March 1, 2019
The Failings of Directory Based File Sharing
Directory based digital storage and I are partners in a tumultuous love hate relationship. Why, you may ask, could something so simple, so ubiquitous, such as directory based storage be the source of profound frustration and pain? The answer is simple – “Others”. Let me explain.
I am, in general, a very precise person that revels in the immense calm I feel when everything is properly ordered, structured, prepared, and where it belongs. I do well in the carnage of complication, ambiguity, and the grey area, but it taxes me over time. So long as I have a small corner of this world that makes sense, I use that space to recharge and ready myself for the next challenge of taming the insanity that is business.
At the start of my career in the early 2000’s, before cloud-based digital storage took hold, my laptop was this corner of my business world. I was precise with my naming conventions of documents, folder structures, and hierarchies. I appropriately managed, categorized, and digitally archived every business artifact in my sphere. I never lost or misplaced anything, at least that I remember. This served me well in a variety of situations, but as business leaders know, my sphere wasn’t scalable.
This was never more apparent than when MacGregor began its phase of rapid growth in early 2014. We were on our way to doubling in size each year for the next three years. It was apparent immediately that we couldn’t rely on a subset of individuals to manage critical files locally, as had been the status quo through building a team of seven. We knew we needed a file sharing solution that would scale with us as we grew and expanded. Like others, we assessed the market and ended up with Dropbox, a viable and well put together cloud storage file sharing application. While it met the need at that time, the failings of directory based storage, including the onset of my pain, lurked in the shadows of that blue Dropbox logo.
As we continued to add employees, assign responsibility, and create permissions for individuals and groups, the order and calmness of where documents were stored and how they were named disintegrated. It was replaced by the bedlam of many high-functioning minds beginning to impose their will and desires on this once pristine and homogenous landscape. Suddenly, I found myself forced to ask others where documents were stored and what a document naming convention meant. Internally, we joked about how a certain individual’s directory structure and naming convention was like lifting the veil and glimpsing into the abyss. Once an individual took that first look, they were never the same.
Before this blog turns solely into a diatribe on our challenges with digital file sharing, which we do not alone experience, let me say we were able to reel in the chaos and create order. While it takes weekly administration to ensure compliance, it is manageable, and nothing is ever lost. Additionally, we limit how often finding a document or folder requires a conversation with another employee.
When we created Folio, which we view as the next evolution in digital file sharing, we set out to eliminate this problem. Why burden the user with something as archaic as the directory or naming convention of a document? Why try to sell organizations a product that may well turn into another elephant graveyard of documents and abandoned directories? Rather, we looked at one of the most impressive and scalable platforms of our day – The internet and its search engines.
When a user wants to search for information on the internet through Google, they don’t concern themselves with the structure or naming conventions under the covers of that massive organism. Instead, they search for what they want intuitively by typing the phrase or concept into the search box. Never is a user required to enter the exact web address, as the magical search bar always delivers. Sure, if someone knows the full web address they can save a step by typing that in, but it isn’t necessary and is more often than not a “favorited” link.
Folio takes care of the filing, grouping, and indexing in the background so that users interacting with documents can focus on value-add tasks that move the business and customer experience forward. Additionally, the Folio web UI allows users to interact and search for documents and document sets intuitively, just as they do with Google or any search engine. It’s easy, it’s simple, it improves employee efficiency, and ultimately provides organizations with material savings.
Is your current file sharing application a dumping ground? Are you tired of employees spending time searching and hunting for documents? Is there anxiety associated with lost documents or being subjected to a painful audit? Are you ready to digitally file all the documents across your enterprise behind a search engine that is intuitive like Google?
Learn about how Folio solves these problems by requesting a demo or learning more on our Folio pages here.
Folio – The next evolution in enterprise digital file sharing.