While you may have recently read ORAM Corporate Advisors blog on Cloud Migration for Servers, you may not have realized that the cloud is also a terrific option for file storage as well. There are many advantages of using a third-party provider for file sharing and storage services including better security, ease of collaboration, improved productivity, and cost savings. Here’s a look at what it takes to store your files on the cloud and why it might be the best option for your business.
Know the Cloud
When referring to “the cloud,” internet professionals are talking about servers that are accessed over the internet. Rather than a business purchasing servers of its own on which to store company data and the constant cost of maintaining those servers, it can hire a cloud service to provide that needed infrastructure. The cost of running and managing software applications and security to protect files also falls on the cloud service provider, making life simpler and more affordable for businesses.
How Migration Works
Imagine moving all of your filing cabinets full of files to Fort Knox where they can be securely stored while maintaining access to those files whenever you wish from any location. This is what it’s like to store your files in the cloud. Now imagine that the folks at Fort Knox check on your files occasionally, keep copies of them, and maintain the organization of your files in addition to providing security so unauthorized people can’t access your information. This is what it’s like to migrate your data files to the cloud.
When it comes to cloud storage for files, the managed service provider (MSP) is responsible for handling security for your data. You no longer have to worry about updating your security software and backup as those services are typically included in the services offered by your cloud storage provider. Cloud storage for your files also allows for a more secure transfer of data between employees. This means you don’t have to worry about being hacked while your business still achieves security compliance with industry and government standards.
One such secure cloud software program for file storage and sharing that ORAM recommends is SharePoint by Microsoft, which includes OneDrive. You can share and manage content, knowledge, and applications while empowering your team to work together with ease. Information is easy to find with SharePoint and it has tremendous mobile applications which is in especially high-demand at in this time with the dramatic increase in the remote workforce. KnowledgWave put together a blog outlining the benefits of SharePoint as did Buchanan Technologies in its blog Top 10 Benefits of Using Microsoft SharePoint.
The process of recovery in also made simpler in the case of a cyber event. When storing files in the cloud, the third-party service provides part of the process of storage. They typically have a copy of your data with up to 30 days’ worth of information that can be recovered easily in the event of a breach. Some cloud file storage services offer ongoing data backup services (such as OneDrive). This allows you to backup other data on your computer as well.
You can read more about MSPs with business-grade file sync and share solutions in a recent whitepaper by axcient.com.
Ease of Collaboration and Better Productivity
The cloud communicates directly with your computer and the computers of all of your employees regardless of where they are working. This makes access to shared files seamless and readily available for those working in the office or remotely. Collaboration is made simple when every team member can access the same files from where ever they may be on whatever device they may be using without having to worry about security.
When it comes to the cloud, there is better workflow. When people can easily access shared files from anywhere, they can keep working on a file even if someone else is accessing it. One person doesn’t have to stop using a file so another person can use it. This can be a great time-saving measure in the long run and keeps the workflow smooth for everyone. Ultimately, this leads to increased productivity for the entire team.
Cloudally.com has a great list of features you should look for when selecting a cloud storage provider. Options to decide on include the amount of storage, sharing, and secure collaboration you’re going to need.
The Cloud for All Companies
Many businesses often don’t have the internal infrastructure to operate in the cloud. They need access to direct communications between employees and their files and folders. This is true now more than ever the increase in remote employees.
Some companies in this situation might prefer a cloud storage partner who can simply transfer files back and forth between employees. If this is the case for your business, for a nominal fee, you have the option to sign up for a service that would effectively communicate files. You could make a shared file and all employees would have access and be able to see the changes made by others as they collaborate.
Cloud Storage and Shareable Solutions
Some of the more common cloud storage and collaboration platforms for files with the ability to share include:
When to Choose a VPN
If you like the idea of maintaining your own servers, security, and backup, a virtual private network (VPN) is the best file storage option outside of the cloud. A VPN enables a remote team member to securely access protected files by connecting to the internet and then using software to initiate a VPN connection with your business’s server where files are stored. The server then establishes a secure connection and permits your employees to remote access the internal network.
Choosing a VPN may be a better option for those businesses that need access to their corporate servers in another city when they opt not to store their files in the cloud. For example, if you’ve got an employee working from home in Denver that needs access to your company’s server files in Boston, a VPN might be a good option for your situation.
Cost Savings of the Cloud
Over the long-term, migrating your data to the cloud can ultimately save your business money due to the reduction in IT costs. Your business can eliminate the cost of storage by kicking out its servers and there will no longer be the ongoing cost of server maintenance. This can be an ideal cost-saving solution for businesses that typically have a smaller IT budget. Additionally, cloud servers and data files are maintained by your cloud service provider. Finally, they also bear the burden of keeping security and backup software in place so your business no longer has to do so.
If you would like to learn more about migrating your business data to the cloud and saving money, contact ORAM Corporate Advisors online or call (617) 933-5060 now.