20 Oct 2014

ISTech3-01

Google Docs: Online productivity with a Drive.

 

Collaborative working is something that many businesses depend on to tackle daily tasks. Used to, workers would have to send completed pieces to co-workers for inspection and await the file’s return so that they could continue working and complete the task, which would then be sent to another individual. Those days are long gone, and with recent advancements in online storage sites and online applications, collaboration is as easy as sitting at your desk and not talking to anyone until lunch. Google released Google Drive in the spring of 2012 with a focus on making collaboration easier for each person. With programs that could potentially replace Microsoft’s Office Suite, the Google Drive and Google Docs could be the only platform that businesses rely on for their daily productivity.

The basics of Google Drive and Google Docs are comparable to those of Microsoft Office in that they both have programs that are similar to Word, Power Point, and Excel, but the comparisons basically end there. Collaboration was a difficult task when using Microsoft’s Office; the wait in between corrections and critiques was time consuming and often took longer than necessary. Google Docs has multiple collaboration features that allow multiple people work on a single document at once while creating a more fluid work system and an easier method of communication. Power Point is replaced by Google Slides, a program that can generate Power-Point-like presentations inside the Google Drive while online, which are also editable by other users. Google Sheets is an Excel-like program that follows the same principles as the other Google Drive applications. It has the same functions as Excel, but with the editing capabilities of the other Google Apps.

Where Google Docs is grabbing the most attention is when it’s online storage. This could be the end of the in-house server that most businesses are used to. Of course, there are complications that could arise with using the online storage feature, but for the sake of collaboration with other employees, the storage is certainly more cost effective and requires less upkeep than a traditional server system. Google Drive and Docs allow for 5GB of storage free for every person that signs up for the service, but other options are available; 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month, and 200GB for $9.99/month. This differs greatly from Google’s competitors whose prices all drastically increase compared to the minute prices that Google offers. Although, other programs offer content streaming whereas Google Docs cannot.

Google Docs are proof that we’re moving toward a more accessible world of technology and collaboration. Team members are no longer required to be in adjoining offices to work on the same project. Google Docs makes it possible for team members to be in completely different parts of the world and get their projects done on time as if they were working in the same room. Allowing people to focus on their work with the freedom to be where they want allows them to increase their creativity and their productivity.

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