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Many people are still mystified by “the cloud” and where your data actually goes if you’re using cloud storage. Put simply, cloud storage is online data storage and is a scalable way to store, access and share your data. Buying and maintaining your own storage infrastructure is a thing of the past once you migrate to the cloud.

Migrating to the cloud sounds like a cumbersome process, but the migration itself isn’t bad. There are many benefits to cloud storage to be had, no matter the size of your business or the type of data you’re storing. That doesn’t make it right for everyone, however. So how do you know if you’re ready to take the leap and join the cloud?

If maintenance has become cumbersome

Maintaining your own storage infrastructure can be time-consuming. If you haven’t already established an in-house data center, you could be looking at investing thousands of dollars. Servers and data centers require constant maintenance and you have to have IT staff on-hand to take care of that maintenance. Both of these cost money. If your data center has become too much upkeep, migrating to the cloud can solve a lot of problems. Less overhead and more time to focus on your core business objectives are just a couple of the perks.

If you want the flexibility to work from home

Telecommuting has become incredibly popular over the last five years. According to a study done by PGi, 79% of respondents already work outside of the office some of the time and 60% of respondents would switch jobs if they offered this sort of flexibility. Cloud storage services offer this sort of flexibility because the data needed to do daily tasks is stored online and available from anywhere. Through offering telecommuting, you can also save money on a traditional office setting and the overhead that goes along with it and benefit from increased employee efficiency.

If you need better collaboration and communication

Migrating to cloud-based storage allows employees to collaborate in real-time with co-workers and other stakeholders across the world. The popularity of Dropbox should support this notion. How many times have colleagues shared documents over dropbox at your company? If you were able to the same thing through your own cloud storage tool, you’ll cut out an unneeded application.

If data security is a top priority for you

Data security should absolutely be a top priority for your business. If you handle any sort of sensitive information, you are responsible for keeping that data safe. Be it credit card information, health information, or data you don’t want your competitors to get a hold of. Aside from an obligation to keep certain data private, if your data is held for ransom, your operation will come to a grinding halt. Cloud storage offers top level protection for your data. You won’t have to worry about a natural disaster wiping out your data, either.

If you want to use backup

Data backup and disaster recovery are tools that ensure a simple human error or another incident won’t lead to a data disaster. Lost data can be an overwhelming blow to small businesses. Without your data, your business can’t function. In order to have a solid backup and data recovery plan, you need to have cloud storage.

Cloud storage offers you durability, availability, and security for your data. The total cost of ownership is less than an in-house data center with no hardware or maintenance costs, the time to deploy and maintain is far less than traditional data storage methods, and the centralized storage allows for better information management. If you want to learn more about migrating to the cloud, click here.

photo credit: PC Magazine

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