Cloud storage is one of the hottest trends in technology. It allows individuals and businesses to keep data on cloud infrastructure managed by a third-party provider. This offers many essential benefits to most types of organizations.
Learn more about this hosting option to see if it’s a good opportunity for you.
- Cloud storage lets you store computer files on cloud-based systems instead of a personal computer (PC) or local server.
- The benefits of using cloud storage for your business include better security, saving money, rapid scaling, and more.
- Cloud storage for your business includes cons like relying on a third party, privacy concerns, and more.
- To get started, choose a provider, direct all data storage toward that location, and train the necessary colleagues to use it.
What Is Cloud Storage?
Cloud storage is a technology that allows you to keep your computer files stored on cloud-based systems. It’s housed on cloud infrastructure rather than keeping your data on your PC or a local server.
In most cases, cloud storage services are operated by a third-party company. The largest companies that offer this type of solution include Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.
Many smaller companies, including many top web hosting companies, also offer this service. You can even set up your private cloud storage servers to maintain control over all aspects of the data.
This would generally be done by setting up a storage server that allows you to manage it yourself. Understanding what cloud storage is and how it works helps determine if it’s the right option.
What Are the Benefits of Using Cloud Storage for Your Business?
There are many benefits to using cloud storage solutions for your business. The specific advantages that apply to you depend on the type of business you run, the data you need to be stored, and other details.
But the following are among the most common advantages companies consider when signing up for cloud storage services.
Potential cost savings
One of the biggest advantages of cloud storage is you typically only have to pay for as much as you use. With a local storage system, you buy all the space you might need upfront to avoid running out. For most companies, the total expenses associated with cloud storage are lower than trying to get similar services locally.
Cloud infrastructure offers enhanced security
Cloud storage companies have to be cybersecurity experts to be a success. You can benefit from their expertise by having your data housed on their systems rather than setting up your own.
Convenient access through the cloud
You can access your data anywhere in the world with an internet connection. There is no need to keep your connections restricted to your internal network. More people working from home or other remote locations can be a significant benefit.
Cloud storage allows for rapid scaling
Cloud storage infrastructure can be scaled up in real-time to ensure you always have enough disk space to house all your files. If you’re storing data locally, manually add hard drives or other storage devices if you need more room. This can be costly and time-consuming, which may present problems. With cloud storage, you can set it up to automatically scale as your data grows or expand your capacity quickly by opening a ticket with the cloud services provider.
Cloud storage is ideal for big data analytics
To use your stored data for running analytics or business intelligence (BI), it’s convenient to have it all housed together. Many cloud infrastructure providers offer storage solutions, various cloud analytics, and other tools that let you use the data effectively. This is especially helpful when data is collected at multiple physical locations and brought together on the cloud for proper analysis and storage.
What Are the Downsides of Using Cloud Storage for Your Business?
While there are many advantages to using cloud storage systems, there are also potential downsides. Thanks to the many advancements in this type of technology over the years, the downsides of cloud storage are generally relatively minimal, so this type of solution is becoming popular.
But consider the following potential issues when deciding if cloud storage is right for your business:
- Requires an internet connection: With local storage, you only need an internal network connection to access files. For cloud storage, you also need the ability to connect to the cloud systems through the internet.
- Relying on third parties: In almost all cases, you rely on third-party cloud service providers; you must trust the work is done correctly.
- Monthly costs: While cloud storage is generally cheaper overall, you pay a monthly bill rather than just the one-time expense of setting up local servers.
- Privacy concerns: When working with a third-party cloud infrastructure provider, you must be sure you can trust the company with the data. Since the data is on their servers, you may have privacy concerns. All reputable cloud storage companies allow encrypted data to help ensure only you can access your data.
- Bandwidth limitations: If you have an internet connection with a bandwidth limitation, you may have trouble downloading large amounts of backed-up data for restoration.
How Do You Start Using Cloud Storage for Your Business?
If you decide using cloud storage solutions makes sense for your business, it’s surprisingly simple to get started. First, determine which cloud storage provider you want to work with. You can use a larger cloud service or create a private cloud storage server using web hosting solutions.
Either way, once your cloud storage server is up and ready, begin directing all data storage toward that location. To make it even easier, your technical support teams can set it up so the cloud storage location appears like a separate drive on computers or local servers. Finally, train your teams to use cloud storage drives when saving files or collecting other data.
What to do once the system is set up
Once everything is running, the cloud storage system functions like a local storage drive. You can use it to save data manually or store local data backups to ensure it’s always safe. Make sure you set this system up correctly, or work with your cloud services provider to have it done. This helps ensure your cloud storage systems work correctly today and in the future.
FAQs About Cloud Storage
What should you consider when using cloud storage?
Consider data backup and recovery capabilities, integration with other software products, costs, and security features, among other factors.
What are some risks associated with cloud storage?
Watch out for hijacking accounts, external data sharing, and misconfigurations of security settings.
What are three key factors in defining cloud storage?
Networking, capacity, and transactions are some main factors defining cloud storage.