Many businesses are migrating from traditional desktop word processing and office productivity applications to cloud-based solutions like Google Apps for Work. Cloud applications allow for better collaboration, data backups, and are much less expensive to run and maintain than desktop software. Google Docs, Google’s cloud-based word processing program is changing the way companies create, edit, and share documents with one another.
Here are just a few reasons why businesses are migrating from their current word processing applications to Google Docs:
Historically, the way teams collaborated on documents involved a long process of creating a document in Microsoft Word (with track changes enabled), saving the file, and attaching the file to an email. Once the document was reviewed it was then emailed back, downloaded, and edited again. Google Docs eliminates the need to save and email documents as it has real-time collaboration built right in. You can invite as many contributors as you want, and view and edit the document in real-time.
Simplified File Formats
A few years back, Word came out with a new file extension and created issues as users would end up having to resend documents in compatibility mode as their intended recipients didn’t have the new version of the software installed. Google Docs eliminates this problem as everyone who access the documents, does so through the same web application. Additionally, you can upload a variety of file formats to Google Docs as well as download and save documents as Word documents and PDFs to share with users not on Google Docs.
If you’ve worked in Google Docs, you may have realized that there is no “save” button in the file menu. This is because documents automatically are saved to Google Drive as they are worked on. This drastically reduces data loss due to human error, or a system crash. Additionally, Google Docs provides a history of 30 days on a document so you can go back and review multiple past versions.
Flexible Access Options
Google Docs can be accessed on a multitude of devices as it is run through a web browser. A user can access Google Docs regardless of if they are using a Mac, Windows, or Linux system. Google also provides mobiles apps for iOS, Android, and other mobile devices so users can view, edit, and create documents on the fly. If employees are out in the field, they can use their phones, tablets, or laptops to retrieve and edit files on the go.
Some people have been hesitant to switch to Google Docs as the program is accessed via a web-browser. When first released back in 2006, you had to log-in through a Gmail account to get to Google Docs. Now you can install a shortcut to the application right on your desktop through the Google Drive application. This way, users simply click on a desktop icon (like they are used to with traditional word processing applications) and are directed to the web application interface. Installing Google Drive locally also allows users to work on documents while not having an internet connection, to save locally, and then sync to the cloud once an internet connection is reestablished.