Introducing Team Drive

Posted on 12 April 2017

Google launched Team Drive at the end of last year, with the potential to simplify document sharing within teams.

One issue that we see regularly crop up with Google Drive is teams losing access to shared documents when the original owner leaves the University; although owners can transfer document ownership before they leave, and we in IT Services can retrieve documents where necessary, it can still cause problems.

The biggest difference in Team Drive is that folders and documents are owned by the Team, not by an individual, so in this respect they behave more like our shared filestore - documents won't disappear when someone leaves.

However, this benefit doesn't mean that you should jump straight to Team Drive. While Drive allows you to apply different levels of access for individuals and Google Groups, in Team Drive the same access applies to all folders and sub-folders owned by the Team, so it's not suitable when there are complex or changing access requirements. Additional users can only be included at the document level.

Team Drive is still in a very early development stage, and it's inevitable that Google will continue to develop and change it in response to feedback. To start off with, we recommend that you try it out on a small scale, and don't be too surprised if features change.