Cloud storage is a recent and increasingly popular method that is being used to store data. Companies like Dropbox or Google offer up their services that can be applied to your business infrastructure. They work by storing your data on their servers, allowing you to access it remotely through an internet connection. But it may not be right for every business, and there are pros and cons attached to using cloud storage.
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits to cloud storage is that it is very easy to use and requires little maintenance. The majority of cloud storage services come with dedicated support, so if you do run into any trouble then you are not left to fend for yourself. The user interfaces are also very simple, with programs like Dropbox integrating smoothly into the operating system. It just appears as a standard folder on the computer, so there is no learning curve and users will already know exactly how to work it.
Cloud storage not only acts as storage, but also as a great backup solution too. If something happens to your locally stored data (whether that is anything from data corruption to a natural disaster) then you will have the peace of mind knowing that everything is safe in the cloud. It is also beneficial when it comes to sharing files with people outside of the company, like clients or contractors. No more emailing big files or sending USB sticks – now you can just send them a link to where they can download the files from the cloud.
Another advantage is that you are only paying for the space you need and you can quickly scale up and down depending on how much data you have. This means that you don’t need to buy another big hard drive if you exhaust all the space available on the first. And depending on how many drives you have, storing everything on the cloud means that the physical space can be used on something other than data storage.
Cloud storage is not without its disadvantages, however. The first thing to consider that because everything is stored online, if you need to download a file then you will only be able to do so at the speed of your internet. This could become a problem if your internet goes down or your connection is consistently unstable and slow.
Another downside, and quite a major one, is the issue of security. You have to consider just how safe your files are stored in the cloud. Although Dropbox boasts the same level of security that banks use, this isn’t unbreakable. There is still always the risk that your data could fall into the wrong hands. Sensitive business information may not be best stored online. Also, the cloud storage service you are using could go down at any time – perhaps permanently if something like bankruptcy happens – so you need to ensure that you always have a control over your data. Don’t just hand everything over to cloud storage and forget about it.
Despite the downsides, cloud storage definitely has its place. It can be cost effective and it is easy and simple to use. Not only that, but it kills two birds with one stone since it can be a great backup system. Check it out and you might wonder how you lived without it.
Cloud Storage: Pros and Cons
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