What is a cloud file sharing and management platform?
A cloud file sharing and management platform that helps you organize, manage, collaborate and share files of any size or type.
Unlike outdated methods of storing and sharing files, cloud file management is easy to scale and easy to manage in the new remote working environment.
Why is ‘cloud’ important?
Cloud software offers easy and universal access, data recovery, and a higher level of security than ‘local’ storage solutions.
What is metadata?
Metadata can be defined as data about other data but not the content of the data itself. An example of metadata on the below image might include information such as the file size, the file type, keywords, or tags that describe the image and/or the date it was created.
What are tags and keywords?
Information that is attributable to files that help users find what they are looking for. An example of a tag for the same image might be: dog, puppy, blue, ball, etc.
What makes a good keyword or tag?
An understanding of the subject matter, business, and people using the files always helps when it comes to keywording and tagging files effectively. If you know or can see from reports that people are searching for colors just as much as they are actual subjects, adding color tags would be important to make sure your team can find what they’re looking for.
To apply quality tags and keywords, it is important to think like the people using the platform, what they might be searching for, and how they might be using the files in the future.
Examples of metadata:
- Descriptors like tags and keywords
- File types: jpg, doc, xls, PSD, etc.
Why is metadata useful?
Metadata can help us find and reuse data quickly. With cloud file sharing and management platforms, metadata is especially important for effectively searching and filtering files.
Let’s say you need to find images of blue bikes that were uploaded during the month of December. You may run a search for ‘bike’ or ‘bicycle’, which because of effective metadata, would appear in both forms. After running the search, you may filter to a ‘blue’ tag and select the appropriate date. The results produced should be far more useful than with a traditional file management platform that doesn’t utilize metadata, but rely on the file name alone.
Cloud file sharing and management platforms should make it easy for files to be accessed and shared with various levels of permissions.
With a traditional file management system, a folder structure would be used to share and collaborate on files. If you have done a photo shoot at Miami Beach for a client. You have 300 images in total and want to narrow down and edit your best 100 ‘selects’ to share with them, while still keeping the originals in one place. This means 300 original files and 100 ‘selects’ copied into a new folder. Now you have 400 files, 100 of them being duplicates.
Next, the client wants a few of the selects for their campaign and needs to get them to their graphic designer. The client doesn’t want them to use all 100 files so another folder is created with 25 of the images copied. Now you have 425 files, 25 of which have 3 versions! Doing this again and again will leave you with unnecessary duplicates, more storage space used, and potential confusion on which file is the final file.
To navigate this scenario more effectively, look for a cloud file sharing and management platform that allows one file to live in multiple places without being duplicated. This way you can create unlimited collections of files for as many users or teams as you need. Also look for various user roles, ideally customizable, to retain control of who can do what with your files.
How do cloud file sharing and management platforms make it easier to find and use files?
A good cloud file sharing and management platform should utilize file names, descriptions, keywords, and tags to help users search for files. Additionally, filterable metadata such as tag, file type, file date, and the owner should give your users the ability to refine results further.
In some cases, cloud file sharing and management platforms will use AI tagging to help tag files and enhance searching capabilities.
What are the advantages of a cloud file sharing and management platform?
- Users can access files from anywhere in the world, which is ideal in remote working environments.
- They support brand and file management, especially when they have good file versioning capabilities and don’t require users to duplicate files in order to distribute them to multiple teams and users.
- They help businesses and organizations increase their ROI on digital assets by making them easier to find and use again and again without having to be reproduced.
How do you know what people are searching and using?
A good cloud file sharing and management platform will include robust reporting on the most searched terms and phrases as well as file usage and activity by team and user. This data will allow you to update or produce assets in line with what your users need and in keeping with your business goals.