The Pros and Con of Cloud Storage
Data storage is one of those things in business that only is an issue if you don’t have enough of it. It used to be a considerable challenge for businesses, but today data storage prices are dropping by 20-to-30 percent annually and it has made it feasible for any business to start using cloud computing to store business data. This month we will take a look at the benefits of cloud storage and how there is only one major problem with it.
Cloud Storage Benefits
The first major benefit of utilizing cloud storage is certainly the ability for your business to add flexibility. One of the ways it provides this flexibility is by allowing anyone to access the data and files it needs from any location with an Internet connection. This not only provides ease of access, but also provides the business to lean on a distributed workforce to do so. Companies can redirect capital from real estate, utility costs, and other financial considerations that are present by having a centralized location, while giving their employees the same access to data and applications.
Another great advantage of using cloud storage is the ability for the business to scale their needs on demand. This way they don’t have to purchase storage facilities for their business’ data only to use a fraction of it until they have to migrate away from that device because they need faster storage or there is a fear of failure. If they need more space, they can get it with a simple phone call, or in some cases from a provided dashboard that lets administrators manage the data on the cloud server.
The last consideration we’d like to mention could be the best thing about cloud storage: a cloud storage platform is completely redundant and is maintained by the service provider, ensuring that all a company’s data is available and backed up proficiently. If there is any question about the technology used to store and protect data, cloud storage answers all of it with provider guarantees.
The Elephant in the Room
Not necessarily a pro or con is the issue of cloud storage security. Data security for files stored in the cloud comes down to two issues: Is the platform secure enough for my organization to trust our data there? Is there a problem with the files in transit? The first issue is handled by the cloud provider. Since they are the one managing the infrastructure, and any security problems would hurt their business model, they have enough motivation to ensure that data is safe when stored on these platforms. The other, however, is left up to the user. How can you ensure that any data that is stored on the cloud gets to the cloud securely? Let’s take a look at four things you can do to ensure this happens:
- Ensure logins are protected - Probably the most important consideration for protecting cloud data is to ensure that they are protected by strong passwords and multi-factor authentication.
- Don’t store mission-critical data - Some data should absolutely remain in-house, whether it is for compliance purposes or simply because the data is too sensitive to send out over the Internet.
- Use encryption - There are services that allow you to encrypt your files before you send them to cloud storage, and this is something to look into if you are concerned with your data storage security.
- Constantly monitor connected apps - Keep all connected applications monitored and updated to help avoid data security troubles.
The One Major Issue with Cloud Storage
At this point, so many organizations from all over the world use cloud storage to their advantage, that there is only one real problem with it: You need an Internet connection to access anything stored on the cloud. That may not seem like a problem, but it does cause some serious issues. The first issue is that customers may not always like that you store information that could be seen as sensitive in nature offsite and could find it troublesome should something go wrong. Another issue is that IT administrators may find it difficult to manage a distributed workforce—where cloud storage makes the most sense—due to the relative insecurity of the underlying networking. Some workers will simply not have access to secure-enough Internet which would necessitate further IT investments to remedy.
Ultimately, most organizations could really benefit from the use of cloud storage for its accessibility, its cost-effectiveness, and the fact that you don’t need to manage the underlying hardware. If you would like to learn more about moving to the cloud, give the IT professionals at JensenIT a ring today at (847) 803-0044.