Businesses that are still relying on old-school methods such as on-site servers for file storage and an on-premises legacy phone system for communications are taking a risk. Without the flexibility and efficiency of the Cloud, you’ll be choking on the dust of your competitors – if you aren’t already.
The Cloud simply offers too many advantages to small businesses and large enterprises alike not to use it. But, the reality is that making the digital leap to cloud solutions can get a little messy. There are so many different ways to approach the Cloud, from simple moves like adopting a cloud sharing service to taking a hybrid approach to the Cloud or using a fully integrated solution.
Do you need the Cloud for better file security? Are you looking for a backup solution to help with your business’s disaster recovery plan? Maybe you want to transition to a modern phone system? Or, perhaps you want it all – team collaboration, video meetings, file backup and storage, and more – with your entire workflow accessible from anywhere.
Let’s take a look at three of the fundamental functions of the Cloud – cloud backup, cloud storage, and cloud syncing – so you can understand what is right for your business.
How the Cloud Works
When your business uses the Cloud, you’re still using servers and computing power – but it’s located somewhere else. There are cloud data centers all over the world, with the majority either in the Asia-Pacific region or North America. These data centers are run, monitored, and protected by a cloud services provider.
With cloud solutions for your business, you can access software and digital services through the internet from anywhere. You don’t need to maintain on-site hardware because your data and software can live in the Cloud. This has obvious cost-saving benefits.
Even more profound, you can communicate and work with your team, no matter where you are located. As long as you have an internet connection, it’s game on for your business.
How much you want to rely on cloud solutions depends on which services your business can benefit from.
Why Use Cloud Backup?
Companies use cloud backup to ensure they can keep their business up and running in case something happens to their data. System crashes, natural disasters, cyber attacks, even data loss from employee mistakes – some type of hiccup at some point is inevitable.
And, it could cost your business a lot. Organizations lose, on average, $100,000 per hour of downtime. With a cloud backup application, your data is accessible virtually immediately, allowing you to continue operating without damaging your reputation or your bottom line.
Instead of storing all your files on an external hard drive, flash drive, or another storage device, they are safely stored in the Cloud, off-site. The best part is that with most backup services, you don’t have to worry if your files are being backed up regularly. Your provider does it for you, leaving your business one less thing to worry about. When you need to restore your data, everything is right there, ready to go, and you can automatically upload everything.
Why Use Cloud Storage?
Cloud storage and cloud backup are often confused, and they do overlap. A provider that offers cloud backup or syncing services will store your data on their servers. Cloud storage is basically the foundation of whatever cloud applications you use.
The difference between cloud storage and cloud backup in a business context is that with cloud storage alone, you’ll have to manually select what files you need from the cloud in the event of data loss. Depending on how much data you have, this could be time-consuming, leaving you with more downtime than your business can afford.
Also, you won’t have any guarantee your files will be there when you need them. Cloud storage doesn’t include monitoring and reporting. And, if one of your storage provider’s servers goes down, your data could be gone with the wind.
Your business can use cloud storage to store and access documents online. This makes team collaboration much easier and it allows you to work in different locations. But, don’t mistake cloud storage for data security. You need cloud backup to ensure your files will be available when the unexpected occurs.
Why Use Cloud Syncing?
Cloud syncing takes your business’s cloud lifestyle one step further. This solution will automatically sync or copy files from a device – such as from the work you’re doing on your laptop – to a cloud file. Cloud syncing offers a couple of key benefits that make it a huge plus to mobile teams.
- Files can be updated and shared in real-time with co-workers or other stakeholders, making collaboration seamless.
- Your files can be accessed from a variety of devices or systems, such as your mobile phone or a web browser.
- If your copy is accidentally deleted or corrupted, your cloud synching provider may be able to retrieve the cloud-based version for you. Keep in mind, this depends on if the application includes backup capabilities.
Most businesses will want to use a hybrid model that includes all three of these cloud solutions. To get more out of the cloud for business without complicating your workflow, look for integrated solutions. You’ll have an easier time managing the cloud, keeping your business secure, and reaping the rewards that cloud technology delivers.
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