SharePoint vs Google Drive: Which To Use For Managing Company Documents?
If you’ve been in the business world or taken college courses in the last decade, you’ve likely used one or both of these platforms. If not, you’ve definitely heard of them before.
What are they? It’s SharePoint and Google Drive. They are two separate document management systems that help you manage your companies knowledge.
And they are both commonly used in the business world and even in our personal lives. So which is the better option for managing your company knowledge?
Throughout my career, I’ve had a chance to use both Google and Microsoft products. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Now, working for ScreenSteps – a knowledge base software company — I’d be lying if I didn’t say that both fall short in the knowledge management realm.
However, both SharePoint and Google Drive do an excellent job at provide a location to store your company documents and collect vital information. So, in this article, I’m going to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of SharePoint and Google Drive.
In the end, you will be able to identify which of the two is the best fit for your company.
What is SharePoint?
Microsoft SharePoint is a document management and storage system. It allows you to organize your company documents and resources in one location so that employees can access the files in the cloud.
While it is in the knowledge base family, SharePoint isn’t considered a knowledge base. Because it requires more applications and integrations to create documents, SharePoint serves more as a document library or document repository.
This means it centralizes knowledge in one location and makes it easy to share files across your company.
The main purpose of SharePoint is its a web-based collaborative platform that allows you to share files with your colleagues. It integarates with Microsoft Office to allow you to create and collaborate on documents in the cloud.
SharePoint is part of the Microsoft 365 for business suite, which includes more than 12 applications for your office. Companies rarely only purchase SharePoint. Typically, they purchase the entire suite of applications.
What is Google Drive?
Google Drive is a file storage and collaboration service. The cloud-based application allows co-workers to upload and share files. Teams can write and edit documents (with suporting applications).
The main purpose of Google Drive is to centralize information and make it accessible to teams so they can collaborate in real time.
Google Drive, like SharePoint, is considered a document library or document repository. It is a knowledge management system that allows users to create, store, and share documents. However, it doesn’t have some of the advanced features of a knowledge base, like interactive workflows.
For businesses, Google has specific plans for businesses like SharePoint has its Microsoft 365 suite. Google offers Google Workspace, which includes 12 different web-based applications for handling office tasks. That includes Google Drive.
SharePoint vs Google Drive: A side-by-side comparison
Both SharePoint and Google Drive provide a single location for storing your company resources. Here’s how the two document management systems stack up against each other.
SharePoint has three annual subscriptions to choose from. With the lowest two plans — costing $5/user per month for the cheapest option or $10/user per month for the more advanced option — you get SharePoint, OneDrive, and Lists.
Most likely, your company already has the Microsoft 365 plan. SharePoint is already included in that plan, so it’s probably not costing you anything extra to use it as your knowledge base. If you don’t have Microsoft 365, it costs $23/user per month.
With a personal Google Drive account, you get 15 GB of storage free. Google Workspace plans start at $6/user per month. The pricing plans increase as you add additional storage, video conferencing participants, and enhanced customer support.
Before you purchase Google Workspace, you can try the software for free for 14 days.
Both SharePoint and Google Drive are typically sold as a suite of applications. That means that in addition to document management, you also get a variety of different applications for specific office-related tasks.
As mentioned above, SharePoint is part of the Microsoft 365 suite of products. If you don’t have a Microsoft 365 plan and only want SharePoint, the lowest level plan includes three applications:
If you invest in Microsoft 365, you get a wider variety of applications. Some of those applications include:
- SharePoint – Document management and storage system
- OneDrive – Cloud storage solution
- Lists – Task management
- Outlook – Email
- Word – Word processor
- Excel – For spreadsheets
- PowerPoint – Presentations
- Teams – Instant messaging and video conferencing
- Skype – Video conferencing
- Exchange – Mass video conferencing
- Yammer – Internal
- Delve – Personal Microsoft 365 profile
Besides organizing all of your resources in one place, Google Drive has a variety of different applications to help with content creation, communication, and meetings.
Those applications are:
- Google Drive – Cloud storage and file sharing
- Gmail – Email communication and chat messaging
- Chat – Chat messaging
- Meet – Video conferencing
- Docs – Word processor
- Sheets – Spreadsheets
- Slides – Presentations
- Forms – Surveys
- Calendar – Schedule
- Sites – Internal project hubs and websites
- Jamboard – Digital whiteboard
- Keep – Notes
Who is SharePoint a good fit for?
SharePoint is a good choice for your company if you just need a place to upload and organize your files.
If you don’t need your employees to use your documents regularly, then SharePoint will help you reach your goal.
If your company already uses Microsoft 365 and you don’t need advanced search, SharePoint will be one of your cheapest options. Plus, you already have the applications (ie: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) that integrate with SharePoint.
You should also choose SharePoint if your company doesn’t allow you to use content tools outside of Microsoft 365.
Who is Google Drive a good fit for?
If you want an agile content creation system where you can collaborate in real-time, Google Drive is a good solution for your company. The cloud-based applications allow your team to work in the same document, at the same time, while seeing the changes your co-workers are making.
If your team is accustomed to using Gmail and other Google systems, Google Drive is a perfect solution for collecting your resources.
If you have a small team of a few people and you don’t need a lot of cloud storage space, you may be able to get by with Google Drive. Upgrading to Google Workspace could still be a reasonable solution for your team if you need extra storage.
Choose knowledge base software that enables employees to perform better
If the main purpose of your knowledge base is to collect all your company knowledge in one location, then SharePoint and Google Drive can fulfill that role for you.
If you want a knowledge base that enables your employees to improve their performance and prepares your company to grow, you will want to consider ScreenSteps.
A ScreenSteps knowledge base goes beyond storing all of your company’s resources in one location. With ScreenSteps, you create a one-stop shop for your employees that helps your employees avoid mistakes and enables your company to be agile as you grow.
Want to see how ScreenSteps compares to SharePoint? Get an honest side-by-side comparison of what makes ScreenSteps and SharePoint different. Plus, get tips on what type of customer should use each knowledge base platform.