As your company scales up, the amount of data you gather also becomes more extensive. But your physical devices can't afford colossal data volumes due to their limited storage. Meanwhile, investing in physical data centers seems costly for your business.
That's where cloud storage solutions come in. Cloud storage is a cost-saving and effective solution to process and store enormous data amounts.
According to Fortune Business Insights, data privacy is among the biggest concerns for cloud storage users.
The good news is cloud storage now offers advanced measures like end-to-end- 256-bit AES encryption to handle this pain point.
Is privacy the only factor in choosing the best cloud storage? The answer is, of course, no. But it is one of the most important… There are still other vital elements you’ll need to consider when looking for the right cloud storage solution for your company.
So, here’s how to choose the best cloud storage for your business:
1. Audit Your Current Data Storage System
An audit gives you an overview of your current needs for cloud data storage and security. These needs may include backup and restore plans, maintenance schedules, and more.
Below are questions you can ask yourself to assess your current system better:
- What do you use for data storage? Internal data centers, private or public cloud services?
- What does your company use the current system for (backup or file sharing)?
- What types of data are you storing?
- What resources do you have for privacy protocols and data security?
- Is there any disaster recovery framework?
- How many people need access to the data storage?
Answering these questions will help you identify the unique needs a prospective cloud storage provider must address. Therefore, the answers will help you choose the right provider and cloud storage plan that can work for your business needs.
2. Seek Value
The market is filled with cloud storage providers coming in at different price points. This is a good and bad thing. The upside is you’ll have lots of options to choose from. The downside is you’ll find most of them offer substandard solutions.
You must therefore be very picky. You’ll need to analyze the finer details to identify which provider offers the best value. That means you shouldn’t just look at the price tags. Remember that the cheapest cloud storage doesn’t mean the most cost-effective option, especially in the long term.
Picture this scenario, your online store attracts more customers and must process more client data in the future. But what if the storage fails to handle the data fast enough to meet client needs?
A one-second data processing delay can disappoint your customers and significantly affect your sales. Worse, you must spend more than expected to solve problems triggered by dysfunctional cloud storage.
Therefore, you need to have a competent team, a great website, the fastest web hosting, and enthusiastic customers. However, a poor cloud storage solution may negate all that, affecting your team’s productivity, customer experience, and overall brand reputation.
So, instead of choosing the cheapest option, you should ponder a solution that is value for money. Additionally, the solution should offer scalability, meaning it should be able to serve the changing needs of your business as you grow.
Consider the following when looking at cloud storage options:
- Money-back guarantee
- Discounts when you make a long-term payment to a cloud storage service
- Billing models such as invoicing software (monthly plans or annual plans)
- Access your files from unlimited devices and operating systems (Windows, Mac, or mobile devices)
- Automatic backups
- Storage space plans
- Uploaded file size limit
- The limited number of users per month for each account
- Two-factor authentication
- Scaling or cancelation of services
If you haven't decided on the right cloud storage, you can try free versions first. Thus, you can use 7-day, 14-day, or 30-day free trials before starting your full subscription. In addition, the best cloud storage solutions offer a lifetime plan of hosting files for free. You can also check a byte converter tool to check the amount of storage you have left.
Need an example of a stellar cloud storage provider? Internxt is safe and secure and offers a free forever plan with up 10GB of cloud storage. Their paid plans are also covered with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
3. Prioritize 24/7 Customer Support
Some technical issues like error syncing data when using cloud storage should (unfortunately) be expected. But in case they occur, what will you do? Writing an email to a service provider and waiting hours for a reply? Not a good idea because most of your business activities might be at a complete standstill.
You need a cloud storage provider that has an exceptional 24/7 support team. Their staff should be available to provide prompt solutions for your technical errors.
You’ll need to do your due diligence because most companies indicate 24/7 customer support as one of their offerings, but not all will make good on this. So before settling on the cloud storage option, ask your prospective cloud storage provider upfront about the type and level of support you will receive from the team.
It's also wise to read reviews to see what current or previous customers say about customer support. These reviews show how fast the service supplier tackles issues and complaints. You can access review websites like GetApp or TrustRadius, to read how users rate different cloud storage tools.
One pro tip for choosing the best cloud storage is reviewing the terms and conditions of customer support. You need to be sure that your provider will always back you up and do the right thing. A provider should also clarify how they'll support your company through legally enforceable contracts like Cloud service level agreements.
4. Advanced Cloud Synchronization
Cloud file syncing is a tool that keeps your files updated to the latest versions on any device.
The syncing function is widely applied in any cloud storage, especially emails. Following a simple business email guide, you can easily create a new email on one device and adjust it on another without data loss.
Cloud storage tools also speed up file syncing between devices. Instead of opening a website and uploading your files, you can download the desktop and mobile apps of those tools. All you need to do next is copy files into apps. Based on your setup, these tools can allow only you or other users to access files from unlimited devices. Internxt Drive helps sync files from a laptop to a website.
Cloud storage services may also provide advanced cloud-syncing features like file versioning, access control, and more. Some even come with management features that ease your control over file access. Thus, you can set up multi-factor authentication or roles-based access control, which will help you better secure your company data at rest and in transit.
So before choosing a provider, you need to come to grips with which advanced features it offers that improve the speed and security of file syncing.
5. Location of Data Centers
Cloud storage providers host their clients' data in data centers. They protect data centers 24/7 with access control systems, DVR security cameras, and more. These security methods make sure no physical attacks can damage client data.
For companies, the physical location of data centers is essential for two main reasons:
First, this factor can affect connectivity due to the quality or distance of networks connecting data centers with users. In other words, poor connection can increase latency, leading to a poor user experience.
It’s essential to choose a cloud storage solution whose servers lie closest to your intended users to ensure optimal data transfer speeds. For example, if most of your website visitors are from the US, you should choose servers in North America.
Second, a server location matters due to the applicable data privacy laws of the host country. Choose a cloud storage solution whose server location aligns with your demands for data privacy compliance.
Why Choosing the Right Cloud Storage for Business Matters
Cloud storage is an ideal solution for storing massive data amounts when your company grows. But you should be alert to choose the best cloud storage for your business.
There are many crucial factors to consider before you make cloud storage deals. You must review what your needs are, and your cloud storage provider should be able to meet all of your current and future needs.
Secure cloud storage must offer basic and advanced features to facilitate file syncing and access management. Also, you should consider the server's physical location for the two reasons discussed above.
But you shouldn't only focus on these factors. You should also consider your goals, industry standards, and the cloud provider's privacy policies to choose the perfect cloud storage for your business.
Author bio: Matt Diggity is a search engine optimization expert and the founder and CEO of Diggity Marketing, The Search Initiative, Authority Builders, and LeadSpring LLC. He is also the host of the Chiang Mai SEO Conference.