Cloud Storage for Your Small Business

What is Cloud Storage?

Cloud storage is an easy to use and simple way to store data via the internet. Cloud storage services such as Dropbox Business, Egnyte Business, and JustCloud own and operate network based hardware and software. In short, cloud storage allows data to be stored within a server that is owned by a separate company that manages the whole system.

Benefits of Using Cloud Storage:

Cloud storage is simple, effective, and easy to use compared to physical data centers.  Cloud storage can help small businesses manage data growth, including e-mails, sales records, accounting records, marketing information, and all business data that may typically be stored on a computer. In most cases, businesses need to retain data for regulatory and financial purposes. Cloud storage can range from small to large, so changing storage capacity is simple and easy to do. Physical data centers have a fixed capacity, which can cause problems during business growth and an increased volume of data to be stored. Small businesses can simply pay more to increase their storage plan, rather than paying to have more physical servers installed.

When data is stored on the cloud, it is secure and easy to access. Anyone within the business can be authorized to access the data both from a mobile device or from the work environment itself. This feature benefits anyone who runs a small business that may need to access data after the work day has ended. In particular, this is especially beneficial to anyone in the sales field, as they can have access to any sort of documentation they may need. Another added benefit is the ability to authorize and reauthorize any user, so controlling access to specific data is easy. Employees can also create, add, and remove applications, data, and services that they need after work hours.

One main concern that business owners face is having adequate security while using cloud storage. While cloud storage does create a flow and ease of use, many people don’t understand how secure it truly is. This issue stems from the topic of what cloud storage service business owners find to be trustworthy. Some services may offer a “multi-tenant” private cloud. This type of cloud allows the data to only be stored by the business owner, but allows it to be portioned so that only certain people can access certain data. This type of cloud is mainly used by business owners who allow customers to access specific data like a digital sales receipt, contracts, etc. Popular and legitimate cloud storage services use controlled access, authentication, and encryption to keep user data safe. This is baseline security for most cloud storage services, but some may offer extended security measures.

What Do the Costs Look Like?

To understand the cost, it is important to first understand the various types of cloud services that are available. To give a range, cloud storage for small businesses can range from $5.00 to $50.00 per month or per user, depending on multiple factors. Different cloud storage services offer different price ranges, which can vary by month, storage, or amount of users. The first step is determine how much storage a small business needs. For example, a sales-based company may need a larger storage solution to hold extensive data, while a local florist may only need a smaller amount of storage per month. The determinants of the cost are the storage capacity and amount of users for most cloud services. However, the services with increased costs may offer other features such as customer support, collaboration, server backup, and dozens more. In terms of cost effectiveness, cloud storage is a simple solution to cut down on IT costs, data centers, and even power usage. This also means that there are no maintenance costs or support costs, since both are managed by the cloud services.

A Simple Change

Cloud storage is a simple and effective system to implement in all kinds of small businesses.

Whether a small business has many clients and needs storage solutions for vast customer data or is simply just looking to lower IT expenses, cloud based storage is an easy, cost-effective transition. It not only increases collaboration, but can also benefit any business that does not want to handle IT related issues. With 24/7 customer service for most cloud services, worrying about business data is no longer an issue.

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