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8 Ways Cloud Storage Delivers Business Value

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Today’s cloud storage is more than simply a low-cost alternative to on-premises options. In many ways, the cloud delivers business value that can’t be matched with comparable in-house solutions. Here’s how.

As 2016 budgets remain fairly flat for most enterprise IT departments, CIOs are seeking ways to get the biggest bang for their buck. Cloud computing is clearly on their radar. Cloud computing was once considered mainly as a way to save money on storage and other IT services compared to in-house technology. While saving money is still a big factor, there are several ways the cloud offers increased business value that can’t be matched with comparable in-house solutions.

Cloud storage is one of the hottest cloud computing services offered today. That’s due to several key factors that are changing the way enterprise IT organizations operate compared to a few short years ago. For one, the way employees use technology has dramatically changed. With the growth of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies and the power of mobile computing, employees are demanding the ability to work anywhere, at any time. Not only that, they want the entire process to be seamless, no matter where they are and what device they connect with.

A second contributing factor in favor of cloud storage is the exponential increase in data volume. Data storage policies have changed to enable enterprises to hold data longer — and big data initiatives have led to the collection and storage of more data than most in-house facilities can handle. One simple and obvious solution to the data storage problem is to migrate some or all of it to the cloud.

Finally, value can be found when data storage responsibilities are handed over to service providers that specialize in the latest storage processes and technologies. There are a number of benefits to be gained from outsourcing — especially companies struggling to find and keep competent in-house staff.

Once you’ve reviewed these eight ways your organization can gain business value by migrating to cloud storage services, tell us what you think. We’d like to learn more about the business drivers influencing your unique cloud storage decisions. Talk to us in the comments section below.

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Accessibility For A Growing Mobile Workforce

Workforces are becoming more mobile — and it’s time for your storage distribution model to change to accommodate the needs of your users. Cloud storage allows users to have equal access to data no matter whether they’re in their offices or on a business trip thousands of miles away. That’s a huge advantage that will pay massive dividends in the long run.

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Lower CapEx Costs

Cloud storage providers use economies of scale, and some of the savings are passed to the customer. Unless you are an enormous enterprise with tens of millions of dollars allocated to data storage, you’ll likely find that the cost of outsourcing is less than going it alone. Not only that, but upfront capital expenditures are greatly diminished. You will end up paying more month-to-month, but most companies are looking to shift CapEx over to OpEx — and migrating to cloud storage is one way to do that.

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Improved Competency In How Data Is Handled

While internal IT administrators have a wide range of duties and technologies to manage, cloud storage providers have a more narrowly focused set of responsibilities. Because of this, odds are that top-tier cloud storage providers have better technology, procedures, and technicians to support their infrastructure. This translates into less downtime, lower risk of data loss, and a better overall user experience.

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Improved Disaster Recovery

In the event of a natural disaster, such as a fire or flood, having offsite backups is crucial. Private IT shops often struggle to come up with the necessary architectural expertise to design, implement, and maintain an adequate DR solution. Cloud storage providers, on the other hand, are far more likely to have the best solutions and procedures in place, since all they do is manage their customers’ data.

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Better Security

Late last summer, I put forward my case about why cloud security beats most private data center security practices, hands down. Simply put, optimal data security must be performed on a large scale and with big budgets. One tiny gap in any security posture can lead to a massive data breach.

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Virtually Infinite Scalability

The ability to scale storage needs up or down at a moment’s notice is incredibly useful. Suddenly, businesses can take more risks when it comes to big data projects, since the storage can essentially be turned off if the project fails. The ability to expand and contract like an accordion can and should be used as a business strategy.

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Improved Document Control

Document collaboration between employees is on the rise. Because of this, many are struggling to maintain a single “master document.” Instead, what ends up happening is that employees are left with multiple versions of the same document that have to be cobbled together. Cloud storage can assist with document control by implementing and enforcing gateways and gatekeepers. This helps employees save time by helping to maintain a single document, while allowing others to collaborate on it.

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Eliminate Shadow IT

Earlier this month, Cisco Systems announced a new cloud consumption service that can help identify shadow IT, or the use of unauthorized IT services by employees. But while identifying shadow IT within an enterprise is useful, actually getting rid of it is the ultimate desire for many IT professionals I work with. Employees are looking to use technology to improve efficiency with their work duties. And if non-approved cloud services will help them, that’s likely what they’re going to use. The key is to provide similar cloud services, so that employees don’t have to look elsewhere. And since shadow IT for cloud storage is such a major problem, this is one way to combat it. If you provide a company-sponsored cloud storage solution, many employees will likely quit using their personal Dropbox, Google Drive, and iCloud for business.

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Conclusion

Migrating to a cloud storage platform can provide tremendous advantages when compared to in-house architectures. If your workforce is continuing to embrace mobility — and you are seeking better stability, reliability, and collaboration functionality out of your data storage — cloud might be the right solution for you. The key is to provide the storage solution that employees will want to use. And from that standpoint, cloud storage should be seen as a truly great value.

(Image: Geralt via Pixabay)

Andrew has well over a decade of enterprise networking under his belt through his consulting practice, which specializes in enterprise network architectures and datacenter build-outs and prior experience at organizations such as State Farm Insurance, United Airlines and the … View Full Bio

Original content was posted here: http://www.informationweek.com/cloud/cloud-storage/8-ways-cloud-storage-delivers-business-value/d/d-id/1323969?_mc=NL_IWK_EDT_IWK_cloud_20160120&elq=40a4b1e931cd4a798bf4a06cc3abd2d3&cid=NL_IWK_EDT_IWK_cloud_20160120&elqCampaignId=18992&elqaid=66871&elqat=1&elqTrackId=008ec99d5d3c4c3387635f90bf8adbfd&image_number=10

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