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Most enterprise file sharing tools miss the mark — here’s why

Without an effective file-sharing solution, employees face friction in knowledge sharing. Find out how to streamline the process such that collaboration becomes a breeze
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How many times has a file-sharing tool failed you? The database is poorly organized. Or you can’t open a file without an account. Or you can’t open it on your phone. Or you can’t open it in a particular browser. It’s maddening.

Without an effective file-sharing solution, your employees spend too much time trying to find and share files when they could be working on more important tasks. Collaboration and knowledge sharing become impossible.

The problem is, most enterprise file-sharing tools lack helpful functions, are inaccessible, are hard to adopt, and don’t let you share links. When you use tools that don’t meet your team’s basic file sharing needs, it can affect their efficiency, productivity, and collaboration efforts — costing you both time and money.

Most file-sharing tools lack helpful functions

Most file-sharing tools miss the mark in the way they function, lacking key capabilities that would be beneficial and valuable to your teams. For instance, file-sharing tools often have unorganized databases with multiple dashboard views that don’t give a clear snapshot of your files. Unclear views can make it hard to navigate the tool to find what you need, much like trying to navigate a busy highway to find your exit.

Plus, many file-sharing tools don’t have a good search function, which makes the tool even harder to navigate. One Dropbox user talks about getting used to the platform’s quirks, saying, “there is more of a learning curve than it appears... Finding things is a challenge.” Poor functioning tools are a recipe for disaster, forcing your teams to spend a lot of valuable time looking for files they need to do their jobs.

Sakshi Jain, Content Director here at OSlash, says another one of the overarching problems with file-sharing tools is the inability to open a file directly from your browser. “You have to open the app, search within the database, and then you can open the file. I think this process includes a lot of unnecessary steps.”

Your file-sharing tool should make it easier for your teams to find and share files, not harder. Look for tools with robust functions like a helpful search function, one that lets you easily find files. Your tool should also allow you to open files quickly without taking many unnecessary steps.

Most file-sharing tools don’t improve accessibility

Most file-sharing tools don’t make it easy to access or share files with your co-workers. Companies adopt file-sharing tools to organize their knowledge and make the information easier to find, so employees don’t have to wait around for others to send and share files. Unfortunately, file-sharing tools don’t always improve accessibility. Need proof? Just ask the users. Like this FileCloud user who said, “It can be difficult to share files [with] members that are not part of your team folders. If the files are moved at any point you need to send another link and that can be confusing.” When a tool functions this way, it takes more time than necessary to share and get access to folders. You have to grant access to coworkers every time they need the file you own or wait for a coworker to grant you access to the file you need.

“It can be difficult to share files to members that are not part of your team folders. If the files are moved at any point, you need to send another link and that can be confusing.

Not only is it difficult to share files with co-workers using traditional file-sharing tools, but it's also difficult to share documents with external stakeholders, such as investors and vendors. They often don't use the same programs you use internally, so they have to sign up for a new account just to receive your document. A situation like that can create bottlenecks in your workflows.

Signing up for an account takes time, and if the end-user doesn’t have time to sign up right away, it can cause delays in tasks, projects, and company goals. For example, let's say you send a presentation to a potential investor through Dropbox, so they can weigh the pros and cons of investing with you. Dropbox asks the investor to sign up for an account to see the file — which they don't have time for, so they put it off. In the meantime, they recieve other presentations they can view without signing up for an account. Your company could be the best for the investor, but if you don't make it as easy as possible for them to look at important materials, they may look for other opportunities.

Tools that make it easy to access and grant access to company files can help your employees collaborate more efficiently with others.

Most file-sharing tools don’t let you share links and URLs

Imagine if you could save links to your Canva folders and projects in your Google Drive instead of having to save the file itself as a duplicate. Or save meeting links to your Dropbox account for easy sharing. Sounds nice, right? Unfortunately, most enterprise file-sharing tools simply don’t function like that.

Today, a lot of what you do as a professional lives in links — your weekly meetings, the tools and websites you use most, and more. The missing element in almost every file-sharing tool is the ability to save and store your links for easy retrieval and use.

Teams that can conveniently access the links they use every day find fewer barriers to sharing knowledge and information. For example, your marketing teams benefit from being able to save and easily access the direct links to their Google Analytics page. It saves them from having to go to Google, find Analytics, log in, and then find the right page.

With a file-sharing tool that lets you share links, you don’t have to search your browser history for the right URL or search your email for the message in which the link was sent. When you can easily access important links, you can be more efficient in other important tasks, like tasks related to your job and goals.

Most file-sharing tools are hard to adopt and employ

Your employees won't adopt a tool if it's hard to use. When file-sharing tools require multiple company-wide training sessions or complex setups, it hinders the efficiency of the tool, especially in the beginning stages. Just ask the users. One Box user said one of the biggest challenges is the setup, making it hard for teams to start using it immediately.

Difficult adoption processes are confusing for your teams, which can make them apprehensive about using the new tool. For example, if employees have to follow a multi-step process with complex tasks just to start using the tool, they may avoid signing up or starting to use it. If all your employees are apprehensive about using the tool, then it makes adoption really difficult.

Instead, your teams need tools that are easy to adopt and use with minimal training required. They need a tool that doesn’t interfere with getting their work done.

OSlash makes it easier to save and share your files

OSlash is the missing link to your enterprise file sharing tool. You can share information quickly and easily by turning all your links, tools, meetings, files, and more into easy-to-remember shortcuts. Then you can input those shortcuts directly into your browser.

OSlash is easy to adopt, and your teams can start using it right away. Plus, our collections make it even easier to find the information you need. Ready to find out more? See how OSlash helps your teams spend more time sharing and using information and less time searching for it. Learn more here.

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