in Google Drive, it resides primarily in the cloud for optimal security, but is then uploaded to your device for the time being. To access this information in the first place, you would have had to be the original user, or one the document has been shared with. Because Google Drive is protected by an Advanced Encryption Standard and Transport Layer Security, no one else can access this information.


In certain circumstances, however, Google Drive’s security can pose complications due to being tied to the individual user. For example, when offboarding employees, IT personnel may be unable to access sensitive data stored in their personal Google Drive.


User Experience


Google Drive is extremely user-friendly and has a clean feel to it. Documents and files can be organized into folders to make work easier to find. Google Drive has simple navigation from one file to the next and has high search capabilities.


As stated in the integrations section, SharePoint offers expansive options for collaboration as it can connect with applications that better organize the files within SharePoint. Data from all of these applications are organized well in a user-friendly internal website feel, which allows business teams to collaborate in real-time, build workflows, easily search for files, track tasks, and more with SharePoint.


Organizational Size and Use Case

Evaluate how an organization will be using its document management solution, and how big the organization is to determine the solution for you. Google Drive is an excellent solution for small-to medium-sized businesses. For teams who are sharing, editing, and submitting multiple files a day, Google Drive will do the job efficiently. Free-lance workers and contractors would be great candidates to use Google Drive as they can easily gain temporary access to files and complete the tasks required of them. If the rest of the business technology stack includes Google’s tools, Google Drive is the way to go.


If you are a large or enterprise- sized organization (50+ users) SharePoint may be a better fit for you. This is due to a couple of reasons such as, many users are able to collaborate at once, additional and complex content types are able to be used, and optimal organization as files and information is stored in a website (intranet) format. If many users are collaborating on various files each day, and coordinating countless efforts, SharePoint can do the job. Because Microsoft has such elaborate security and compliance tools that go with SharePoint, Healthcare, Finance, and Government organizations would benefit from its use.



Which Solution Meets Your Collaboration Needs?

This article covers the differences between Microsoft SharePoint and Google Drive as document management solutions. Both are excellent choices when looking for document access and collaboration. Determine which is the right fit for you based on your collaboration and storage priorities, and how your users currently operate.


Whether you are looking to upgrade a current document management solution, implement one for the first time, or migrate from Google Drive to SharePoint, JourneyTEAM can help.


Contact a JourneyTEAM representative today to customize a solution that meets your needs.


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