Cloud Storage Best Practices

This article contains cloud storage best practice usage information, including how to decide when to use individual versus group storage options, as well as related FAQs.

General Best Practices: 

  • Pick a platform (Google, Microsoft) and standardize it across your team whenever possible. 

  • Use a shared storage repository (either a Team or Google Shared Drive) for any data that is not explicitly private. This helps with centralizing storage locations and continuity when employees change departments or leave the organization.

  • Work on the web when you can, rather than downloading files to your computer. This helps with version control, reduces redundant copies of the same document, and decreases the likelihood of sensitive data ending up somewhere it should not.


When to use individual storage repositories: 

  • Individual storage repositories refer to Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive. 

    • Access Google Drive:

    • Access OneDrive:

  • Private content, like 1:1 meeting notes with colleagues, performance reviews, etc.

  • Draft documents 

  • Notes and scratch space 


When to use group storage repositories: 

  • Group storage repositories refer to Google Shared Drives and Microsoft Teams. 

    • Access Google Shared Drives: and then click on "shared drives" on the left hand menu.

    • Access Teams: or use the desktop app. You can also access files directly via SharePoint at

  • Group meeting notes or agendas. 

  • Long-term documents such as planning, documentation, or records, that must be preserved long term. 

  • Documents that people will require if you depart Middlebury or your current role. 


Google Shared Drive and Teams Best Practices: 

  • Nominate multiple "Owners"/"Admins" so that if you depart Middlebury or are on CTO, other people have admin access! 

  • Reduce the sprawl of Shared Drives and Teams wherever possible, the fewer places you store data, the less you must manage (and the more secure!) 

  • All Microsoft Teams have an underlying SharePoint site. The only way to create a SharePoint site is by creating a Team. Teams includes additional functionality, like chat and meetings, although your department can choose to only use the storage functionality of the team if you choose. The underlying SharePoint sites you have permissions to access can be viewed directly at


How long should I keep data? 

  • As short a time as possible! If you don't need it, no need to keep it, especially for sensitive documents. Exceptions would need to be made for any compliance/regulated documents with specific retention policies

What should I do if my group works with sensitive data and wants to store it in the cloud?

  • Please reach out to ITS to discuss best practices around storing sensitive data in the cloud.


Article ID: 663
Fri 11/3/23 9:42 AM
Wed 2/28/24 3:03 PM

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