Comparing online document management solutions

Comparing Online EDMS: Is Google Drive a Document Management System?

Online solutions like Google Drive provide essential document management features that are primarily designed for personal and small business use. In contrast, Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS) give you advanced control over the documents in your organisation, offering indexing, version control, and lifecycle management functionalities.

This blog highlights the differences between Enterprise Document Management Systems and online services like Google Drive and what you should consider before selecting a solution.

What are the differences between EDMS and cloud-only solutions?


While Google Drive is suitable for personal document management and supports collaboration for small teams, it has constraints to scale, such as storage, users, performance and speed.

The physical and digital infrastructure of EDMS can be upgraded to scale the system to your needs. Large organisations with complex document management needs may look to EDMS solutions that can handle large volumes of documents and users.

Security & Compliance

Google Drive includes security features such as encryption and password protection. Yet, this may not meet the rigorous security requirements of data privacy regulations and does not guarantee the safe recovery of documents.

EDMS have robust security features that your service provider can tailor to your industry requirements, including access controls, audit trails, and role-based permissions. 

Additionally, an EDMS can be regularly backed-up to secondary servers or offline locations in case of system outages. 

One of the most significant distinctions is the ability of an EDMS to meet international standards of quality and security, such as ISO27001 and ISO9001. Not only does this ensure that you handle information compliantly, it displays trustworthiness to your partners and customers.

Document versioning

Although Google Drive provides basic version control, more than this is needed to complete version histories that conform to BS10008, the standard for the legal admissibility of electronic documents. The versioning capabilities of EDMS verify the legitimacy of legal records so that they are admissible in court by maintaining a clear audit trail. 


Google Drive integrates with other Google services, but it may operate less effectively with third-party enterprise software and systems. 

EDMS solutions integrate with other enterprise software, such as ERPs, CRMs, and Microsoft Business Suite. The flexibility of EDMS makes it easy to manage documents in your organisation holistically.

Integrations include:


Although online document management services are easily accessible, the solution is one size fits all. An EDMS allows you to create a bespoke solution that is fine-tuned to your operations:

  • You decide which metadata is recorded and how the audit trail is populated.
  • User permissions can be fitted to complex staffing hierarchies.
  • Custom reports can be generated on a scheduled or live basis using your KPIs
  • You can assign your retention schedules to documents, automating record keeping.
  • Host online, on-premise, or both based on your requirements.

EDMS are intrinsically more customisable than any general solution. In addition, EDMS grow dynamically alongside your organisation, so their use continually evolves with your needs.


At Datatron, we offer dedicated support from training to ongoing technical troubleshooting. In contrast, online solutions are predominantly self-service.

EDMS centralises workflow management, with advanced security, compliance features, robust version control, seamless integration, customisation options, and dedicated support, EDMS is a comprehensive solution for organisations seeking to take their document management to the next level.

An EDMS that does it all

Datatron work with you to digitise and constantly develop your processes, offering round the clock support.

With years of experience solving physical problems with digital solutions, we guarantee each of our services evolve and scale along side your business.

Begin your digital transformation journey today by booking a consultation or giving us a call!

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