Find out the key differences between these two document storage platforms and which is better for today’s business teams.
Currently, more than 60% of all business data is stored in the cloud and this number is only increasing as businesses recognize the necessity of cloud storage solutions. From remote access to seamless file synchronization, businesses gain peace of mind knowing all data is securely backed up and accessible in the cloud.
While there are numerous cloud-based storage solutions available, two of the most popular are SharePoint and Dropbox. Both are document storage and collaboration platforms that allow business teams to access and collaborate on data while on the go; however, there are key differences between each platform.
Below, we’ll dive into the differences of each platform to help business teams decide which is better suited for their specific needs.
An Overview of SharePoint
Created by Microsoft in the early 2000s, SharePoint is one of the oldest document management platforms on the market. The cloud-based platform is highly configurable and allows users to share and manage documents and applications seamlessly. Using ‘list’ databases, workflow applications, and other web features, SharePoint empowers teams to work together effortlessly across business units.
SharePoint is ideally suited for larger businesses in need of a professional-grade file sharing and storage system. The advanced features contained within SharePoint is why 78% of Fortune 500 companies use the platform to complete tasks such as social media management, issue tracking, business performance reporting, competitive analysis, and more.
An Overview of Dropbox
Dropbox is also a cloud-based service that provides business teams with cloud storage, file synchronization services, and file hosting. Users can back up files from their personal computer directly to the platform. Here, users can share and collaborate on documents and files from any device. Dropbox also allows users to download files remotely—even while offline—and share them with other users.
The platform’s ease of use and accessibility make the platform an ideal choice for freelancers, startups, or smaller business teams. Dropbox is a convenient solution for storing both personal and professional documents, videos, photos, and more.
SharePoint vs. Dropbox: Top 8 Differences
With a better understanding of what each platform is, we can now take a closer look at what sets Dropbox and SharePoint apart.
Ease of Use
Dropbox’s instinctive platform makes it easy to use for all users, regardless of their technical skills. Users simply log on and can immediately upload, organize, and share documents—all within a few minutes. SharePoint is more intricate and usually requires the help of an IT professional to learn. It may take business teams a few weeks to fully understand the platform’s advanced features and navigation.
Because Dropbox is more limited in functionality, setup and deployment can be done in a matter of minutes. Once users have set up an account, they can quickly start using the platform. SharePoint’s advanced features require significantly more time and preparation before teams are up and running. Most setups require IT assistance and a few weeks of maintenance before setup is complete.
As part of the Microsoft 365 portfolio, SharePoint integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft solutions, including Dynamics 365, Azure, Power BI, and more. It also easily integrates with third-party tools, including CRM and ERP systems, Salesforce, Zendesk, social media sites, and more. While Dropbox does allow for third-party integrations (including with SharePoint), the integration may not feel quite as seamless as SharePoint’s.
As previously mentioned, SharePoint contains a number of advanced features which makes the platform more complex than that of Dropbox. Dropbox’s simple interface and smaller feature offering make the platform more simple and easier to learn than SharePoint.
While both platforms provide users with security features, SharePoint’s are far more advanced than Dropbox’s. All SharePoint users, regardless of their plan, can password-protect, control and monitor access, and encrypt files. SharePoint’s file folder system allows users to check-in and check out various documents and are provided a comprehensive view of who has shared what document and when. The platform also features reporting tools that allow users to easily view, track, and manage requests for documents.
On the other hand, Dropbox’s security features are more limited than SharePoint’s. Dropbox does not provide security features like monitoring document access requests or document encryption. Users who want additional security have to rely on third-party integrations or purchase the advanced plan to go beyond simple password protection and user authentication.
Because SharePoint is highly configurable and flexible, users are able to do far more with the platform than Dropbox. SharePoint can be used for project management, collaboration, employee portals, intranets, and more. The platform contains thousands of features that allow users to build and deploy virtually anything.
Dropbox is more limited in its feature scope and does not offer users more than simple document storage and synchronization. Users who want to extend the platform’s functionality will have to rely on third-party integrations.
SharePoint users have 1 TB of document storage upon signing up and have the option of purchasing more if needed. Dropbox only has 2 GB of storage space, but can purchase more for $9.99 a month with a maximum capacity of 2 TB with the plus plan or $16.99 month for the family plan (max of 2 TB).
The Dropbox Basic plan is free for all users; however, users have the option of purchasing the Plus plan for $9.99 a month or the Family plan for $16.99 a month. SharePoint is included with an Office 365 subscription or can be purchased as a stand-alone platform for $5 per month.
While Sharepoint is more expensive than DropBox, Dropbox is not the most economical choice for a document management platform. Most teams find the extra functionality and storage provided in SharePoint result in more cost savings down the line.
The Bottom Line
Both Dropbox and SharePoint are intelligent platforms that allow business teams to meet a variety of needs. Deciding which is better for respective organizations ultimately depends on their needs. SharePoint’s flexibility, scalability, and customization are ideal for larger businesses with more complex needs. Businesses looking for a simple, easy-to-use file storage and sharing platform should consider Dropbox.
However, one thing for teams to consider prior to implementing Dropbox is security and functionality. Despite Dropbox working to reduce security vulnerabilities, the platform has been hacked numerous times, leaving many users concerned over document security. Additionally, Dropbox does not offer users much more than simple file storage and synchronization.
SharePoint, on the other hand, features advanced security features designed to protect documents from various security threats. And with it’s wide range of features and tools, users can seamlessly collaborate on data, documents, tasks, and projects across teams.
Build Your Ideal SharePoint Platform with JourneyTEAM
At JourneyTEAM, we’re committed to supporting businesses in their efforts to plan, build, and deploy SharePoint environments perfectly customized to their specific needs. Together, we review a business’s unique goals and current environment and tailor SharePoint to satisfy those needs.
No matter how teams want to utilize SharePoint, JourneyTEAM can help, providing the exact amount of support that teams need. Contact a representative today to learn more.