Cloud storage has become absolutely essential in almost every industry. The benefits of cloud storage can’t be overstated—banks use it to keep private customer information more secure, while manufacturers use it to track orders around the country. Almost every aspect of your business can be improved with a reliable cloud storage system.
There are five major benefits of cloud storage:
- Reduced operational costs
- Better data security
- More convenient data access
- Improved data analysis accuracy
- Greater scalability
By looking at these benefits in more detail, you can decide whether you should make the transition to cloud storage this year.
1) The Cost Benefits of Cloud Storage
Transitioning from physical data storage systems, like tape, to cloud storage can save you money over time. There are a few reasons for this:
- Cloud storage requires less maintenance. You have to keep magnetic tape reels in a dust-free environment. This requires frequent cleaning and maintenance. You also have to hire staff to organize and retrieve data from storage. Storing your data in the cloud eliminates these additional costs.
- You’ll use fewer resources. Maintaining a physical data storage warehouse means leasing or buying space in a building, which increases costs. You have to supply power to the space to keep it at the ideal temperature, and ensure that it is well-lit. Cloud storage doesn’t require any of these physical resources.
- You won’t lose data to natural disasters or poor organization. Physical data storage is risky because you can lose your data to fire, floods and earthquakes. Even small environmental problems, such as too much humidity in the warehouse, can destroy your records. It’s also easy to lose tape reels if they’re not put back in the right spot. When disaster strikes, you’ll lose money due to downtime, and may have to pay more to have your data salvaged or restored. None of these environmental factors affect data that’s stored in the cloud.
Some business owners hesitate to make the transition to cloud storage because they believe it costs too much to move their data over to the cloud. This is a myth. While it’s true that you will need to hire an experienced cloud data storage firm to help you make the initial transition, this is a one-time cost that will save you money in the long run. Moreover, it usually costs much less to hire an IT firm to maintain your data in the cloud than it does to maintain your own physical data storage office or warehouse.
2) The Security Benefits of Cloud Storage
Today’s cloud storage options are more secure than ever. In fact, storing your data in the cloud is often even more secure than maintaining physical copies of the data on magnetic tape. Here’s why:
- You have control over who can access the data. Individual logins and security keys allow authorized users to access the data they need without giving them access to data they shouldn’t see. You can offer or revoke access at any time. This also prevents data leaks and helps you meet your industry’s compliance standards.
- Cloud storage automatically creates backups. Most cloud storage systems include backup and disaster recovery plans. One of the greatest benefits of cloud storage is that it takes almost no effort to make copies of important files and keep them in a secure remote location. In an emergency, authorized personnel can request access to the backup files and start the data recovery process immediately.
- Server redundancy prevents total system failure. If a server goes down, it doesn’t mean you lose access to your data. The best cloud storage systems use multiple servers as a failsafe. This is especially important for the manufacturing industry because you need access to time-sensitive information such as equipment maintenance reports and data collected from the field.
Because of these security benefits, the banking, insurance and healthcare industries are all starting to make the transition to cloud storage. These industries must keep their data secure at all times in order to protect their customers’ privacy and meet strict compliance standards. With modern security advances in cloud storage technology, these industries can better protect this sensitive data.
3) The Convenience of Cloud Storage
One of the main benefits of cloud storage is how easy it is to use. Even if you have very little experience with internet technology, today’s cloud platforms are so simple that anyone can learn how to use them. With just the touch of a button, you can:
- Upload data to the cloud;
- Access data from any device and from any location;
- Share data and collaborate with others directly in the cloud through a secure connection;
- Automatically backup important data—you can choose when this happens and even select which types of data you want to backup;
- Ensure that everyone has access to the same data at all times;
- Generate reports and visualizations; and
- Search for the data you need without having to sort through tape reels, hard drives, or flash drives.
This level of convenience is especially beneficial if you have a large staff or your employees aren’t very tech-savvy. You won’t have to spend time training your employees on how to use the cloud storage system because modern systems are designed to be intuitive. When your employees login, they can see every option from the homescreen and find exactly what they need.
4) The Analytic Benefits of Cloud Storage
Another benefit of cloud storage is that it makes your data more actionable. For example, if you need to compare sales data from March 2018 to sales from March 2019, you don’t have to dig through the archives to find this information. You can compare these figures within minutes in the cloud. All of the data has already been uploaded, making it easy to crunch numbers on the fly.
You can also store more data in the cloud than you can in a physical storage space. In a building or office, you’re limited by the room’s dimensions. You can only store so many hard drives in a cabinet or so many tape reels in a warehouse. In the cloud, there’s practically no limit to the amount of data that you can store. All firms charge more for storing data beyond a certain amount, but this is usually very affordable. You can store massive amounts of data before you hit this limit.
This means that you can perform more thorough data analysis, as you can work from a larger pool of data. The more data you have, the more accurate your predictive analysis and business analysis reports will be.
5) The Scalability of Cloud Storage
Scalability is a frequently-overlooked benefit of cloud storage. It’s difficult to know exactly what your data storage needs will be in five or ten years. By transitioning to cloud storage now, you can account for future changes at your company without having to make significant renovations to your infrastructure.
For example, if your company merges with another and you suddenly need to store twice as much data, cloud storage makes it simple. You can hire a cloud storage and computing firm to upload the other company’s data into your system. Since your data is already stored in the cloud, it may only take a few weeks to integrate the two sets and create a new platform to access the combined data. This process would be much more complicated if you had to store physical data—you’d need to find a new, larger storage warehouse, transport the data, and reorganize it.
Cloud storage also makes it easy to scale down. If sales slow or you want to refocus your business strategy, you can pick a smaller data storage plan with fewer analytics options. The plan is tailored to fit your needs as they change.
How to Make the Transition to the Cloud
If you want to experience the many benefits of cloud storage, then you’ll need to hire a firm that has experience helping organizations make the transition. The best firms will create a custom plan based on your cloud storage needs. These services include uploading physical data to the cloud for the first time, designing systems for uploading future data directly to the cloud, and providing a platform to access this data. Additionally, trustworthy firms will offer maintenance and IT troubleshooting services that you can use whenever you have questions or need assistance. With a team of experts helping you every step of the way, you can successfully make the transition to cloud storage.
If you’re ready to make the transition to cloud storage, contact Tek Leaders today. Our team of experts can help you identify the best way to store your data in the cloud, even more importantly, make this data actionable. If you have more questions about the benefits of cloud storage, you can reach us by email directly.