For many small businesses, cloud storage offers huge benefits. It allows cheap, reliable, and secure data storage. In fact, cloud storage can be a small business’s life raft when natural disasters hit, like last year’s hurricanes.
However, cloud storage can also cause issues. For small businesses with sometimes limited resources and technical expertise, it can be difficult to know how to properly set up or migrate to cloud storage.
Read on for tips on mitigating common issues related to small business cloud storage.
1. Is your particular provider causing issues?
Common small business cloud storage providers have different strengths and weaknesses. You should select a provider that offers the reliability, space and security you need for your small business.
A recent survey on cloud storage providers found that the most popular provider for small businesses is Google Drive, followed by Microsoft OneDrive.
Ghazanfar Ghori, CTO of 10Pearls, a software development and end-to-end digital services company, said that small businesses should seek out enterprise-grade providers.
If a product is enterprise-grade, it means it can be scaled for large organizations. Even if a small businesses does not need support for a large number of users, enterprise-grade providers tend to be more reliable and secure.
Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive are both considered enterprise-grade to Ghori.
iCloud is not an enterprise-grade provider and in fact, users of the provider reported the most issues in the past 12 months.
2. Are you struggling with how to pay for cloud storage?
While cloud storage is often cheaper than storing data in an on-premise solution, costs can still add up. However, small businesses can alleviate cost by storing data based on how often it’s accessed.
The largest percentage of small businesses pay between $51-250 per month for their cloud storage provider.
Cloud storage can fall into different types, including backup and sync services. Cloud sync services allow data to be accessed frequently and collaborated on by users. This is what many people most commonly think of when they imagine cloud storage.
However, types of cloud backup services allow businesses to store large amounts of data for a long time at cheap prices – if they will not access the data frequently.
This type of cloud backup is called “cold storage.” Since it will not be frequently accessed, it does not require a large amount of processing power, and it can be offered at cheap prices.
Ghori mentioned that this a great option for industries that need to store data for long periods for legal reasons.
“For the mortgage industry, or any industry with regulations requiring you to keep copies of contracts for 60 years or 30 years – [Amazon] Glacier is a great option, as long as you trust Amazon not to go under,” he said.
By separating your data depending on how often it needs to be accessed, your small business can save money on cloud storage costs.
3. Are you concerned about security?
In the past, cloud storage often invoked fears of security breaches and data unreliability. In fact, cloud storage can be more secure than on-premise options for many small businesses – if they use it properly.
Almost all small businesses (97%) ranked security as important to consider when selecting their current cloud storage provider.
Small businesses should ensure they implement additional features that can protect their cloud storage data from both hackers and simple employee carelessness.
A great example is two-factor authentication. This feature is often already integrated as an option into many cloud storage providers – you simply need to turn it on. Then, whenever a user tries to login, they’ll need to input their login information, as well as a code that is sent to their mobile phone or email.
Thus, if someone is trying to improperly access the data, they’ll need both a user’s login information, as well as access to their phone or email – an unlikely occurrence.
Cloud Storage Offer High Value for Small Businesses
Do not be intimidated by cloud storage’s theoretical issues. Often, any obstacles will far outweigh the benefits cloud storage providers offer to small businesses. Just be sure you are proactive knowledgeable when it comes to your small business’s cloud storage.