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Prior to the advent of shared drives, organizations had to endure the painstaking process of manually filing paper documents and creating folders and labels for ease of access. A simple misstep in the process could result in a document being lost, misfiled or unnecessarily duplicated.

For many enterprises today, shared drives are just the modernized version of this process—minus the need for massive file cabinets and/or storage to house an entire organization’s records. Shared drives, like their predecessor, need structured frameworks for folders and consistent classification practices. Without them, the same pitfalls that plagued the filing cabinet era can infiltrate your shared drive.

This is why adopting records management best practices for your company’s shared drive is paramount in the process of improving organizational behavior in this area. It would be great to be able to start this process from the beginning, but that’s not a reality for most organizations—more than likely they are dealing with years of bad shared drive habits that have resulted in a disjointed system.

 

Intuitive Folder Framework – Keep Access Logical

With proper training, an intuitive folder framework and consistent labeling, even the most disorganized shared drive can regain a sense of order. Aside from boosting organizational efficiency, re-evaluating your shared drive structure can improve compliance, identify existing access permission issues, manage risk and better prepare an organization for automation and records management software.

Furthermore, it enables employees to be more efficient organically, as they spend less time searching for something and more time devoted to business-critical tasks. No motivational speeches or pats on the back needed, just an organized and logical shared drive.

Organizations who employ a straightforward yet dynamic blueprint for their shared drive migration are able to improve efficiency and access today, while remaining agile for any necessary pivots down the road.

An often overlooked variable in the equation is training and education of staff, as simply telling them “look in the shared folder” didn’t work in the past, and likely won’t work in the future unless they understand the framework of the new folders.

 

Shared Drive Organization = Business Efficiency

If you’re running a business, organization and classification goes far beyond just an internal shared drive. It’s a commonly accepted practice to boost sales and efficiency. So why not apply the same concept to your shared drive?

Take a retail store for example, where all of the items are intuitively organized. Socks are close to the shoe section, tackle boxes next to the fishing poles, car fresheners in the auto section—so on and so forth. Staff and customers are able to learn the location of the items quickly, because they are logically arranged. The same holds true for a shared drive, as the design and education steps dictate future success for users.

If a reassessment of your shared drive is something your organization needs, the staff at Western Integrated Systems has the tools and experience to streamline access, update permissions, and restructure your shared drive in a way that will make new and existing staff not only more efficient, but more equipped to perform their jobs.

Of course, if your organization has a functional shared drive in place and is ready to move to a content or information management system, we can help you with that as well!