Cloud storage is likely a term you’ve heard, but you might not entirely understand what it is, or its implications for your personal life or your business.
Cloud storage is a way to store data remotely. That data can also be maintained, managed,and backed up remotely. You can store files online, and then when you want to access them, you can do so online as well.
Cloud storage is something that you may already be using as an individual without realizing it—for example, sharing your family photos on Dropbox is a good example.
Cloud storage offers great benefits for businesses and individuals, but there are also possible downsides to keep in mind.
The following is a general guide to cloud storage and how it’s used.
How Do Small Businesses Use the Cloud?
Large businesses may use the cloud differently as they have more resources to manage, but for small businesses, the following are examples of how cloud storage is used and its benefits.
- With cloud storage, it affords employees the opportunity to work from anywhere, rather than having to be by their office computer to access information and files. This is good for remote workers, salespeople, or anyone who wants to access their work on-the-go. It promotes more flexibility in the work environment, which improves productivity and often employee satisfaction.
- The same can similarly be said with cloud hosting for email. When emailis hosted on the cloud,employees can access it when they need and in a reliable way.
- Businesses used to have to deal with hard copy file management and storage, and there weren’t efficient ways to create backups. They had to pay to store documents and files, or else throw them away and risk not having something they needed. Now, the cloud eliminates those problems.
Other ways small businesses often use cloud storage include for website hosting.This helps ensure your small business site loads quickly with minimal downtime.
The use of business apps has become more prevalent in recent years, and cloud storage makes this possible also.
What Are the Benefits of Cloud Storage?
Whether you’re an individual or a business owner, along with what’s touched on above, there are other general benefits of cloud storage as well.
For example, cloud storage can help protect your personal data and information from hackers. It can be your information or perhaps the information of your employees and clients, but with cloud storage, you can keep information safe and offsite. Cloud storage is often guarded by encryption protection too.
It wasn’t all that long ago that a hard drive failure could be extremely damaging. If your hard drive failed on your laptop or desktop, you would get that sinking feeling of everything being lost. With cloud storage, that’s no longer an issue. If a computer stops working because of the hard drive or any other reason, you can continue to access what you need with cloud storage.
You can share information and access to anything from family vacation files to work documents quickly and easily with cloud-based storage too.
Specifically for businesses, cloud storage is good from a disaster recovery perspective, and to reduce costs. Cloud storage costs on average around 3 cents a gigabyte, which is much lower than using other options. Cloud storage options are also very scalable. If your business is tiny right now, you can go with the bare minimum and then increase it only as you need, rather than currently paying for something you don’t need.
What Are the Downsides of Cloud Storage?
While cloud storage has many great benefits, of course, there are some downsides to think about as well, which can be the case with anything.
First, you’re giving up control if you use any cloud storage or cloud services. Your data or documents are no longer fully under your control—they’re under the control of your service provider.
Also, while using cloud storage can sometimes be better protection against hacks, it’s not infallible.
Finally, if you have a business and you make the move to cloud storage, there may be a learning curve for you and your employees. You’ll also have to make sure whatever platform you choose will integrate with your existing systems and software. Otherwise, it’s going to create obstacles.