Cloud services have seen a rise in popularity over the past decade. And it’s easy to see why: this innovative technology and business intelligence tool offers individuals and businesses alike a brilliant online storage solution for their data.
Unlike local storage, which relies on company servers or hard disks, data stored in the cloud can be accessed seamlessly via internet.
There are multiple ways that your business can benefit from a transition to cloud storage, which explains why organisations of all sizes and industries are beginning to adopt this IT solution.
If you’re still on the fence about taking this step for your business, then we’re here to walk you through the most important benefits of cloud storage.
For many business owners, cost-efficiency is a determining factor when it comes to the decision to move to cloud storage.
By outsourcing your data storage, you’re also eliminating the need for hardware as well as maintenance costs. As a result, your utility bills decrease.
With cloud storage, you can also pick from different price tiers and packages, meaning that you can select an option that suits your budget and needs. Therefore, there’s a certain financial flexibility that comes with cloud storage, as you can also shop around to find a provider that is a good fit for your company. Plus, there’s always the option to upgrade or downgrade your payment plan and package based on monthly or annual usage.
An all-round benefit of using cloud storage is its convenience.
Instead of requiring a designated server room, expensive hardware and regular maintenance, all you need to get started is a computer and a good internet connection.
The fact that your provider will do most of the heavy lifting also means that your IT department will have more flexibility and time, with the added bonus of not having to worry about constant updates that will keep your data safe.
The cloud’s synchronisation, scalability and file-sharing features (which we’ll discuss later) are other factors that make this a convenient tool for your business.
Another crucial aspect you must consider is the security of your data. Most companies have classified information stored away in their servers and must thus ensure that their storage solution can fend off potential data breaches and cyber security threats.
Cloud service providers often take big steps to ensure their clients’ data is safely and securely stored, including backing up and saving data across servers located in different data centres. Consequently, in the event that one server crashes, your data will still be safe as it is also stored at another location. This means that you don’t have to worry about hardware malfunction as there are already precautions in place.
Moreover, your files will also be encrypted, making it harder for cybercriminals to decode your data. It’s also worth mentioning that your cloud service provider will run frequent security updates that will keep their systems up to date and which, in turn, will keep your data safe.
4. Accessibility and mobility
A considerable advantage that comes with cloud storage is the potential to access your data wherever you are, so long as you have an internet connection.
So, regardless your location, you’ll be able to retrieve you work files on the go without fuss. This is especially important for remote teams and companies that offer flexible work options to their employees.
If you work from different devices – desktop, tablet and mobile – cloud storage will save you from having to manually add updated versions of your work files to each device every time a change is made, giving you access to the latest versions across all your devices.
The mobility that comes with such a feature could streamline numerous processes and even enhance your team’s productivity and efficiency levels.
As previously mentioned, cloud services offer different packages from which you can choose based on your company’s needs. That said, most providers also give you the option to adjust your selected plan to increase or decrease your storage space on the go.
This is an ideal solution if your company is quickly growing or scaling down. You no longer need to spend time purchasing and coordinating new hardware, either. Instead, cloud systems allow for an easy increase or decrease in storage. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about running out of storage or underutilising the space you’ve paid for.
So, if you’ve experienced a short spike, you can easily reduce your package with cloud solutions, whereas with a physical server, it’s almost impossible to revert to your previous storage options.
6. Data protection and recovery
Most cloud storage tools include desktop backups which will automatically save your latest files. This will ensure that your newest documents are accessible even if you forget to back up your work.
And even if you’re not ready to fully commit to cloud storage, it could still be a viable backup storage solution.
Indeed, you could incorporate cloud storage alongside your physical servers – in case of a hardware collapse, the cloud system will allow you to retrieve your data without issues.
7. Synchronisation and automation
Speaking of automation, another brilliant benefit of cloud storage is its synchronisation and automation features.
As discussed, cloud storage gives you the option to work on and access your files from different devices. Synchronisation is what makes this feature even better, as it eliminates the need to copy files across your devices. Instead, everything is synced together, and any change you make will be reflected on all your devices automatically.
Another aspect you need to consider is the potential to make collaboration across your team easier.
Indeed, cloud storage allows multiple users to work on a single file or project as they can all access this from different devices. Users will also be able to share files and invite others to view, edit or comment on them.
This is especially useful for remote and global teams, as they can work on and edit documents at the same time, regardless their physical location.
9. Implementation and useability
If you do decide to make the move to a cloud-based solution, you’ll find that the transition and implementation of this new process will be a breeze.
There may be an adjustment period for you and your team as you get used to this new tool, but its easy-to-use functions will certainly make the switch much smoother.
Also, the migration process for the IT department is far from complicated; cloud computing providers will be there to help with the data transfer and offer guidance if needed. This will definitely be much easier than installing a new local server!
If your company is taking steps to become more sustainable, then moving to cloud storage is a no-brainer.
For starters, thanks to the ability to share files online, there will be less of a need to print paper copies. When it comes to customers, you’ll also be able to digitalise contracts and implement digital signatures.
Meanwhile, cloud-based computing won’t only reduce your company’s paper waste but also decrease your energy usage and reduce your carbon footprint. Indeed, a company that relies on cloud computing can reduce its carbon emissions by 88% and use 84% less power.
When choosing a cloud data provider, you may also consider selecting one that uses green energy. Cloud data centres often rely on renewable energy sources to power their operations, which could also make your business more eco-conscious, too. Another option is to pick a provider that is carbon neutral, meaning the company is committed to offsetting their carbon emissions.
Undoubtedly, there are many advantages to online storage. One thing is certain: making the move to the cloud will transform your business.
Not only will your investment in this world-class technology decrease your costs but it will also improve your team’s productivity and efficiency.
Regardless of your company’s size, you’ll be able to reap the benefits and find an online storage solution that is ideal for you.
Does your company rely on a cloud-based system? What has your experience been so far? We invite you to join the conversation in the comments section below!
This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 22 May 2019.