Cloud storage options are everywhere you look, Google Drive, OneDrive, Evernote (just to name a few), but is storing your data in the cloud the best option for your business?
There’s no doubt that cloud computing has been gaining momentum as companies like Intuit, Microsoft, and Adobe promote switching to their newer cloud-based platforms. Cloud storage has been the application that’s lead the cloud adoption by both businesses and consumers.
There are approximately 1.8 billion cloud storage users worldwide. (Statista)
From 2014 through 2020, cloud storage users are expected to more than double, reaching a projected 2.3 billion by 2020.
We’ve seen this cloud computing trend first-hand in our Cloud Services division at Unity IT. We assist businesses with fully scalable, flat-rate options for utilizing the cloud solutions that offer the most value for their business.
What are the risks and benefits of using cloud storage at you company? We’ll take you through five main considerations, such as security, mobility, and more, to give you a full picture of what storing your data in the cloud can mean for your business.
What to Consider Before You Switch to a Cloud Storage Application
Some form of cloud storage can be found in almost every cloud-based application. Many products naturally have “x” amount of storage when you purchase their service, such as messaging software Slack or QuickBooks Online.
Other applications are completely dedicated to storage, and include backup, recovery, and search mechanisms. Some of the most popular business cloud storage tools are:
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Dropbox Business
- Amazon Web Services S3
- Google Drive for Work
When our Unity IT team is working with businesses in the Fresno area, our main goal is to help them get more accomplished more easily. So, we tailor our IT solutions specifically to their needs, no unnecessary extras, just the exact technology that can power their business.
Here are the main considerations we speak with companies about when it comes to deciding to switch to cloud storage. They include both the benefits and the risks.
Most cloud storage providers offer128 or 256-bit AES encryption, meaning they take care to ensure your data is secure when it’s being transmitted to their server and back.
The larger companies also have security systems at their physical data centers, where your data is stored.
A risk of using a cloud storage provider is that you’re entrusting a third party with your sensitive business data and you don’t generally know where or in which country your data is being stored.
Mobility of data is one of the biggest advantages of using a cloud-based storage system instead of an onsite backup. With a cloud-based system, you can access your data from any internet-connected device by logging in via a browser window or app. This makes it much easier to share and transfer files from one place to another without cumbersome disk or flash drive backups.
A risk is that your cloud storage provider could be hacked, and your data exposed. Of course, if your own onsite backup is internet connected, it could also be hacked.
If you’re using an onsite backup of your data that’s located at your office, then if there’s a flood, fire, or natural disaster, you could lose the data on individual computers as well as your backup.
A cloud storage solution ensures your data is safe if there’s any physical harm to your building and can be accessed and restored if needed, keeping your business up and running in the event of a disaster. Most cloud storage providers also include redundancy, meaning your data is stored on more than one of their servers, to protect it if there’s a hardware malfunction or physical damage at one of their centers.
It’s generally easier to access and search files on cloud storage platforms. They have keyword searching that saves tons of time when it comes to locating files, and you don’t need to do a full restore in order to find that you’re looking for.
The average worker spends about 19% of their workday searching and gathering information, so better accessibility means better productivity.
On the risk side, you need to have an internet connection in order to access your data on cloud storage, and if you don’t have a strong or reliable internet connection, it can take longer to get what you need.
Companies are offering more storage for less cost every year, so generally cloud storage options are very affordable and easily scalable as you add more data or systems to back up. For example, the Business plan for Box is $15 per user, per month and gives you unlimited storage capacity.
That said, over the long-term, a monthly subscription to a cloud storage service can cost more than purchasing a backup drive for each computer, though the initial cost would be higher. For example, a G-Drive 4TB USB drive is about $160.00.
When considering cost, it’s important to also consider capacity, i.e. unlimited in the cloud vs limited on a physical backup drive.
Call Unity IT to Explore Cloud Storage Solutions Today!
Want to learn more about cloud storage solutions and see a demo of how the save, search, and recover interface works? More interested in physical storage options? We’ll be happy to answer all your questions about your best options.
Just contact us online or give us a call at 559-297-1007 to set up a free consultation.