8 Tips for Choosing the Best Cloud Storage for Small Business

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The world is fast changing primarily because of the inputs and impact of science and technology. The intervention of technological advancement is not limited to just one aspect but even spread across our day-to-day activities and area of interest. 

Most businesses rely on protecting their information using physical files and folders in the past. Later with the advent of computers, the adoption of saving data moved from physical files to keeping information on computer diskettes, hard drives, flash drives to name a few. While the latter is effective, the limitation is that to access your data, you have to be in possession of your storage devices anywhere at all times. 

But, with the introduction of cloud technology, businesses and individuals don't have to carry their physical storage device around, nor have any need to buy additional devices when storage becomes full. 

With cloud storage, accessing files, data, and relevant information can be accessible in any part of the world, thus making it convenient to work anywhere without transferring files from one device to another. Having cloud storage is a must-have for small business owners, but then the big question is, what are the criteria you must consider when choosing cloud storage that will be effective for your business? 

In this piece, you will be learning tips on making the best decision when choosing cloud storage that can ease the burden of accessing data for you and your team of employees. 

1. Knowing your business storage needs

The list of storage providers is limitless. While some cloud storage providers are well known, some are just coming up. As a business owner, to choose cloud storage services at backblaze.com for your small business, you need to know your business storage needs. 

Tips for Choosing the Best Cloud Storage for Small Business

However, all small businesses are not the same, which means that the storage needs differ. Company A may need 100GB, while company B may need 50GB. 

So, before choosing any cloud storage, it is vital to know the data storage capacity of your business ahead of time. This will help you avoid a situation where you are not hoodwinked into getting excess storage you may end up not using and still pay for the cost. 

Also, having enough information about your company's data storage need will ensure you are not getting below the storage capacity you need either in the long or short run.

2. Integration with your current software is essential

One critical factor you must consider when choosing cloud storage for your small business is integration with other software. While some cloud storage systems can seamlessly integrate with your existing software, some will not. 

Now, imagine a situation where you have already spent a considerable sum of money to acquire the service of a cloud storage provider, only to find out it is not compatible with your current software? 

If this happens, then you have two options. Either you forgo another software compatible with the new cloud storage, or you get to condemn the cloud storage for the one compatible with your software. 

For example, OneDrive is a cloud storage service provider owned by Microsoft. If your company uses Microsoft operating system and Office 365, then integrating OneDrive will be much easier. Furthermore, before deciding on a cloud storage provider, always check its compatibility with your existing software. 

3. Find out about device compatibility 

The factors that influence the choice of a cloud storage provider are pretty different from that of a business. When deciding on cloud storage for your small business, find out about the cloud storage compatibility with other devices like mobile devices and external hard drives. 

Also essential to find out about the number of users who can access cloud storage. So, before purchasing cloud storage from any provider, read their terms of usage carefully to check if there is a limitation on the number of users that can access the storage on a stretch. 

4. Your data security is important 

The moment you consider saving your data on cloud storage, you must prepare to add extra security. Unlike physical storage like disc and the hard drive, you can only lose your information if the storage device gets damaged or stolen. 

Your data security is important

However, cloud storage goes beyond damage as hackers can steal your data if your cloud storage provider is weak. The nature of your business and the sensitivity of the data at your disposal will determine the type of cloud storage you are to use. 

But in any case, always go for a cloud storage provider that offers encrypted services. Once your data are encrypted, it means if authorized persons hack into your cloud storage without your permission, they won't be able to access your files.  

What if you are dealing with extremely sensitive data? What your business need is an on-premises storage solution. On-premises cloud storage gives you the liberty to self-host your data instead of transferring it to a 3rd party or external location. 

5. Compare providers 

There are different cloud storage providers, so you must compare them to know that their service is suitable for your business. When choosing a cloud service provider, always go beyond the advert by searching deeper. 

Some of the factors you must consider are compatibility with your current software, cost, data security, companies credibility, read through some reviews from those currently using the service provider, both past and present, and their respective storage limits. 

6. Download speed

Imagine a situation where you need a file urgently, only for the storage to download at a snail pace? If care is not taken, you may experience short breaths or freak out. 

Download speed

The reason for opting out of the traditional storage in the first place is efficiency, and if you are not getting that from your cloud storage provider, then it's a waste of resources. 

Most people think the essence of download speed is file retrieval, but it's not. You need download speed, especially when your backup server is offline and you need your system to restore as fast as possible. In a nutshell, how far you can enjoy your cloud storage is largely dependent on your download speed. So, before choosing from an array of cloud service providers, it is vital to measure each service provider's speed, especially how fast when it comes to data downloading. 

7. User-friendly cloud storage is the best option

When choosing cloud storage for your small business, part of the factors you must consider should include an accessible data management facility. 

For instance, if you are tech-savvy, there is a chance you will be able to operate and maneuver any hitch you face while working on cloud storage. However, the same may not be for the rest of your team. 

So, when choosing cloud storage for your small business, always ensure the service provider you plan on using has a user interface that is easy to comprehend even by an average computer literate. The benefit of using cloud storage with an easy interface is that anyone working with your organization won’t have a problem working with cloud storage. 

User-friendly cloud storage is the best option

Here are other benefits of user-friendly cloud storage with easy to use interface: 

  • Easy access to data: If the user interface is too complex, access to data will be difficult because most people will find it challenging to navigate when working on cloud storage.
  • Easy data management: Data management is part of the benefit of using cloud storage with an easy user interface. Data management will become less complex if the cloud storage operation is easy.
  • Makes operation easy: When you use cloud storage with a complex user interface, it delays operation than the traditional saving options. A complex user interface takes time to operate, especially when uploading and downloading data will take more time than usual. So, before choosing any cloud storage, ensure you carry out pilot testing to know if most of you or your employees will operate the program efficiently.

8. Consider the budget 

If you own a small business, there is a high chance you solely decide on the business direction. Going for the best cloud storage with vast storage capacity is essential, but at the same time, you have to look at your company budget. You need to ask yourself if you can continue with a particular plan in the long run. 

There is no point in going for a cloud storage plan you can only afford in the short run. So, know your company requirement and find out the cost of the cloud storage plan you will be needing. Aside from the payment for cloud space, there are some hidden charges you will find out along the line. This is why you must ask questions on the cost ahead of time. 

Conclusion: 8 tips for choosing the best cloud storage for small business

The new normal for data storage in today's world is cloud storage. Using cloud storage has many benefits, such as data security, easy access to data, and user flexibility. 

However, before moving your data from the traditional method to cloud storage, you must have in-depth information on how it operates and the criteria needed to choose cloud storage compatible with your business.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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