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Digital Spring Cleaning

Data pulled from Google by iQuanti indicates that for 2017, getting organized was the second most searched resolution right behind getting healthy. You may notice that your desktop is littered with an excessive number of files, and your personal or company shared drive is a complete mess. While this is generally a truth for most people and organizations, we often find ourselves ignoring the clutter and living with the dissatisfaction in one of the most “lived-in” areas of our daily lives, our digital workspaces.

Many companies are either considering or using cloud-based collaboration platforms—also known as enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) solutions­—to provide secure sharing and access to content. These solutions are also incredibly useful for getting your employees organized, even for those who, like me, are disorganized at heart. With spring upon us in the Northern Hemisphere, now is the time to make those resolutions a reality and do some digital spring cleaning.

Begin with a Plan

First step, if you do not have a solution of choice, get one. The benefits of a cloud-based collaboration solution will outweigh the costs as most solutions are generally priced right. Many solutions also make it easy to transfer documents from one solution to another. Do your homework, but act. Cloud-based collaboration is for everyone in your organization. You should put some guidelines in place for your employees, like policies for sharing documents, but ultimately get the tool in their hands. Whether you select a tool or put policies in place, your employees are still sharing via either email or their own tool of choice.

Ensure Your Collaboration Software is Secure

When it comes to cloud deployments, experience matters. Ensure that the product has high levels of security, availability and redundancy of data. Ensure the vendor you choose maintains the strictest levels of confidentiality and data protection. Much like your tangible possessions, your digital assets are invaluable. It also helps to have a system that provides administrative controls to help users adhere to those policies. Be careful, however, if you lock down the system too tightly, you may find users going back to their old habits.

Plan for Corporate Content

All cloud-based collaboration solutions provide the ability for users to maintain their own content and share documents and folders from within their own space. Consider, however, a space for your corporate documents. Some solutions provide administrators the ability to set up content in the form of folders or libraries that exist outside of a user account. Corporate content such as employment contracts and vendor contracts may follow different retention requirements than user’s business documents.

Optimize for Search

Even though cloud-based collaboration solutions have robust searching capabilities, there are easy things you can do to make content more searchable. Use tagging if your system supports it. In addition, something as simple as file naming can go a long way when you are sharing folders or documents with others. What is a better presentation title, vision.pptx or corporate-vision-2017.pptx? If during your digital spring cleaning you find that you have too many files to tag or rename, do not worry about it. Most cloud-based collaboration solutions will get you to those documents, whether via search, recent documents, favorites or other mechanisms. The most important thing to do is get them off your desktop and file servers.


As most organizations have agile practices or are at least aware of agile practices, it is important to start somewhere and iterate. Overthinking can lead to inaction, which is why many people never complete spring cleaning. Everyone has a junk drawer, junk closet or maybe even a junk garage. Unlike your junk drawer, however, getting files off your users’ devices and into the cloud will make them searchable and readily available.

Keep the Communication Lines Open

The second ‘S’ in EFSS stands for “share.” Talking about best practices for leveraging cloud-based collaboration software as an organizational tool with employees and colleagues is vital.

Part of the promise of spring cleaning is a clear mind to help you keep focused for the rest of the year. Leveraging cloud-based collaboration solutions to get your digital content in order helps realize that promise. With your content in the cloud, you can securely share and view content from any device anywhere in the world at any time, no matter the season.

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