Online cloud file storage has been a dream for anyone who can remember what it was like to email a file to themselves. Some of the most popular services, like Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive, all provide effective solutions for accessing content and backing it up. Something to keep in mind about these well-known offerings is that they tend to have similar infrastructures that are built for a broad level of file hosting. So despite the variation of their features, their capabilities aren’t as inherently versatile as a content management hub or digital asset management system is designed to be.
If a company wants to effectively manage their files and relies on a file storage service to do so, they may likely encounter the following pitfalls:
1) Limited Download Options
With file storage systems, users can only download exactly what was uploaded. If the file’s format needs to be changed or resized, they’ll need an extra authoring program. This is a common complaint for Google Drive users who try to share files.
2) Minimal Privilege and Access Settings
“View, comment, or edit”. Those are the common selections that a user can choose when designating how they want their file to be accessed. Basic privileges settings won’t accommodate for more specific options, like sharing to platforms, approving content, or adjusting the organization of folders and content.
3) Lack of Customization
File storage systems generally aren’t flexible by design. Companies will have to tailor their needs to the system’s limitations, and integrations with other systems are limited to CRM’s and basic authoring programs (often within the ecosystem of the service’s parent company). In particular, Dropbox won’t allow users to choose how they’d like their files to be displayed.
4) Limited Communication
Collaborating with others through a file storage system is accomplished by leaving suggestions via a simple commenting function. The option to highlight important information for specific users or groups often will not be available. Some services aren’t even capable of providing user notifications through the system itself.
5) Lack of Insight
Asset ownership is easy to track in a file storage service, but it usually isn’t so simple to determine the ownership or version history of a file. Not being able to generate reports with explicit usage information, like logins, downloads, and shares, will prohibit users of file storage services from getting a complete view of how their files are being used.