In the age of remote working, cloud storage is a must-have for businesses of all sizes. Cloud storage offers a cost-effective, flexible, and agile alternative to on-premises storage for small and medium-sized businesses.
With so much demand for cloud storage, it’s no wonder the market is booming. IDC predicts the cloud storage market will grow by 8% this year alone, reaching a value of about $40 billion by the end of this year.
Cloud storage providers are reinvesting a lot of their profits into improving their services. This market is competitive, and vendors can’t afford to rest on their laurels. They need to consistently improve their services – while keeping prices low – to maintain their customers. Otherwise, businesses will look elsewhere.
With this in mind, we wanted to look at the trends we expect to see in the cloud storage market this year. Read on to discover how vendors will improve their offerings this year.
What is cloud storage?
Cloud storage offers businesses a way to store their data online so that it can be accessed from any device at any time, as long as the user has their login details. Cloud storage also makes it easy to backup data in a secure off-site location.
There are many cloud storage providers out there. Some of the most well-known companies are Google, Dropbox, Box and Amazon AWS.
If your business is yet to take advantage of cloud storage, we recommend you act fast. Research shows that SMBs that use cloud storage grow 26% more quickly than those that don’t – and they’re 21% more profitable too!
Three cloud storage trends to know
As mentioned, the cloud storage space is anything but static. Leading cloud providers know they need to keep a competitive advantage. If they don’t stay ahead of the curve, they’ll lose customers. So, what can trends can we expect to see this year? Let’s take a look.
Ransomware protection becomes an expectation
Ransomware is a form of malicious software that works by encrypting your data, making it inaccessible. Unless you pay a ransom, your data will be lost forever (unless you have backups in place!).
If a ransomware variant gets into your cloud storage instance, your business could be paralyzed. In theory, your employees wouldn’t be able to access any of their files, which would halt your operations to a standstill.
With the rise of phishing emails and ransomware-as-a-service, this form of malware is more common than ever. The good news is that cloud storage providers are upping their defenses. We’re seeing more and more players offer ransomware protection and scanning capabilities as a core part of their service.
These solutions work by automatically scanning data and files you upload to the cloud to ensure that they don’t contain any ransomware. Any suspicious files are quarantined to prevent a ransomware outbreak.
Automation helps SMBs with cost management
Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation have been around for a while – but many SMBs are yet to take advantage of these disruptive technologies. While AI can sound complicated and scary, it’s actually there to make things easier.
For example, in the cloud, you can use AI and automation for cloud spending optimization. Many cloud providers now offer tools that enable you to set cloud spending limits. When you reach the upper end of your limit, an automated tool will alert you so that you can plan your capacity for the rest of the month.
AI tools can also automatically scale your cloud resources up and down, depending on how much storage you’re using. This reduces the likelihood of your business paying for cloud storage that it’s not actually using, which can unnecessarily drive up costs.
Sustainability takes center stage
Technology can sometimes seem at odds with environmental protection. Big players like Amazon and Microsoft, for example, have huge carbon footprints. In fact, the annual electricity usage of Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Apple is about as much as the country of New Zealand!
Many businesses – and individuals – are becoming more concerned about the impact of tech on the environment – and tech companies are listening. For example, Microsoft has committed to being carbon negative by 2030. Similarly, Google has recently launched a tool that helps businesses understand the carbon emissions from their Google Cloud usage.
While these are small steps, and change will take time, it’s encouraging to see that sustainability is climbing up the agenda for tech providers.
Unlock the power of cloud storage in your business
Keeping files organized and secure is easier with the proper support. Unity IT can guide your Fresno area business to the best cloud storage solutions for your needs to ensure security, business continuity, and easy-to-access documents.
Contact us today to schedule a technology consultation at 559-297-1007 or reach out online.