As Internet speeds get faster and data storage gets smaller and cheaper, storage in the cloud is opening new doors for small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). However, the number of doors available to your SMB depends on how you utilize this technology. It’s clearly more than a trend, so how can your SMB get the most out of cloud storage?
Understand Your Purpose — Having a clear picture of your goals will help guide your cloud strategy.
● Sync and Share — If your goal is to connect people, the cloud is the perfect setting. File sharing and collaboration is a common offering, enabling users to add comments and edit a document simultaneously. User access is provided through a web portal or mobile application, with selective syncing for designated files and devices.
● Backup — Turn to the cloud to protect, retain, and eventually restore your data. Note that in a sync-and-share environment, a user could inadvertently delete important files, so a distinct solution is needed for backup—one that preserves files separately from their everyday usage.
● Archive — Cloud storage can be a good solution when saving documents for regulatory compliance or historical reference. It can also work as a form of content distribution, for example, a library of images, logos, and other media.
Watch Your Costs — Cloud storage has tremendous scalability and low cost per unit of storage. However, be sure to keep an eye out for hidden costs, such as fees for data transfers, metadata functions, and bandwidth.
Look for Administrative Controls — Make sure you have administrative control and visibility of your cloud storage. Controls may include monitoring usage, setting user permissions, controlling file sharing, transferring files, and even remotely wiping devices. Protecting your data is particularly important during employee turnover or when sharing with external partners.
Be BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)-Friendly — For employees to use cloud storage, it has to be convenient and accessible. Usually this is achieved through apps on personal mobile devices or via the web on a laptop. Look for strong security features paired with maximum flexibility for users.
Cloud storage is an exciting and cost-effective opportunity for businesses to become more agile, improve collaboration, and manage large volumes of data. To get the most out of your cloud storage, know your goals, watch your costs, demand robust administrative controls, and be device-agnostic. For help developing your cloud storage strategy, contact Infomax Office Systems today.