On July 31, 2021
Cloud storage is a valuable tool for entrepreneurs and small businesses. It can help you save money on hardware, store your data in a safe, secure location, and make your life easier by simplifying the way you work. But what are the benefits of cloud storage for small businesses? What are the downsides? How can you decide if it’s right for you? Here’s everything you need to know about cloud storage for small businesses.
What is Cloud Storage?
Cloud storage is a service model in which data is transmitted and stored on remote storage systems. Users generally pay for their cloud data storage at a per-consumption, monthly rate. Cloud storage has radically driven down the per-gigabyte cost of storage, but cloud storage providers have added operating expenses to make the technology considerably more expensive. There are three main cloud storage options based on different access models: public, private, and hybrid. How cloud storage works vary depending on the type of storage used.
Companies can use cloud storage for many different things. For example, some businesses use it to store their backup files, while others use it to keep all of their files in one place, providing them with safe access from anywhere in the world. The type of cloud storage you use can depend on a few things.
How Cloud Storage Can Save Money
Cloud storage offers several benefits for small businesses that are looking to cut costs. You’ll spend a lot less on hardware by keeping your files online instead of on your computer; you’ll save on a traditional spinning disk or solid-state storage. Data can also be accessed from many computers instantly when you need to access it, resulting in improved efficiency for you and your employees. According to Online Cloud Storage, the average business’ cloud storage plan is only $3.67 per employee per month, including unlimited storage space and bandwidth.
However, not all cloud storage plans and technologies are the same. Using OneDrive for Business, for example, might be an okay solution for some businesses but not all. On the other hand, some small businesses wouldn’t need an Amazon Web Services S3 bucket replicated across multiple continents, and doing so would be a waste of money. If you’re unsure what type of system will fit your business needs the most, consider hiring a cloud storage expert.
The Benefits of Cloud Storage
Besides the financial aspects, why use cloud storage in your small businesses? There are several other significant reasons why your small business should use cloud storage.
Data Integrity: Fewer files stored on your hard drive means less chance of losing data if you have a crash. Many providers offer some form of built-in backup systems to cover the input your business stores in the cloud.
Security: Once you store your data in the cloud, there are fewer obstacles between your data and your business, enabling you to keep your data in a secure location that you can access at any time. Many cloud storage platforms have enterprise-level security options, such as IP whitelisting, two- or three-factor authentication, audit logging, and comprehensive role-based access.
The Downsides of Cloud Storage
Before you decide if cloud storage is right for your business, some downsides are worth considering. For one thing, cloud storage has risks. Anytime you store a file in a cloud storage solution, you are putting it in the hands of someone else. That means that the files you store in this service will disappear if you stop paying for the service or if the service has an outage. While it is true that some companies will hold onto your files for you after your subscription has ended, but this is not the norm. In other words, you don’t have any guarantees of keeping files that you store with a cloud storage company. That’s not exactly a great feature if you rely on your cloud storage solution to store important documents for you. It is highly recommended that you implement a backup solution, even if you’re using Amazon Web Services S3 or OneDrive/SharePoint.
How to Decide If Cloud Storage Is Right for You
You probably have a couple of considerations before deciding on a cloud storage option.
Consistency – Consistency is one of the most important features when selecting cloud storage options. You don’t want to run into the same performance problems that you might with a cloud backup solution. You don’t want to have to reinstall all your software or have your entire workflow broken. You should stick with a solution if it has features you find valuable, so make sure you do.
Cloud Storage Compatibility – Cloud storage compatibility can make all the difference in the view of service, reliability, security, and cost. You want to make sure your chosen service is compatible with your preferred software and hardware solutions.
Businesses of all sizes use cloud storage. However, for small businesses, it can be a cost-effective tool that helps them grow. Consider consulting with an experienced cloud storage architect, who can work with stakeholders to analyze your exact requirements and design the most performant, cost-effective, and secure solution available.