While you are opting to move to cloud storage then there are two important points which should be considered – which cloud storage should you opt for your business and how much cloud storage would your business use. There are different attributes that need further reflection on both the above points. Keep scrolling to know more about cloud storage for business.
How to Pick a Cloud Storage for Business
Years back a company had to invest a substantial amount to set up an IT infrastructure. This however not a one-time investment, maintenance costs follow soon. So, when cloud service providers stepped in people began to move their data to cloud storage. Even though the new companies don’t have to invest in IT infrastructure they do need to select a good plan for their business. Even the existing enterprises need to select the best cloud storage for business they are presently running. Here are some points that should be remembered while you make a selection:
If you are starting a new business or have a small organization and intent on keeping the costs low without compromising on the important features then you should consider taking the help of a detailed guide that would help you make a decision. Once you see the plans you will know exactly how much you need to pay and what are the features that you would have access to.
If you really want something very economical then the best cloud storage for business as such would be to pick a free service like Google Drive. Google Drive takes into consideration just the uploaded documents and not every sheet or document created in the Drive. Create and share as many documents you want, just don’t upload directly, ensure that they are in Google’s format. Smartphone and laptop companies also have partnered with cloud storage companies, you can make use of this free storage space.
Another important point is to approximate the total space that you need. There are usually three different plans that any cloud service provider would offer:
- Unlimited storage
- Overall storage limit for a team or group
- Storage limited by per user
If an employee leaves the company then you would have to pay extra if you are opting for a plan per user. Companies usually expand and more employees join in and if you have an overall storage limit for a team then it would get difficult to manage in the limited storage.
Whether it is a small business or a big organization unlimited plans work best for you. However, this is just s suggestion if the nature of your business demands that you have limited storage plans then you should pick the one which is best suited for your business.
Delivery Model Flexibility
Another important point while considering cloud storage for business is the different types of delivery models that the cloud service providers offer. There are some cloud service providers that let you change the models according to the changes in your business while the others may not offer such change in plans.
A public cloud will offer a shared environment where the storage, network, and hardware are hosted in the data centre of the provider and the data is also managed by them. A private clouds infrastructure and services are managed in a private network safe behind a firewall. They are on the upper side of the cost compared to the public one. A hybrid cloud provider you are given the option of both private and public option along with an option to swap if required by your business. You would have to pick one among the three.
Businesses would also have to decide on the service model they would use. There are three parts on which the architecture of cloud is grounded on – information, technology, and application. These layers are delivered through three service models platform as a service, infrastructure as a service and software as a service.
The internet is not safe and there are many attackers who are always on their look out for vulnerabilities and to use them against you. Ensure that your provider has standard ways to protect your data from theft and viruses. While in-house data centres help in keeping a close eye on the changes and the data updates the big providers develop different packages on these platforms because of which businesses would find it easy to integrate systems.
Normally all the cloud providers respond quickly to new features as the deployment cycle is not as long as the for the on-premises applications. The upgrades should be free and applied on a regular basis. You can also check the product upgrades background and understand the frequency in which to expect them.
Along with this, a test system should be offered to play with setup, data, and new updates so the IT can test the new processes or features and identify any errors. The testing time offered by the service provider should be enough to blend in with business processes with the capabilities of the new version.
Backup and Recovery
In your evaluation of a service provider, you should enquire about their backup and recovery plans for data and platform. You data will be hosted off site in cloud storage so you have to make sure that your data is backed up regularly while there is a proper plan of recovery in place.
Support and Training
As new cloud users, you might face some problems initially for which you would require support from the cloud provider. Ensure they have emails and contact number to which they reply back instantly. You cannot afford to have you’re the cloud storage down for a long time, your business is going to suffer. If you need to exploit all the functionalities of cloud storage then proper training is required. The training should be for the new users and also for the system upgrades that happen frequently so that the new features are understood for right execution.
