Cloud Storage is a modern data storage technology in which mobile, computer and application data is stored online on servers that are located on remote locations and operated by hosting or cloud service provider companies. It means in business you no longer need to store data in pen drive, DVDs, external hard disk, computer hard disk, and memory cards. The only thing you have to do is integrate or use cloud storage services in your computer, mobile, tablet, website, applications that store your data securely automatically on the internet.
Data Storage: When in business you store documents, Customer contact details, Application data, Website Database, Images, Text, Videos, and all the content that you will need in future in a digital device such as hard disk, DVDs, computer, server, pen drive, and clouds then it’s called data storage. Data storage is an action to save and store data and information.
Cloud is a general term that is used for remotely located server in which data is stored. Cloud storage is part of cloud computing.
What type of small business can get benefits from cloud storage?
Cloud storage is for everyone from students to teachers, schools to colleges, government to the private sector, from an organization to business, small to big companies and personal to professional. And in other words, anyone can use online data storage services or cloud storage services that have lots of data and information and that needs to be stored, shared and need to access in the future anywhere on any device anytime.
Examples, how small business and organizations can use cloud storage:
- Schools and Colleges have can use cloud storage to store students’ exams, assignments, projects, results, paper, documents, achievements data, and information.
- Travel Agency can use cloud storage and file-sharing services to store, share, access travel guide, tour itinerary, customer contact details, website backup, CRM database backup, outlook backup, business accounts details, business registrations documents, employees’ details, and documents.
- Digital Marketing Agencies can use cloud storage and file-sharing services to manage and store client data, to store their own website/application data, to store client contact details, to store own branding and marketing materials such as images, videos and many other that consume lots of internal storage space in the computer. And that only limited to one person to access. If they use cloud storage services in business then they can able to share that with another team member anytime and anywhere.
Importance of Cloud Storage for Small Business:
- Business needs speed in operations to win in the market. And when data is stored remotely then any team members, customers can access to make business decisions fast from anywhere. That’s why cloud storage and secure, reliable file-sharing services are important.
- Business needs financial backup, raw material backup and now due to digital transformation of businesses they need data backup that they are using and will use in the future for sales and marketing. That’s why cloud storage is important. In simple terms, small businesses can use cloud storage as a complete backup solution for their data.
- Business needs security and privacy for their business operations, production, distribution, strategies, and customers data. The data stored in Office computers or managers’ computers or employees’ computers/laptops are not secure. The data can be compromised by any person in the company with the competitors for money. But through cloud storage services and cloud computing technologies the data is always in control and it provides controlled access to the team members and employees. So that data remains private and secure. That’s why cloud storage is a reliable & secure place of business data. That is durable, higher transfer speed, simple to use and easy to scale.
- Employees can store and share any type of data types to the head office from fields such as site images, customers’ data, files, documents, site videos, and current operations and files so that business continuity doesn’t get affected and the person sitting in the office can update the excel sheet as soon as they get the data. And that sheet is also shared with the project head who can update the general managers on project updates and completion of work. And it’s all possible due to file-sharing services, platforms, and cloud storage technologies. That’s why cloud storage is important for the business to keep the continuity of production, marketing, distribution, team management, operations, finance, and feedback.
Benefits of Cloud Storage for Small Business:
- Decrease the Cost of Data Management
- Store the data directly on the clouds
- Access the data anytime, anywhere and on any device
- Computers Data backup and restoration
- Online data backup
- Applications data backup
- Customer documents storage
- File sharing is quick and safe
- Private data storage
- Unlimited Storage
- Expandable storage system
Best Cloud Storage Services for Small Business
There are various cloud storage service providers and hosting companies that provide complete cloud data storage solutions for small businesses. Small businesses can buy separate cloud store and file-sharing services and they can also integrate or add cloud storage services in the business applications.
Some of the top and reliable cloud storage service providers:
1. Google Drive:
Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service developed by Google. Launched on April 24, 2012, Google Drive allows users to store files on their servers, synchronize files across devices, and share files.
Google Drive is one of the best data storage and synchronization service on the web that is operated and managed by Google. Google drive is best for those businesses who are using Gmail and share lots of business data through emails. It’s also good for that small business using google docs, sheets, slides, drawing, and many other google drive applications.
If small businesses use google drive then they can easily share and give access to the team member to use the data and they can share files. It’s also important that many small businesses use mobile phones, apps for business. For example, if the customer or team member is sharing data through WhatsApp then or WhatsApp team group then that data can be saved directly from the mobile phone to google drive. And it will work as a backup too.
Here you can learn more about its features and the storage capacity that google drive provide to your business: Google Drive
2. One Drive:
One drive is another equally competing cloud storage service run by Microsoft to store, connect, share, print, protect your business files, data, information from the office, from the field, from a mobile phone and from a computer or tablet.
If you’re using Microsoft Office for Business then you will see that when you save the file you will get cloud storage or one drive option to save your document. You can share the office files with team members, you can collaboration and you can use it online as well on any device.
If you do lots of document work and you have to share document/Excel/PowerPoint/Access/database files that with other team members when one drive will be the best cloud storage option for your business.
Here you can learn more about how you can access, share and collaborate by using one drive. One Drive
Dropbox is simple to use secure cloud storage service that you can use to back up your data online from any device. It’s best if you only want to backup of website database, application database, official documents backup and photographs and videos, etc. Photographers, freelancers, digital marketing agencies, IT companies, video editors, and YouTubers can use dropbox for the cloud backup and they can store 1 GB to more than 1TB+ data on the clouds and they can access, share, manage, delete and integrate it anytime on any kind of internet-connected device.
Here you can learn more How DropBox will help your small business through Secure and simple cloud file backup. DropBox
4. Amazon S3
Amazon S3 is a cloud storage service provided by Amazon for small businesses to get scalable, secure, faster and high performing remote infrastructure for business, website, application data. It’s best for big eCommerce websites, digital marketing agencies, telecom companies/vendors, video and graphic design studios and many others.
Here you can learn more about how your small business can get benefits from Amazon s3 that is object storage built to store and retrieve any amount of data from anywhere. Amazon s3
It’s not possible that you don’t found Apple without innovation and inventions. iCloud is a cloud storage and cloud service for business and personal use that is provided by Apple Inc. You can store and access your business images, videos, documents on your PC/Mobile phone. Here you can learn more: iCloud
There is also various other cloud storage service provider. But the common thing in all cloud storage is that they are scalable, easy to use, simple to access on any device and anywhere and easy to share. And you can also test the speed and advantages of cloud storage service through free plans such as google drive provide 15GB. And you can utilize and see the difference in how cloud storage can make a difference in the speed of operations in your business. If you’re still confused about which one is the best cloud storage then read the post and I hope it will definitely solve your cloud confusions.
But if you ask me which one, I suggest then I recommend Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive. You can choose any one of these or all for your small business.