With the growth of cloud computing, small to medium-sized businesses should consider cloud storage. USB keys and external hard drives are slowly phasing out and having access to corporate data from anywhere in the world is a must. The benefits of cloud storage allow you to view your files from any mobile device, tablet or computer that’s connected to the Internet, and the cloud can also provide backup for files so they’ll never disappear if you lose your phone or gets lost or your computer crashes. Fortunately, there are several options for cloud storage. The trick is figuring out which one will best serve your current and long-term needs.
S3 is a very inexpensive way to get your bits stored. It is owned and operated by Amazon and is now storing more than 2 trillion objects for companies like Minecraft, Tumblr and Netflix.
With flexible storage and fast implementation, S3 can be especially convenient if you already use AWS for other services. However, AWS has a significant history of outages which is obviously problematic and it requires two points of support, both your own software and the AWS back end. Amazon S3 is suitable for any business size, it gives customers flexibility in the way they manage data for cost optimization, access control, and compliance.
Dropbox for Business is cloud storage service that’s a great tool if you’re looking for personal storage, it’s easy to use, and it performs selective subfolder syncing and it works well offline. However with no granular access or permissions control, slow synchronization speeds or direct folder uploads via the web, makes this tool most suitable for smaller organisations who are looking for a more basic package.
Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service that offers cloud storage, file sharing and real-time collaborative editing. The tool provides fast uploads and downloads as well as direct uploads of files and folders via the web. However, there can be issues with larger files syncing and it doesn’t support an offline sync or granular access and permissions control and the storage you purchase is shared with other Google apps. Small to medium sized business would find most benefit out of this cloud storage solution.
SharePoint Online (Office 365)
SharePoint Online is cloud-based service, hosted by Microsoft, for businesses of all sizes. SharePoint can really do just about anything. At the most basic level, SharePoint is a platform that allows online document storage, management and collaboration which now integrates with Microsoft’s OneDrive. This tool provides libraries support custom metadata for file categorization and custom library configurations for advanced sorting and filtering. Users can choose between desktop, mobile, or browser-based Microsoft Office apps to edit content. As well as extremely granular permission control, such as edit, view only, delete etc) both internally and externally.
However, using a tool with so much functionality means it is more expensive, especially if you intend to use it only for online storage, because SharePoint has such a range of functionality it’s highly customisable which makes it a fantastic tool for any business, because you can adjust it to your exact needs, however that flexibility means it can be a complex platform to configure and manage.
Ultimately, SharePoint offers value to all businesses, but other tools may suit your needs simply down to your platform preference.
If you’re looking to migrate or get started with a new storage service and aren’t sure what would work best for your business get in touch today.