Over the last several years, cloud storage systems have emerged as the gold standard for data storage. This is particularly true for small- to mid-size businesses that require data backup and recovery services without the hefty overhead of an on-site or co-hosted data center. You may even find yourself wondering how to choose cloud storage for your business.
If you’re in the market for a cloud storage system, you’ve likely heard of OneDrive, Dropbox or a variety of other software solutions in this space. Before investing in a new cloud storage service, it’s a good idea to clearly understand your business’s needs. That way, you’ll know how to choose cloud storage for your business that will best work for you.
Here are six things to keep in mind when considering how to choose cloud storage for your business.
Integration with other software products
Many cloud storage systems can integrate with other software programs. For example, OneDrive is a Microsoft product, so it seamlessly integrates with the Windows operating system, Office and Office 365. Other cloud storage services can integrate with Microsoft, as well. So, it’s a matter of understanding which features and expenses make sense for your business.
Beyond integrating with Microsoft, your business may benefit from a cloud storage system that integrates with other software your team is already using, like Slack, Zoom, Salesforce and others. Be sure to review the available applications and extensions that can integrate with each cloud storage service. This will help you with how to choose cloud storage for your business.
Data backup and recovery capabilities
When comparing cloud storage systems, data backup and recovery is an important consideration. Many cloud storage solutions allow users to restore files from a previous time period. Users may want to do this if they accidentally deleted files or if a malicious attack compromised files.
Look for a cloud storage service that saves all lost or deleted files for at least 30 days and allows users to restore files from any point during that time. If your business needs to be able to access lost or deleted files from as far back as 180 days or more, there are cloud storage systems available to meet those needs.
Cost is another key factor when considering how to choose cloud storage for your business. A few keys to determining what you can expect to pay for a cloud storage system include:
- Number of users
- Desired storage amount
- Plan features
- Whether your business already has a subscription that would render a separate fee unnecessary. (For example, if your company is a subscriber to Office 365, you may already have OneDrive included in your monthly subscription.)
Most cloud storage systems offer subscription plans as a monthly payment or annual fee. If you understand what your business needs in terms of number of users, amount of storage and features, you can weigh the total expense for each cloud storage option you’re considering.
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Risks Report 2020, cyberattacks will be one of the greatest risks to businesses over the next decade. It will outpace terrorism, political conflict and destruction of natural ecosystems. Cybersecurity should be top-of-mind when considering how to choose cloud storage for your business.
Look for cloud storage services that offer:
- Advanced data-encryption methods to protect user data
- Two-factor authentication for logins
- Authentication to ensure web safety during use.
These and other cybersecurity features will offer added security on user accounts and files.
Beyond serving as a place to save all your files, many cloud storage systems offer collaboration features that can come in handy for those working in teams. These tools may include offering users the ability to:
- Comment in documents
- Tag others to alert them of changes
- Create documents collaboratively
Could your staff benefit from the ability to collaborate in shared files? Then take a look at the features the different products offer when considering how to choose cloud storage for your business.
With so many employees now working from home and otherwise on the go, it can be helpful for users to be able to access a file from anywhere. Cloud storage systems that offer anywhere-access with mobile applications give users the ability to pull up and/or work in files from their computers, mobile phones and tablet devices.
Do you have staff who are virtual or frequently out of the office in meetings? Then consider looking for a cloud storage system that offers anywhere-access.