Google Drive is NOT an ECM Solution (Part Three)

This post is Part Three in a series exploring why Google Drive is not an ECM. In the first post, we covered security; in the second, we discussed compliance. For this post, we'll reveal "everything else" or problems that aren't easily categorized into any one bucket.

Just to review, Google Drive is a familiar, low-cost, and essential tool for business in today's collaborative and virtual world. It offers many things to many people. However, it is not a tool that works well in regulated environments like government, healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, etc. The right ECM will allow you to construct a compliant, secure, and comprehensive ecosystem that avoids making errors. It will also lessen the risks of record keeping. Here are a few more reasons other than security and compliance why you should rethink using Google Drive as an ECM:

  • The workflow functionality is exceedingly limited- One of the most powerful features of Laserfiche is Workflow. Workflows improve productivity and efficiencies and ensure the accuracy of data collection. Google Drive's Workflow is somewhat limited in that you can only use it for specific document approvals. Laserfiche's Workflow is incredibly robust and extensible. It can be used to pull data from LF Forms into another system. Workflow can perform database lookups. Workflow can ensure your data capture is accurate. And, I could go on and on, but I won't (this time.)

  • Folder structure administration- Google Drive can create and share folder structures. If you create a folder and place a document in it, it can be shared with anyone who has the proper permission as long as you put the document in the correct folder. However, the problem is that anyone can move files and folders around, which can happen. Users can also adjust the share settings for documents and folders, making it impossible to restrict access. Additionally, the person who created a document or folder is considered the file's owner. Also, that person has the full right to delete or not to share the files and documents. In contrast, Laserfiche'a security and permissions are down to the word level.

  • Difficulty handling large files- Google has some distinct disadvantages in handling large files. For instance, Google drive cannot upload files bigger than 5 TB in a day. This is equivalent to 1000 GB and limits most people who work with large files daily. Once you hit this limit, you cannot upload more files or the remainder of the large file you worked with. Embedded images need to be under two MB, and text is limited to 1,024,000 characters. PowerPoint or Slideshow presentations should not exceed 100 MB, about 400 slides. Depending on your organization's overall amount of content creation, these limits could cause problems. The only files limits in Laserfiche are large PDFs; however, they can be broken up before putting them into Laserfiche. Another workaround would be to create a Word document with a hyperlink to the PDF file on your network and import it as a Word file into Laserfiche in place of the PDF. This allows the users to access the PDF while they are "in" Laserfiche without the long delay when opening it.

Well, that's it. If you are still determined to use Google Drive as an ECM, I genuinely wish you well with it. However, if you change your mind, please give us a ping!