Today Google released its latest offering, Google Drive. Although many of the Google services are geared primarily towards personal use, Drive has immediate – and significant – benefits for organizational use.

Do members of your organization struggle with emailing large files back and forth, keeping track of document versions, or receiving files in a format they can’t open? Google Drive is here to help.

Free accounts offer up to 5MB of free online storage, and additional space can be purchased quite inexpensively.

“Drive is at the heart of what cloud computing is,” says Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome and apps. “It was created to be the center of the Google application experience.” (Google Docs is integrated into Drive, he says.) (source)

Those who use Google Docs are already familiar with the idea of cloud-based storage and the ability of multiple users to access and edit the same document. Google Drive takes things to a whole new level with support for a variety of file types. Not only can you share files, but the product announcement claims that you can even view items without having the source program installed. (No more trusting the Photoshop source file is what the designer tells you it is!)

Google Drive is entering a space already occupied by DropBox , Box and Microsoft’s SkyDrive. With its integration with other Google apps, Drive is well-positioned to reach those not already using cloud-based file sharing, or winning over those looking for an integrated solution.

Going to http://drive.google.com, I see that my Drive is not yet ready, so I can’t offer my personal experience with the new offering. However, I know that as soon as I can, I will be logging on to see how best to leverage this new service for both personal and professional needs. I recommend you do yourself a favor and explore how this tool can streamline your organizational processes as well.

What are you waiting for? Take Google Drive for a…erm… test drive!

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