Cloud computing – a question of storage
Cloud storage is everywhere, but not all cloud storage solutions are made equal. However, the multiplicity of cloud storage solutions means that there’s a fit for your business relative to your wants and needs.
Benefits of cloud storage
There are many benefits of cloud storage. Unlike using the local storage on a computer or even an office-shared Network Attached Storage (NAS) device, cloud storage is ubiquitous as long as you have online access. That means that you can easily and quickly access and share documents, files or any other kind of business data safely and securely.
There can be cost benefits to using the cloud for storage. While it’s true that the cost of local storage has dropped significantly over the years, the same economies apply to the server farms that provide cloud storage. There’s a race towards base cloud storage being effectively free, with the companies that offer it making their money from additional products and services on top of simple document storage.
Security and backup
A cloud storage solution also neatly sidesteps the issues around data security and backup, because while a natural disaster could wipe out a single local system, globally distributed storage centres mean that your files remain safe even if local disaster strikes.
We live in a global economy and using cloud-based storage services means that your business, no matter what scale, can enjoy the benefits of working globally. A cloud-shared document is one that you can collaborate on with workers all over the globe, giving you the pick of the best and most cost-practical employees no matter where they may be physically located.
Synchronisation of files also means that when a change is made to a document, everyone is working from the updated data and keeping on the right track, rather than chasing around multiple copies of the same document.
Choosing a storage provider
So what should you consider when choosing a cloud storage provider? It’s not just as simple as comparing pricing, especially as several major providers offer extremely low-cost or free cloud storage. Microsoft, for example, gives free cloud storage to those who subscribe to its Office 365 product.
- What are your current and projected business needs when it comes to cloud storage and applications?
- How fast is your connection to your cloud provider? There’s no point paying for a service if you’re going to struggle to synchronise files in a timely manner, as well as how and with what devices you intend to access your files with.
- Are there any legal requirements for your data? Depending on your precise business, consider the appropriate legal compliance issues, especially where they relate to the storage or access of data. Any reputable cloud provider should be able to tell you where your data’s stored for this purpose.
- Who will need to access each file? Consider access control for specific cloud-stored files, as not every employee will need access to every file.
Cloud storage can be transformative for your business — it makes almost everything more efficient, effective, transparent and mobile. Running your business in the cloud with MYOB AccountRight allows your to work securely and collaboratively. If you plan thoroughly for cloud storage, it will give you the power to manage your business your way.