When it comes to choosing a platform to assist with document storing and sharing, many organisations find themselves torn between SharePoint and OneDrive.

Both are developed by Microsoft and included as part of (most) Office 365 licences. They also deliver some similar functions, yet operate in different ways.

In this post, we'll explore the differences between SharePoint vs OneDrive and why we find SharePoint to be a more effective and efficient solution.

SharePoint vs OneDrive: Individual vs group collaboration

OneDrive is an online cloud storage service from Microsoft that enables an individual to upload files and access them from their mobile devices, PCs and laptops.

SharePoint, on the other hand, is a tool which supports a wide variety of collaborative projects via the cloud or local networking. It is an essential IT resource for a range of organisations both small and large because it is specifically designed for use by groups of people rather than single users.

sharepoint vs onedrive


Both OneDrive and SharePoint provide users with a large amount of storage. But where OneDrive offers 5GB per user as standard, SharePoint Online offers 1TB per organisation. For many SME companies, this is more space than they’ll need, meaning SharePoint Online can function as their file server in terms of storage.

In contrast, we’ve seen plenty of organisations suddenly caught out by reaching OneDrive’s storage limit. And while multiple users can access multiple lots of 5GB, this doesn’t support collaborative working in the same way as SharePoint allows for.


In terms of scalability, SharePoint is also the better solution if you’re thinking about long-term use for your organisation. In time, SharePoint can be built out with further functionality as an organisation grows, and users added or removed as needed. One Drive will always just be a storage solution.

If the person who is the account holder for the main OneDrive account leaves the organisation (particularly if under bad terms) they can take all of an organisations files with them.  Akita has seen this happen on more than one occasion and it’s rare for Microsoft to help as this is not how it intends for OneDrive to be used.

Better security and permissions

While both tools are encrypted to protect your files, you are assured more robust security when sharing and accessing resources with SharePoint thanks to its functions such as setting auditing policies.

Unlike OneDrive, there are options for SharePoint to be made accessible offline, which gives you greater peace of mind about single-server security, plus extra control over your accessibility, which is essential for data compliance.

SharePoint can also be configured to obtain and analyse data from customers and users, making it more useful for monitoring changes to files and documents.

More efficient and effective collaboration

It is possible for multiple users to work on a document via OneDrive. However, the original user remains in control and can only grant access to others by sharing the file link. This becomes problematic if the original user is unavailable when you need access.

With SharePoint vs OneDrive, this step is eliminated, as multiple employees with the appropriate permissions are able to access and edit a document.

What's more, any changes are automatically tracked and management is able to see who is currently working on a document in real-time.

SharePoint can also help manage productivity across teams thanks to the ability to create custom workflows as well as utilise prebuilt templates.

Granular permission setting

Available across a network or via the cloud, SharePoint also comes with a greater level of version control and user access that simply isn't available with OneDrive. Particular permissions can be modified at intricate levels, enabling you to fully manage your access requirements to protect sensitive data (only allowing HR staff to view personnel documentation for example)

Easy customisation and integration

SharePoint has an easy-to-use interface straight 'out of the box', but it can also be customised to your organisation's needs. Users can modify which apps appear and change the layout and content structure.

Because SharePoint uses an open architecture that is highly scalable, it also facilitates easy integration with not just Office 365 but a number of other web-based services such as email and calendars, whether Microsoft or not, perfect for growing businesses.

sharepoint vs onedrive

SharePoint vs OneDrive: Conclusion

When it comes to SharePoint vs OneDrive, there really is a right time and place for each.

While OneDrive offers a great tool for individual users wanting to store and share documents, SharePoint takes this one step further by providing a full suite of collaborative and productivity tools to transform how employees access and work on projects, which is ideal for those with an in-house team or remote workers.

View possible Microsoft SharePoint solutions for your organisation on our service page

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