Storing data in the cloud – on secure offsite servers – can be an efficient and economical solution for businesses of all sizes.
With options ranging from secure data protection alone to storage plus a full suite of business support services, choosing the best cloud storage for your company can be a challenge.
To find the right service for the life of your business, look for providers offering stability, security and scalability.
Data Storage and More in the Cloud
Cloud, or online data storage, is a broad term for a variety of services offering solutions to cumbersome and limited in-house storage of company files and other kinds of material.
From traditional file cabinets to document storage on office desktop computers, storing business data locally can be limiting in an increasingly mobile, global business world.
Adding more storage can become expensive – and because files remain local, you'll create problems when those who need them are out of the office.
Enter cloud storage – parking company data on remote servers provided by a third party. Cloud storage makes files accessible anywhere, from any device, and offers large amounts of storage for monthly or annual fees.
Cloud storage can include pure storage options such as the popular file sharing app Dropbox, full-service business solutions or a combination of these, so it’s important to consider not just the storage you need now, but also for the future.
Stability: Long-Term Reliability
When you’re entrusting your company’s sensitive data to a third party, it’s essential to ensure that your provider will be reliable and stable.
Because of the growing popularity of cloud storage, new providers are always appearing. But they may also disappear, leaving users with the messy task of switching storage to another service.
Look for stability offered by established providers with a long-term customer base and a well-developed infrastructure.
A stable, long-established storage provider should also offer a comprehensive service-level agreement (SLA) and third-party accreditation that confirms the company’s ability to comply with international standards.
Security: Keeping Data Safe
Whether you’re a solopreneur, a small startup or a leading enterprise, keeping your data secure is essential.
When you’re entrusting that data to a third party, it’s important to look closely at the protections a potential provider offers.
One of the major advantages of cloud storage is that data remains available in case of a computer crash or other on-site event such as a fire. But these things can strike a third-party location too.
A key consideration for secure cloud storage is whether a provider offers multiple data centers that are geographically separated.
A quality cloud provider should also include robust encryption at a level that suits your needs. That could include options such as personal key encryption, which limits data access to only those with that unique key, or limited permissions.
When storage comes with additional services, separate security measures might apply individually to each service.
Scalability: Looking Toward the Future
Today’s small startup could be tomorrow’s megacorporation, and your cloud provider should be able to accommodate the growth of your business. Most providers offer expanding levels of storage on tiered subscription plans, so it’s possible to scale up at need.
You may also need additional cloud-based services to help manage your business, so it’s important to look for a provider that offers multiple plans for adding services as your business expands.
Cloud data storage can be an affordable and secure solution for businesses of all sizes. The best provider for your business should offer the stability, security and scalability you need – now and for the future.
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