The forecast calls for clouds.
By 2016, it’s estimated that 36 percent of all data will be stored on the cloud, with the total spent on cloud computing amounting to $183 billion by the end of this year.
Hundreds of businesses make the transition to software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud storage every day, and after looking at these numbers, it’s not difficult to see why:
• 94 percent of managers say digital security was improved after transitioning to the cloud
• 80 percent of businesses on the cloud say it’s reduced IT costs
• 52 percent of companies using cloud applications profess they’ve led to productivity and efficiency increases
The benefits of cloud storage are numerous, but here are three that make perfect business sense.
1. It’s Intuitive
If you’ve ever gotten a headache transferring files across project teams or even to the next cubicle, you’ll understand the shortcomings of traditional data storage. Often, there can be several software systems in play within a company, and getting them to synchronize with each other can become quite an ordeal.
With cloud storage solutions, such as the now ubiquitous Google Drive or Dropbox, you can put all of your staff on the same page and have them storing and sharing files seamlessly. No more will you have to teach those less technically-proficient how to upload via FTP, and no more will your inboxes be clogged with small files that can be stored on the cloud.
Because of how simple it is to store data on the cloud, your employees can better collaborate in real time, improving productivity and overall morale.
2. It Prevents Data Loss
Data loss can be costly. You invest time and money – and your employees invest countless hours – amassing the data you use to conduct business. When one of your servers goes down, you could lose months of hard work. Even with data backups in play, an unfortunate accident or ill-timed malware attack can cripple your business.
Now imagine copies of your files being present on multiple servers. Even if one of them goes down, you have the peace of mind of knowing that the many other backups are secure. Cloud storage providers regularly back up their data, so that even in the event of a power outage, nothing gets flushed down the drain.
An added benefit of cloud storage in the arena of data retention is that it allows your staff to work remotely, without worrying about bringing the latest version of a file with them via flash drive. With how simple it is to sync files and folders through the latest cloud storage solutions, employees can share and modify files in real time with their co-workers, even if they’re several time zones apart.
3. It’s Secure
In an age where the threat of hackers and malware is always present, securing your data is a legitimate concern. However, barring the misunderstood fiasco surrounding Apple’s iCloud cloud storage service – which was not “hacked,” though several prominent users’ passwords were stolen – cloud storage is much more secure than you may realize.
All of the major cloud storage providers utilize state-of-the-art security features to ensure your data is only accessible to you and your employees. The only way to further secure your data would be to encrypt it, which may not be necessary depending on the type of data you deal with. Nevertheless, there are SaaS solutions such as SpiderOak and Wuala that encrypt your files before uploading them to the cloud.
As internet connection speeds get faster and server costs come down, cloud storage will only become more attractive for small and medium-sized businesses looking for simple and secure data storage. If you haven’t made the transition yet, there’s no better time. As the saying goes, the sun is always shining above the cloud(s).
The forecast calls for clouds.