Unless you’ve been living off-grid, the concept of cloud storage has likely crossed your desk a few times. Be that as it may, just so we’re all on the same page, here’s the official definition:
“Cloud storage is a cloud computing model in which data is stored on remote servers accessed from the internet, or “cloud.” It is maintained, operated, and managed by a cloud storage service provider on storage servers that are built on virtualization techniques.”
Popularized by B2C services like iCloud, the idea of storing knowledge on remote servers is nothing new. In fact, cloud storage service dates back to the 1960’s (or further, depending on who you ask). Fast forward to 2020, and the proliferation of the internet and big data has SMBs and enterprises alike shopping for the best cloud-based storage solution.
But, as with any new tech, there are early-adopters, and there are holdouts. Whether the CTO previously got burned by a glitchy system, or an IT team simply can’t agree on a vendor, some organizations are a bit behind the cloud services times. Dated storage tech isn’t just a drain on financial resources—limited knowledge sharing is a dangerous disadvantage.
If this sounds familiar, don’t give up hope. Ideally, the four concepts below are admissible as evidence to your exec team that your organization needs a cloud storage solution.
Buying, installing, and maintaining servers on-site is an expensive proposition. For SMBs, the cost can be a few thousand dollars per year. Enterprise-level operating systems? You could be deep into the six-figure range for hardware and upkeep.
Don’t forget, in-house servers require regular attention to prevent crashes and lost data.
Cloud storage options eliminate the bulk of that cost, and require zero upkeep from your IT team. Instead of paying a lump sum for hardware, cloud services are added a la carte, with monthly subscription fees reflective of your organization’s current needs.
If on-premise storage is like owning a car, cloud drive services are ride sharing. You only pay for what you need, when you need it. Repairs and maintenance are the responsibility of the driver, or, in this case, your cloud drive vendor. And those costs are dispersed among all the subscribing businesses.
Emerging technology is changing how, and where, we work. With nearly 70% of employees working remotely at some stage in their career, local storage isn’t the solution it once was. The ability to access files and folders from home, the airport, or a coffee shop isn’t just a benefit of remotely stored data, it’s an absolute must for teammates on the move.
Online storage empowers mobile workforces to work from any device with an internet connection. Instead of needing your company Macbook to update documents, you can seamlessly transition from desktop apps to mobile apps in real-time.
Remember watching your favorite show pre-Netflix (or Disney+, for all you early adopters)? Be in front of the television at 7:00 p.m, on Tuesday night, or miss out. That’s akin to local storage. Employees are tethered to a location or device, bound by set hours.
Outside of that designated space or computer, progress ceases.
Just like streaming services gave us on-demand, on-the-go entertainment, cloud drives have similarly cut the cord. As more businesses deploy this tech, collaboration across time zones and continents will become the new norm.
3. Knowledge sharing
Speaking of collaborating, cloud storage makes it easier than ever before. Centralizing your organization’s knowledge empowers teammates to self-serve the information they need. And this isn’t limited to mining documents. Both tacit knowledge and the data housed in your go-to apps can be easily stored and searched with artificial intelligence-powered cloud services.
Additionally, whereas local storage might require file sharing via email, cloud drives allow for live updates. If you’re tweaking some crucial best practices documents, everyone with permission can see the revisions as you make them.
If local storage is like the elementary-school game “telephone,” a cloud-based knowledge repository is akin to an organization-wide conference call. Instead of sharing information one-by-one and getting varied answers, knowledge is freely shared.
And, unlike an actual conference call, teammates can plug-in as needed, retrieving whatever information their workflow calls for.
If you’re new to cloud storage, enhanced security probably isn’t the first benefit that comes to mind. After all, how is storing your organization’s hundreds of miles away better than keeping it on-site? The fact is, dedicated cloud service providers invest more resources into security efforts like encryption and data redundancy, as well as GDPR, CCPA, and SOC 2 compliance.
Food for thought: A Gartner study revealed that only 6% of businesses last more than two years after losing data.
And the security benefits don’t stop there. Cascading permission structures give your teammates access to the information they need, and nothing more. Modern cloud service systems can even mirror user permissions based on the other apps in use, preventing double-work for admins.
On the court, LeBron can go toe-to-toe with anyone on the planet. But hand him a baseball, and he’s no MVP. He’ll understand the essentials, but it’s unfair to expect an awe-inspiring performance.
Similarly, businesses (hopefully) excel within their niche. But faced with securing their knowledge base, most SMBs fall short of world-class. Point being, cloud storage vendors can shield critical data with enterprise-level security, empowering your organization to focus on what it does best.
If you’re making a case for cloud storage, the advantages discussed here are only the beginning. Cloud drives have evolved beyond simple remote servers where your data is kept. For example, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), Capacity turns static documents into dynamic conversations, making your organization’s knowledge infinitely more consumable.
Trying to get your team to give cloud storage a go, but not quite sure how to convey the message? Shoot us a message, and we’ll plead the case on your behalf.