Evaluating the scalability of a cloud provider is also important while you select one for your business because you would be doing a long term business with him. Check his load balancers, infrastructure, data, warehouse, servers and data. Also, check its growth approach and the level of service that it has been giving to its earlier customers. Does the cloud service provider have the potential to better its services and keep up with the growth and expansion of its clients and their businesses or as a matter of fact its own business growth? The vendor should also present hardware and bandwidth should be tested and technical recommendations on how it could be bettered also are included in the cloud service package the cloud vendor’s offer.
Viability of the Cloud Vendor
Although there are many companies who are pretty old in business and have undertaken cloud storage as a new part of their business, there are hundreds of new companies that are coming up with cloud storage programs. Ensure you check their financial stability and the revenue streams and venture capital which should be assessed by you to check whether or not they would cope with your growing business needs.
How Much Cloud Storage Does Your Business Need
What would you do if your business is running short of storage space? You would usually just order for a new drive and voila! You have more space for storage. However, if you are opting to move to cloud storage or are going to begin your business with cloud storage then there are some points that need to be considered while you do so. Here is what you need to keep in mind while selecting your cloud storage for business.
What Type of Data Would You be Storing in Cloud?
Video, document, audio, and picture all are different files and require different types of space for storage.
Images are smaller in size but they cannot be underestimated as this could depend entirely on their size and quality. Graphic artists and photographers would have many pictures to store because this is what their profession is all about.
Video files are the largest files and after 4k the storage required will be definitely more. Depending on source and quality of encoding the size of a good quality movie of 1080 pixels could be between 6 and 45 GB. You would require compression tools if you don’t want to use up the storage space instantly. You could need between 1 and 2 TB for around 100 to 150 movies. Ensure you take a proper cloud plan that will cover you for this required space.
MP3 is the format which is usually used mostly by the digital music keepers. Depending on the bitrate the size can vary and sometimes go up 20 MB. Uncompressed lossless files like FLAC are larger in size. Calculate the present size of your collection to determine the space required. Except for very large documents Excel, Word, PowerPoint and even Acrobat doesn’t occupy too much space. However, if there are too many documents and excessive files then a bigger storage space is required. If you see business expansion in near future or hiring of more employees in your work then ensure you plan your cloud storage accordingly.
Use Your Current Drive to Determine the Space Needed
One of the best ways to know exactly how much cloud storage for a business that you are engaged in requires is by seeing your current usage. Checking the drive of your computer or laptop will help you in seeing the type of space that you usually would use up. You should also be verifying the data which is contained in every folder – the files that require being uploaded. A notepad and calculator will help you in your addition task. Once you have a rough amount in front of you, you know what the starting point of the cloud storage plan that you need to look up for.
You also have the opportunity to clean up your files and folders of things which you think are useless. Besides, you could also organize your data into folders so you have an easy reach to them when required.
Do You Need to Get Extra Cloud Storage?
Well although having an extra bit is always useful but you don’t want to pay for anything extra. Select a cloud provider that offers flexible plans and will let you scale your plans according to your business needs. If your business needs you to download excessive media content then be ready to have your space used up in no time. You would want to go for a bigger plan. It is usually seen that cloud providers offer huge discounts if you go for bigger data storage plans. For instance, a 100 GB plan comes to almost the same price as that of a 50 GB plan then it is better that you took the bigger plan. This was even if you expand your business quickly you will be in a better position and would not have to be worried about losing out on space. Also, the annual plans are better because they charge you lesser overall. Please consider all the points of your business before you can subscribe a plan. If you know you are never going to use more than 50 GB as you have a small business then please select the smaller plan.
Cloud storage for business has become a wise choice for businesses. Off-site storage without having to invest huge amounts is the most effective saving any business can have. External drives could be stolen or damaged but online storage spares you of the horror that they would be damaged. Cloud storage has become a boon for the businesses and most big companies have already moved their data to online storage. You can back up as much as you want for you know your data is safe and accessible from anywhere.