Cloud Storage Essentials for Small Businesses
The “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) revolution is over us. Employees are no longer restrained to workspaces working on desktop devices, as the evolution of laptops, tablets and smart phones has revolutionized the way businesses are operated and enables the making of business decisions anywhere. An information technology research organization has anticipated that a minimum of 50 percent of internet users in enterprises will depend mainly on a tablet, browser, or mobile rather than a desktop by the year 2016. Also, the same organization has reported that 25 percent of all PC users suffer from loss of data every year and hence safe and secure backup in cloud storage is essential.
What is Cloud Storage?
Online data storage networks that make use of several servers to virtually store your business data are referred to as cloud storage solutions. Usually, the servers and their backups are managed by a third party in one place, enabling your data to be accessible and backed up at all times. In addition, the third party provider manages any damage to the servers, the data recovery or the general maintenance of the machines.
Cloud Storage for Small Businesses
Small businesses are offered the capability of sharing, accessing and protecting sensitive data by cloud storage. As a matter of fact, most small businesses cannot incur to manage technology resources on-site, which cause cloud storage to be more helpful. However, many businesses question the ability of the third party providers in securing their servers against violations, or from an internal threat that may result in compromising sensitive business data. While this is a legitimate concern, the convenience and cost of cloud storage services makes it worthy of consideration.
Businesses that have shifted their backup to cloud storage services would definitely know that these services offer several benefits. Investing in cloud storage solutions will enable small businesses to eliminate the costs associated with physical data servers from their IT budget. This is simply because data servers need energy, time, space and enough experience for maintenance, and businesses may find that they are spending more money than they like on software and hardware upgrades every year for augmented storage capacity.
While some small business owners may be diffident to invest in cloud storage solutions due to concerns of security and cost, the fact is that cloud storage can usually be more secure and the higher upfront costs can be compensated by the benefits obtained over time.
The Setback of Zero Backup
According to a study conducted in the year 2011, there are over a dozen ways in which data outages are found to setback an organization, which include: containment cost, detection cost, recovery cost, business disruption and equipment cost. A total of $1.2 million was lost per year due to such downtime events. While small businesses may work hastily to prevent data outages on their own, cybercrime is capricious and may be inclusive of everything right from running codes to deteriorate systems, to damaging network bandwidth and resources. In the year 2011, American companies were found to have spent over $130 billion to recover from data breaches. With such unavoidable circumstances, having a reliable cloud storage provider with rigid security measures is definitely cost-beneficial.
Benefits of Cloud Storage
Here is how small businesses can benefit from the services of cloud storage:
- Proliferation of various devices: Small business users are not leaving behind desktops and laptops for new tablets and smart phones. Instead, smart phones and tables take up an integral role where they are usually used concurrently with conventional computing devices. In fact, small business leaders and owners have been found to be actively using five devices on an average. Apparently, the cloud plays a vital role in the proliferation of various device usage enabling users to access the same files from any device that is connected to the internet.
- Savings of cloud storage services: The cost associated with the backup and recovery system on the cloud is usually determined by the amount of space used. This usage is charged on a per gigabyte (GB) basis. In addition, you will also be charged an annual subscription fee which can sum up your total cloud storage cost to several thousand dollars each year. Due to this, starting out or switching to a cloud storage solution can seem quite expensive initially, but the prices would probably go down in the future, enabling you to save on overhead. Also, outsourcing your data management using cloud storage solutions eliminates your overhead costs and enhances working capital by way of saving energy, server storage spaces and salaries for IT management staff.
One of the well known advantages offered by a cloud storage service is that you need not worry about managing the upkeep and maintenance of a data server with your team. Any damage to your data will be held responsible by the third party cloud storage service provider. In addition, you can access all your business data from any place, anytime and on any device with an internet connection.
The cloud’s “set it and forget it” approach is acclaimed by a majority of small business owners and leaders as a lifesaver. Furthermore, the altering working style of workers and the increase in mobility has made the adoption of cloud services undeniable.
With cloud storage, all of the data center requirements of small businesses, inclusive of the human power, are not required. The costs associated with employee salaries, server maintenance and loss of data are also nullified. At the very least, the usage of cloud storage solutions as a supplementary form of business data backup secures small businesses during circumstances of their own network disruptions and eliminates the need for data recovery or recreation. In addition to protecting valuable business data in the cloud, cloud storage also makes collaboration in the working environment much easier.