Cloud Storage for Business: How to Choose the Right One
Choosing the right cloud storage for business option can be a complicated process, so here’s our guide to making the right decisions for you.
Bill Holler photo

Bill Holler

CEO at Cert-Trace®

Making the decision that cloud storage is the way forward for your business is the first step toward more efficient and secure storage solutions for critical documentation. But the next step is just as important – selecting the right cloud storage for business. 

Getting this decision wrong could leave you taking a step back instead of two steps forward, leaving you with a solution to all the wrong problems, which is why you need to choose cloud storage that is a good match for your requirements.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about different types of cloud storage to help you find the right type, whether for a small business, a medium business or enterprises.

How does cloud storage for business work?

Cloud storage for business means having a cloud-based solution for your document digitization, document archiving and document sharing needs. Instead of storing mountains of data in paper form in a warehouse or as digital files in an overheated server room, they are kept in the cloud where they can easily be accessed by colleagues wherever they are, but also stay safe and secure.

With a blockchain-based cloud system, your data is broken up into chunks as part of the encryption process and is stored across a network so that there is no way to hack into it and retrieve complete documents. This structure also ensures complete transparency and immutability for archived files.

Types of cloud storage

So when you are looking to choose cloud storage technologies for your business, what are your options going to be? Firstly you need to choose from private, public and hybrid cloud solutions. A private cloud would be one that is run entirely in-house, using a physical server and offering you control but also responsibility for your data.

A public cloud is the type more commonly seen, with tech giants like Amazon, Google and Microsoft offering cloud storage options where you share cloud space with other businesses but can benefit from much more accessibility and easier scalability. As the name suggests, a hybrid solution attempts to offer the best of both worlds.

Digging deeper into the types of cloud storage, there are also the following types: 

1. File storage

This is the simplest and most traditional form of storage in the cloud, with a file-based structure similar to the way you would store physical documents or digital files on a physical server. It can be used to store, edit and share files, structuring the data hierarchically. 

2. Object storage

An alternative to file storage is object storage, where data is stored without a defined structure in containers or buckets and is most commonly used with media files for example. The advantage of this kind of cloud storage is that you can enjoy greater flexibility and it’s easier to scale up as well as granting access permissions. 

3. Block storage

Storing data in equal-sized modular blocks comes with significant advantages in terms of speed of access, ease of storage and retrieval, security and privacy. 

Must-have cloud storage features

So, what should you be looking for in your data cloud storage solution?

Here are some cloud storage requirements you need to have in place: 

1. Security

Any technology you’re going to use to store your critical documents needs to be secure. Opting for a blockchain-powered cloud solution gives you the best levels of protection to know that your files are safe.

2. Accessibility

That security still needs to be balanced against the need to actually be able to access those files and documents. One of the key cloud storage requirements has to be that trusted people around the world can access what they need to access with a minimum of fuss and time.

3. Scalability and resilience

As your storage needs grow, you need your storage solution to grow with them. You also need them to be resilient so that events like natural disasters, server failures, etc aren’t enough to cause you to suffer data loss. 

Must-have cloud storage features diagram

Common cloud storage challenges and benefits

Of course, while different cloud storage solutions will offer different features, they will also have common benefits and challenges. Some of the challenges can include the potential for downtime, limitations with bandwidth and issues when it comes to moving data from one provider to another.

However the benefits massively outweigh any potential challenges. Cloud storage for business offers easy file sharing, synchronization, scalability, security, data compliance and much more, all for a cost-effective price. Especially if you choose wisely.

How to choose the right cloud storage for business?

So, when you choose cloud storage provider, what steps should you take? Here are some suggestions:

1. Understand your needs

Before you can find the right cloud storage solution, you need to know exactly what it is that you need. How much space do you need now, how much might you need in 5 or 10 years’ time? What levels of security are required? Who needs to be able to access which files? Without information like this, you risk making the wrong choice.

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2. Consider integration

Cloud storage isn’t some software that will sit on its own holding your documents in a safe place. It needs to integrate with potentially multiple systems that you already have in place. And it may need to integrate with others in the future, so you need to make sure that it will sit well within your technology stack and will support any required applications.

3. Check the small print

Moving all of your essential documentation to someone else’s cloud servers is a big step, so you need to know that you will be able to quickly and easily move them somewhere else if you decide to change provider. Checking through the small print of any contracts is essential to avoid nasty surprises further down the line.

4. Look at your budget

Cloud storage solutions can vary in price structures so you need to be careful to balance the desire to save money against what features are in place. You should also consider scalability because a solution that allows you to grow in size but only for a substantial increase in costs is something you need to be aware of before you make any commitments, no matter how affordable it might seem at first.

5. How safe are your files?

Most critically, you need to know that your documents are safe. Cloud storage comes with plenty of benefits but these are only worthwhile if you know that the files you’re storing there are for your eyes only. This also includes having systems in place for backup and recovery of files.

Now you know what you need to be looking for, why not get in touch with any questions to and start choosing the right cloud storage solution for you?

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