With modern business riding the wave of the fast, the swift, the convenient, allowing for faster execution and more efficient processes, it comes as no surprise that online services — what we know as cloud services — are all the rage. But time and time again, customers have asked us questions about the difference between cloud-based storage and cloud project management software. What separates services like Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox from Wrike? Why would a business need one or the other?

The Benefits of Cloud Storage and Project Management Software

The benefits of having cloud storage services are many: You can access all your files from any device with an internet connection. You can maintain one shared folder for an entire department, giving everyone a space to keep work-related files. It becomes easier to share files by just passing on a permanent link instead of attaching files to emails. More organizations are accepting that local storage is prone to devastating data loss, hard drive crashes, and network outages. With cloud storage, everyone can rest easy knowing their files are kept safe in the cloud.

The benefits of having cloud project management software are just as abundant: You have one hub from which to access all tasks and all files, allowing you to collaborate on projects without jumping between email and tools. You can leave feedback on tasks without creating long, hard-to-follow email threads. You can accurately create a project plan because you can view all components, resources, and tasks in one space. Teams are turning to online project management to help plan, organize, and manage day-to-day tasks and important projects alike. They can rely on these accessible tools to plan ahead efficiently and collaborate from anywhere on the globe.

The Differences Between Cloud Storage and PM Software

Still don't quite grasp the benefits of choosing one system over the other?  We'll detail the differences between cloud storage and online project management software for you.

1. Access vs. Planning

Cloud storage is all about easily accessing and sharing your files with anyone you want, whenever you want.

The focus of project management systems like Wrike is to logically organize those files and manage the associated work. Project management software allows you to move tasks through stages from conception to production and finally to completion.

An analogy: Cloud storage is like a filing cabinet that holds and protects all your valuables, remaining accessible when you need to see the contents. Project management software is like a conveyor belt that moves files and tasks from person to person, helping tasks flow seamlessly through the appropriate steps to get work done. 

2. Single Focus vs. Eyes on Everything

Cloud storage software allows you to see all your individual files at a glance or one at a time for reference and editing. Again, the focus is on the files.

Project management software on the other hand lets you zoom out to see the larger scope of work — how projects and teams affect one other, how team members can assist in a project, how resources can be distributed equally, and so on. It helps you manage the way work flows across projects.

3. What Work Gets Done vs. How Work Gets Done

Cloud storage software only tells you what has already been finished and uploaded to the cloud.

PM software, on the other hand, helps you coordinate teamwork, monitor who’s working on which tasks, and measure progress. It gives you transparency and insight into how work gets done so you can become more efficient on future projects.

4. Collaborative Knowledge vs. Collaborative Execution

Both cloud storage and project management software focus on collaboration and sharing ideas or knowledge.

But PM software additionally gives you a place to discuss all new ideas, create action plans, and execute those plans with your team in to bring ideas to fruition.

So which software should you choose?

In the end, one solution is not the catch-all for every team. These services are separately equal in their usefulness to customer companies. Before you can decide which tool your team should rely on, you must figure out what your team needs to be successful.

If a working process is already in place, perhaps cloud storage is all that’s needed to assist your team with intelligently sharing project files. On the other hand, if you already implement smart file storage then enterprise project management software could introduce a more robust system to manage your projects from A to Z.

Photo Credits: Conveyor Belts. Photo by Alvaro Galve on Flickr. Some rights reserved.