When to choose SharePoint Online, Microsoft Teams, or OneDrive

Stakeholders may move from SharePoint 2016 on-premises sites to SharePoint Online sites, Microsoft Teams, or use other productivity tools, depending on stakeholder needs.


What is it


Important considerations


What is it


Important considerations

SharePoint Online

A file and information management tool

Document creation and sharing

  • Site members are fluid and will likely change or site members are from across campus and access unique portions of the site based on role

  • Different access permissions are required for content e.g. a small group will edit and a larger group has read-only access

  • Document management tools are desirable

  • Documents will go through constant revision and change

  • Chat/direct messaging functionality not required


Communications and file collaboration platform encouraging group member interaction

Communication and sharing

  • Team members are defined and consistent

  • Discussion via channels is important to the group

  • Collaborative approach to document creation and sharing desired

  • Content is planning/project related and will be shared via other methods once completed

  • For collaborations with a defined goal, the content will not be required after that time


Microsoft online storage solution for individual accounts

Storing and managing personal working files and content

  • Sharing is short-term for creating and reviewing initial working drafts and proposals; later moved to a Teams or SharePoint Online site

  • A small ad-hoc group needs access for collaboration via email or O365 applications such as Word or Excel

  • The OneDrive content is not required for the ongoing work of others in your team or unit

  • If the content is lost, there would be no operational impact on the business of the University of Waterloo

  • Note: OneDrive is a personal SharePoint Online site

SharePoint Online vs. Teams vs. OneDrive

Quick comparison: SharePoint Online vs. Teams

SharePoint Online


SharePoint Online


Better for layered permissions structure

Better for simple membership management

Better for advanced document structure with custom options

Better for file sharing and collaboration on focused topics

Better for focused usage of few tools

Better for contextual usage of multiple tools in real-time

Source: https://www.syskit.com/blog/microsoft-team-sharepoint/

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