May 20, 2021

SharePoint Vs. OneDrive: Why and how to govern these apps


Microsoft 365 or Office 365 is an integrated suite that encompasses many cloud-based apps, tools, and services including SharePoint and OneDrive, to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of employees.

Today, SharePoint and OneDrive have become an indispensable part of a  collaborative ecosystem and are greatly helping organizations to increase business productivity.

SharePoint and OneDrive are primarily used to store, share, and sync files across various devices. They also safeguard your data in the cloud. Though both the apps share many similar features, yet they cannot substitute each other.

In this blog post, we will discuss about the differences between SharePoint and OneDrive. And later continue with learning why they need governance for better performance.

SharePoint Online

SharePoint is available as an on-premise or a cloud-based service. SharePoint enables team members to collaborate effectively in a business. It lets them open, share, access, and co-edit documents in real-time.

Next, SharePoint is largely used to create and publish websites in order to make it easy for co-workers to access vital information on their company. Additionally, SharePoint has data and app management tools to streamline processes.

OneDrive for Business

OneDrive has two versions – one for personal use and the other for business users adequately called OneDrive for Business. OneDrive for Business is an online and centralized file storage hub. It is used to store, access, share, and protect corporate information.

Every user is granted one terabyte of data storage in their OneDrive account. A user may also choose to share the OneDrive file or folder with other team members to access information. Since OneDrive is backed by the cloud, there is no risk of data loss if the user’s computer is stolen or crashed.

SharePoint Vs OneDrive

  • Both SharePoint and OneDrive are a part of Office 365 Business plans.
  • SharePoint is evolved from SharePoint service that dates back to Office XP whereas OneDrive is evolved from SharePoint Workspace 2010.
  • Though SharePoint and OneDrive both have security measures, Microsoft provides additional security of a standalone server only for SharePoint.
  • Both these apps rest on SharePoint architecture.
  • SharePoint is specifically designed for teams whereas OneDrive for individual users.
  • SharePoint is mostly considered as a team site whereas OneDrive is a storage location.
  • Both these apps manage files or data with metadata and versioning.
  • All uploads inherit permissions from the directory or folder in which they are uploaded whereas in OneDrive, all uploads are private by default unless shared.
  • Most organizations create web pages using SharePoint and publish the content for their employees and customers to view whereas the content in OneDrive can not be published as web pages.
  • SharePoint includes extra features as compared to OneDrive to elevate teamwork. These include sharing calendars, task lists, notifications, company updates or news, etc. which enhances collaboration. In OneDrive, users can share their documents and then create an opportunity to collaborate with their team members.

Importance of SharePoint & OneDrive Governance

Governance policies around SharePoint and OneDrive for Business are important to ensure businesses achieve their goals without fail. If your organization uses both these apps fractionally, then you may skip a formal governance plan. But if your organization uses both these apps extensively, then you must implement robust governance policies or utilize a governance software for SharePoint and OneDrive.

Before discussing the governance considerations for SharePoint and OneDrive, let us first learn about various business issues that may occur due to lack of governance in these apps –

  • Proliferation of content, sites, and applications to an extent where managing them goes out of control.
  • Rise in conflicts and confusion due to lack of permissions and management and content structure.
  • Poor adoption of apps due to lack of active participation of users in training as well as change management process.
  • Operational inefficiency due to lack of efficient management and proper infrastructure.

Defining SharePoint & OneDrive governance

SharePoint and OneDrive governance are about establishing a set of rules, procedures, processes, and responsibilities that governs files, servers and IT teams to achieve the desired business objectives. Where SharePoint governance helps in managing privileges to users and establish a content structure by configuring proper naming schemes, permissions and access, OneDrive governance dictates what should or should not be stored in the cloud.

This helps you to control what other users including team members and external collaborators can actually do with your content. Governance allows you to save your data in many ways, one of them is blocking the ability of an unreliable user to print or download the content.

Now let us quickly share some tips for SharePoint and OneDrive governance –

Tips for SharePoint Governance

  • Set right privileges for site owners to allow or disallow what they can access or create and what they can’t.
  • Follow the best practices for creating internal sites or subsites for SharePoint in a consistent way.
  • Configure policies to set permissions and rights of access to users across SharePoint intranet.
  • Create dedicated security groups to be used and reused and ensure that site owners do not authorize a common user as a superuser.
  • Standardize your navigation area to ensure uniformity across all subsites.
  • Enforce external collaboration policies to manage the sharing of files and secure sensitive information outside the organization.
  • Use workflows and approval for site pages where official documentation is stored.
  • Use metadata for smooth search process and comparison of content.
  • Manage the lifecycle of sites to keep your SharePoint environment neat and organized.
  • Define policies when using custom code or apps available for business intelligence, workflows, etc. which lets you control the scope of custom code or apps and minimize the potential risks in SharePoint environment.
  • Maintain consistency in your SharePoint environment by developing common conventions on branding such as documenting theme, fonts, logos, colors, etc.

Tips for OneDrive Governance

  • Manage storage and synchronization of files.
  • Configure policies to govern the external file sharing with third-party vendors or contractors.
  • Protect confidential files both in the state of rest and transit by encryption.
  • Apply data loss prevention rules for OneDrive as one of the security measures to protect sensitive files from misuse.
  • Prevent users from accessing OneDrive content on devices outside of specific domains or networks.
  • Configure device access and mobile application management.
  • Set up notifications to remain updated on data transmission activity and status.
  • Audit OneDrive files for tracking folder or permission changes.
  • Classify sensitive data in OneDrive to prioritize security strategies.

Automate SharePoint and OneDrive Governance using TeamsHUB by Cyclotron

SharePoint and OneDrive governance leads to excellent business results if implemented properly. As governance is also a complex process, we recommend you use a governance automation tool such as TeamsHUB by Cyclotron as an effective option.

TeamsHUB by Cyclotron, built on top of Microsoft Teams, automates the entire M365 environment and offers end-to-end governance in one unified platform to let your employees work smarter.

To learn the differences between SharePoint and M365 governance, click here.

In short, TeamsHUB by Cyclotron enables you to:

If you want to know more on how to automate SharePoint and OneDrive governance using TeamsHUB by Cyclotron, please visit or contact to request a demo

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