OneDrive is not the location for Business Data

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Over the past few months I’ve noticed more Office 365 solutions and Add-Ins that use OneDrive as the location to store data. This has always concerned me as I see OneDrive for Business a very different solution to others so I hope this brings some clarity to my thinking and hopefully start a discussion where either I will be put right or wrong.

Lets remember what OneDrive for Business is first. It’s a storage place for you to store data within your Office 365 tenant. But what is more important is how do we get this personal storage? OneDrive for Business is part of a SharePoint license. You can assigned a user a SharePoint Online license and they can access what they are given access to but they do have OneDrive straight away.

Now here is my main point. A users OneDrive is only a temporary location of storage during the life of an organisation. A users OneDrive is created when that user is licensed. When the license is removed, the OneDrive is deleted 30 days as part of an Office 365 retention policy meaning any data that is not backed up or achieved from that location is deleted and not recoverable.

Knowing this, do you want business critical data stored in a temporary location. If data is important and needs to be kept when this user leaves or the license is removed, you need to ensure that you have your business continuity.

So how should we use OneDrive?
• OneNote Notebooks – Your notes from meetings. If you need to share them for business use, store them in the right location such as CRM if they are customer based or the SharePoint team site.
• Expenses Forms (Before submitting)- While you fill out your form during the month but then an app is used to send the files to the right SharePoint team site or third party location

Where I feel you shouldn’t be using OneDrive
• Customer Note
• Customer opportunity information
• Customer proposals – this includes draft version. These should be stored in the right location
• Business critical data

If a member of staff leaves and you decide to archive their OneDrive to SharePoint Online – why? Why not make them store this information in there anyway.

It makes me wonder why we need more than 1TB of storage in OneDrive for Business – what do you need to store in there for it to be 1TB, or 2TB, 10TB and of course this only increases as we will soon get unlimited storage. Just because OneDrive for Business has more storage available to you than SharePoint Online, does not mean you should store your data there.

So please do let me know your thoughts, am I right, wrong or should I be thinking it in a different way?

One thought on “OneDrive is not the location for Business Data

  1. Alex, came across this just today and it’s definitely interesting in light of the recent storage limit changes to ODfB. I tend to agree with you. I remember reading that Microsoft recommended that ODfB was the best for personal but work-related documents, things that just affect you and not coworkers/customers (like paperwork, notes, etc) and files that have a limited scope or lifecycle. The business critical data that you mentioned certainly seems more appropriate for SharePoint.

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