We have all heard of popular cloud storage platforms such as Microsoft Azure, Google Drive, and Dropbox that allow businesses to share data across multiple devices and multiple users, but is it a viable option for small to medium sized businesses to implement? To answer that, let’s identify what exactly cloud storage is and some of the pros and cons of its usage.
To put it simply, cloud storage is a way of storing data without occupying internal company digital storage space. Data is sent to large, physical servers that are often located in remote places. Storage providers keep these locations safe as well as make data accessible to their clients. Data can generally be accessed through a secure information management system regardless of the user’s location.
Whether you are looking to use a cloud storage service for personal or business purposes, consider these advantages and disadvantages before you commit:
- Secure and reliable
- Can be accessed from anywhere
- Good backup in case of emergency (most service providers have two or three backup servers in different locations)
- On-site storage equipment not needed
- Only pay for what you use
- Data sharing is much easier
- Generally, requires a high-speed internet connection
- When provider closes for maintenance, you can’t access your data
- Bandwidth limitations – could lead to slow download and upload speeds
- More vulnerable to a breach if using public servers
- Lifetime costs associated with data storage (applications are stored locally, but data is stored in the cloud)
- Software needs to be installed on all devices to access data on each individual device
While large companies have seemingly all switched to storing data via cloud services, it may or may not be the best option for your business depending on how much data you generate, number of users, and various other factors specific to each and every company considering implementation. If you would like to talk more about data management and data storage solutions that make sense for your company, you can contact our experienced team anytime and we would be glad to help your business find a solution that fits its needs.