As your business grows, your data collection scales up, and data storage will become indispensable. You can build an in-house server infrastructure, have your files stored in a warehouse, or use the latest technology: cloud storage.
What is Cloud Storage?
Cloud storage grew popular over the past half-decade and is now one of the top choices of both small to large-sized businesses to manage their increasing data loads. It is a type of data storage technology that keeps files on the ‘cloud’ — a centralized network on the internet.
With cloud storage systems, there is no need to buy new servers or construct your own data storage facility and maintain it. Cloud service providers provide all these services and more. Cloud storage providers manage huge data centers in various locations.
Cloud storage systems store data on the internet, making documents and other files easily accessible to employees working remotely. Anyone can upload and retrieve data anywhere in the world with an internet-enabled device.
Businesses that take advantage of cloud-based storage are also capable of interacting with staff effortlessly. More importantly, they can service customers at any given time,
In a nutshell, the cloud is a virtual storage infrastructure, and the future of data storage technology.
Types of Cloud Storage
If you’re interested in adopting cloud storage for your business, you need to go over its three models: public, private, and hybrid cloud storage. These models differ in scalability, security, reliability, performance, and cost.
Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, IBM Cloud, and Microsoft Azure are popular examples of public cloud providers. These companies own and manage the data infrastructure—both hardware and software—and offer their services over the internet to the masses.
Public clouds are highly scalable, cost-effective, and don’t need a lot of maintenance on your end.
On the other hand, private cloud services operate within closed doors. That is, only a single organization taps into the digital infrastructure to store data. In other words, all hardware and
services are dedicated to a single enterprise. Private clouds are used by government agencies, financial institutions, and other organizations that need the added security. This type of service is also more efficient and customizable than public clouds.
Finally, hybrids are a combination of public and private clouds. The main benefit of this is data can be moved from public to private servers and vice versa. This way, you gain more control over your files and applications.
There is no single best type of cloud storage. Your choice will depend on the nature of your business and the specific needs of your day-to-day operations.
Whatever you choose, you gain access to the following advantages:
Why Use Cloud Storage?
1. It’s simple and easy to use
You don’t need to outsource an entire IT team to start from scratch and set up your cloud storage. You can simply avail of a cloud storage service from any reputable provider.
2. It’s cost-effective
When you utilize a cloud storage service, it won’t take a huge chunk of your capital. Most cloud storage providers charge per month or year, depending on your preferred subscription.
Since you only need to pay for the storage that your business requires at the moment, the expenses are scaled to your current capacity. On the other hand, an in-house server infrastructure doesn’t offer this kind of billing. Its storage cost is fixed with less flexible terms.
If you compare the cost of getting a cloud storage system against the cost of maintaining in-house server infrastructure, you would see that having cloud storage incurs less operating expense and a higher ROI.
3. It enhances your business’ corporate social responsibility (CSR)
Switching from a physical storage infrastructure to a virtual, cloud-based storage lets your business store data in a highly energy-efficient and sustainable way. You also cut a significant amount of hardware costs.
As your business saves on its energy bill, it also reduces its carbon footprint. This is why some consider using cloud storage as an investment for the environment.
4. It’s accessible any time, anywhere
As mentioned earlier, cloud storage is available globally, from any provider, and on any operating system (OS). Given this, you can access all of your business’ data from any location and on whatever device you’re using.
Cloud storage enables you to work on projects whether you’re at home or on the road. You can simply sync your data to the cloud and access it anywhere. It takes mobile working to a whole new level as your business operations and activities aren’t bound to a single, physical location anymore.
5. It promotes workplace flexibility
In the same vein, you can sync your data across multiple platforms to the cloud for easier access, and so can your employees. This means your team can work remotely and still being able to effectively collaborate on their tasks. They can upload and share files smoothly and instantaneously.
Additionally, sharing large files and documents is uncomplicated via cloud storage. You just have to send a link to your virtual folder.
6. It serves as a centralized network
With your data backed up on the cloud, you get a structured, centralized network for all of your files. Everything that’s uploaded by any member of the organization is loaded neatly into a single hub.
When you roll out this upgrade in your business, make it a habit to sync at frequent intervals. Doing so will guarantee that you get the latest version of your documents across all devices.
7. It makes data migration effortless
Data migration is selecting and transferring data from one storage system into another. In this case, from your computer (or phone) storage to cloud storage. Business files and documents accumulate over time and take up a considerable amount of storage space.
Hence, migrating data allows you to save space on your hard drive. This doesn’t take much time and effort with cloud storage since all you have to do is sync and share.
If you find syncing burdensome, some cloud service providers offer a specialized feature that doesn’t require you to sync. Instead, the technology does it for you automatically.
8. It’s a robust data recovery and backup system
Automatic syncing means you don’t have to worry about losing your data. Files are updated as you work and all changes are reflected on everyone’s accounts.
The best part is, cloud storage is a solid fail-safe for unforeseeable situations. In case your local storage systems get corrupted or stolen, you can still access your files on the cloud.
What’s more, cloud storage systems generate multiple copies of your data on different servers as an added precaution. If one server fails, you can retrieve a copy of your documents through your service provider’s backup.
9. It keeps your data safe and secure
Due to cloud storage technology’s increasing popularity, its providers are competing to deliver the best services. That is why service providers invest a lot of money on improving safety measures to protect data integrity, prevent data theft, and intercept hacking attempts.
One of the basic features of cloud storage is being able to limit access to only those who have the right log-in credentials. Advanced settings will also let you identify specific users who can edit files and those who are only allowed to view documents.
The best cloud service providers use data encryption. If a cyber attacker penetrates its first line of defense, the files would appear unreadable to them and therefore useless.
10. It is a scalable system
Scalability is one of the valuable features of the cloud storage system. It is capable of accommodating an increase in data loading and can expand depending on your business’ usage of data storage. More importantly, its performance and ability to transfer files swiftly don’t diminish with the increased load and usage.
The cloud storage system adapts to your business’ needs as your business grows. You can start with small cloud storage and slowly avail of additional storage as your business expands.
To maximize these benefits, cloud optimization is crucial. This includes choosing the perfect cloud service, measuring cloud analytics, creating a cloud governance plan, and employing AI to process data.
Cloud optimization will enable you to allocate your resources properly and further reduce your expenses.
Overall, opting to utilize a cloud storage system is a wise investment. Cloud storage offers you reliability, security, scalability, and flexibility.
The technology is a convenient method to securely store, access, and recover your data. You can easily increase (or decrease) the amount of storage you have depending on your business’ needs. Your business doesn’t need to maintain and manage an in-house server infrastructure,
the cloud storage provider will do it for you. This will save you a considerable amount of money and time.
Furthermore, it fosters collaboration as files can be shared effortlessly with those who are granted permission. Your team can still work together even at the comfort of their homes — an arrangement that is vital to a business’ growth and productivity, especially in these times.