Understanding Cloud Storage for Businesses: Risks and Opportunities

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Understanding Cloud Storage for Businesses: Risks and Opportunities

Cloud storage services represent modern technology’s answer to an evergreen problem: we need to access big data anywhere from the world, fast, in a secure manner, and on the go. The time of hardware upgrades and business investments in physical storage solutions seems to have passed, as more and more cloud storage providers offer a myriad of opportunities to small and large companies alike.

One of the most popular cloud storage solutions is, undoubtedly, Dropbox – it made history, and it opened the gates to a new world where people can access, share and change information in real time

From a budget standpoint, cloud storage is affordable and customizable depending on your company’s needs. Moreover, cloud storage proved to be highly beneficial for business. But before purchasing a cloud storage plan from a vendor or another, you need to explicitly evaluate the opportunities and risks that such a solution involves. Today we will talk about the criteria you need to consider and the weaknesses of cloud storage you have to factor in before you make a purchase.

1. Backup and Security

Once you make the transition to the cloud, all your files, sensitive information, documents, plans, and financial data will be stored on a third party server. The first thing you need to consider before choosing a cloud service provider is the security measures they offer. Ask the following questions:

  • What type of encryption do they offer you?
  • How does their backup processes work?
  • What security breaches (if any) did they experience in the past?

Cloud storage faces its own share of security threats, and you need to be aware of them before choosing one provider or another.

2. Proper Budgeting

As a company, it is your duty to maximize profits and make investments with satisfactory ROI. Before choosing a cloud storage provider, understand and budget the pricing plans and the scalability of the service thoroughly – after all, you want your company to grow, and the cloud storage service should allow and encourage its thriving.

Make detailed comparisons between different cloud storage opportunities and calculate year-based fees vs. employee-based fees. Learn about fixed taxes and variable taxes in comparison with limited or limitless storage, number of users and number of servers. Just as you buy a smartphone, and you compare brands, prices and tech specs, you should also duplicate the same analysis for cloud storage services. One good starting point in your quest to learn the depths of cloud storage providers is http://www.cloudstorage101.com/  – it offers updated information you can further use in your SWAT analysis of different offers.

3. The Provider’s Reputation

While Dropbox needs little to no introduction, together with Google Drive, Amazon S3, and Sync, there are other cloud storage providers that pop up overnight. Of course, small enterprises should be trusted and encouraged, but you should also make sure your data is properly secured and won’t just disappear together with the provider. Recent history registered some wild cloud storage fails, so you need to learn from the providers’ mistakes, from their clients’ mistakes and always have a backup plan for your own company in case the cloud storage provider gets lost in the atmosphere.

4. Internet Connection

Having a good, solid, fast and secure Internet connection as a company is a no-brainer, and yet, many small businesses failed to assess this particular risk. Most reputable and reliable cloud storage providers do their job well – as long as your Internet connection also does its job properly. A poor Internet connection defeats the purpose of cloud storage: you won’t be able to share data, achieve real-time collaboration, and access your files if your connection runs slow.

Before jumping at the opportunity to purchase cloud storage services, make a thorough assessment of you company’s Internet speed, bandwidth, weaknesses and so on. Successful development always stems from state-of-the-art infrastructure.

5. Federal and International Security Regulations

It’s an aspect heavily disregarded by individuals and companies purchasing cloud storage devices. Before opting for a provider, learn whether or not your data is stored in compliance with federal regulations – in case the physical storage is set in a foreign country. It is of utmost importance for you as a business to know exactly where your information resides and what the legislative implications of that particular residence are.

It may seem that picking the right cloud service provider for your company is time and effort consuming, but it is the safest road to take to success. Business and tech analysts have plenty of in-depth recommendations on choosing the best cloud service provider, so you should really take their advice.

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Hassan is a Blogger, Author, Entrepreneur and the Administrator of OnzineArticles.com. He heads Burgeoning Technologies, a Web and IT Company and manages several other blogs and websites. He can be followed on , Twitter and Facebook.

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