What is Cloud Storage and Why Do You Need It?

Updated: March 22nd, 2024 Author: Liv Appleton

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What Are The Advantages of Cloud Storage Over Traditional Storage Methods?

Cloud storage and cloud computing have changed the way we all interact with information and software on a daily basis. Businesses and individuals everywhere are opting to make the move to cloud-based storage, to take advantage of the myriad of benefits it presents. However, even though over 60% of global business data is now stored in the cloud, according to data from Thales Group, many businesses are still hesitant to move their data over to the cloud. 

While their worries and hesitation are somewhat understandable, the sheer scale of possibilities presented by cloud storage – plus the impressive security protocols that are in place to protect data today – make cloud storage an infinitely attractive choice for storing corporate data, regardless of business size and type. 

But what exactly is cloud storage for businesses? What are the advantages? And how can you find the best cloud storage for your business?

At Netcentrix, we’re experts in business technology and cloud storage. Over the years, we have helped many businesses make the most of new and emerging technologies, so they can not only keep their data secure, but also utilise it efficiently to meet shifting business demands. With this in mind, here are a few reasons why you should consider business cloud storage solutions.

What is Cloud Storage?

Cloud storage allows people and businesses to house their essential data off-site, rather than relying on traditional hard drives. The data is stored in a large server controlled by a chosen cloud storage provider, which is then easily accessible by the user, as and when it is needed via an internet connection. Think of it as a bank for your data – you’ll always have access to it via the internet (mobile banking) and you can view your balance (data) or make withdrawals (use cloud-based services) whenever you please.

With approximately 2.3 billion people in the world accessing cloud services every day, the impact cloud storage and cloud computing have had on everything from our work to our social lives is undeniable. From a business perspective, hosting data in the cloud instead of on PC hard drives makes a lot of sense, given the exceptional advantages it offers. On top of this, businesses can even host the software and applications they need to remain productive and profitable in the cloud.

Why Choose The Cloud For Your Business Data?

Versatility and Accessibility

The key reason countless businesses have opted to onboard cloud storage for their data, replacing outdated hard drives, is for the versatility it offers. It was once the case that all company data needed to be stored either on individual hard drives or a larger server – both of which were office-based. Effectively, this meant that you needed to visit the premises in person to collect any data that you needed if you were not intending to use said data on-site. This meant storing it on a portable floppy disk, hard drive, pen drive, solid-state drive or similar form of physical storage.

However, thanks to cloud storage, company data can easily be accessed by anyone within the organisation who needs to see it, and anyone who has the proper authorisation to see it. By simply logging into a company’s cloud storage service, employees and business leaders can have access to essential company data at all times, no matter where they are. This is especially useful for remote workers who need to have the same advantages and access to the same data as their office-based colleagues.

Because cloud services are accessed via the internet, instead of a physical connection, as long as an employee has a stable internet connection and the correct login details, they can view, download or manipulate said data, so they can continue with their important work from wherever they happen to be. Plus, with improvements being made in internet speeds and mobile data speeds all the time, even employees “on the go” can have access to company data via the cloud if the device they are using has access to a mobile data signal, such as 4G or 5G. In an ever-increasingly remote-working world, cloud storage for businesses is becoming less of an interesting upgrade and more of a necessity.

Cloud Storage Space vs Hard Drives

The storage capacity of cloud services greatly outweighs the capacity offered by conventional hard drives, as it is far easier and more convenient to expand, should the situation call for it. Given that more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are moved every single day in the modern digital age, according to data from Cloud Tweaks, the need for reliable and large-scale storage has never been more apparent.

Traditional hard drives are limited in flexibility with set memory capacities usually set at 500GB, 1TB and 2TB figures. Once this limit is reached, the user must purchase another hard drive should they wish to store more data, which can be a burden given hard drives of this or greater size are considerably expensive. On a large scale, a company could easily spend thousands on such hard drives, depending on how much data they needed to store. 

However, cloud storage works very differently. When taking out a contract with a cloud provider, a company will often be told in advance how much memory a certain payment amount would provide. Should said company reach this limit, all it would need to do is contact its cloud provider and increase the amount of available storage it has under its plan, effectively offering unlimited storage as long as further expansion is an option. It’s quick, easy and far more affordable than shelling out for physical hard drives often. Plus, because the data is stored off-site, there’s no need for bulky servers to take up space in a business office, with this burden being handled by the cloud provider.

Data Security 

With one in five businesses falling victim to a cyber attack, according to data from Aviva, the safety and security of sensitive business data – including financial data – has never been more important. Businesses that have not yet joined the cloud storage revolution often point to security fears as their main reason for not taking the leap. 

However, many of these fears can be laid to rest thanks to the stringent security protocols and solutions that can be implemented within cloud storage solutions. Besides, 95% of all cyber breaches come as a result of human error, not a security flaw on the part of cloud storage systems, according to data from Cybernews. Therefore, if businesses keep their data security processes up to date and invest in suitable security solutions and training for their staff, the chances of a cyber attack are kept to a minimum.  

Even if a business were to question the reliability of cloud storage security, they would be met with an impressive list of defences, such as end-to-end encryption (E2EE). Encryption is the process of scrambling data, so that it is only readable by those with the correct encryption key, rendering it completely useless to hackers. Even if they were able to breach a system and access it, it would be like trying to solve a riddle written in a language you don’t speak. End-to-end encryption creates a secure environment in which only participating users can access said data. In most cases, this includes just the authorised sender and receiver, ensuring data remains totally unreadable to anyone not authorised to see it. 

Plus, many businesses utilising a cloud storage service also benefit from intelligent firewalls that utilise machine learning and advanced artificial intelligence (AI). These detect suspicious network activity and neutralise it before it has even had a chance to attempt a breach, solving the issue before it arises. In short, businesses that place their data in the hands of trusted and reliable cloud storage vendors will benefit from robust security measures designed to protect their data at all costs.

Cost Savings

Businesses onboarding cloud storage will likely have to pay a monthly or annual charge to utilise the service. But these costs are nothing in comparison to many businesses that still rely on on-site storage and legacy technology. Medium to large businesses that host their data in an on-site data centre (a storage facility for large numbers of hard drives and servers) can often run into technical difficulties with such technology. If these difficulties cannot be solved by in-house IT staff, they will likely need to reach out for the services of an external company or engineer.

However, because faults such as these are common, and cloud storage is quickly overtaking on-site storage as the prime storage method, experts such as these are becoming scarcer by the day. As a result, businesses could need to wait days or possibly even weeks for an engineer to visit their site to solve the problem. This could cost a business thousands if it results in elongated downtime, which in turn could lead to lost customers and profits.

Add to this the fact that call-out charges for such engineers are often extortionate and businesses are doing themselves no favours by standing by legacy technology. Spending money maintaining out-dated, limited solutions is like spending thousands on repairs trying to keep an old, broken-down car working. Sure, you benefit from the familiarity of using a car that you are used to driving, but it’s no longer fit for purpose and expensive to maintain. In comparison, while investing in a newer car may cost more in the short term, it’s a far more logical and, in the long run, affordable solution. It’s the same with cloud solutions. You can continue to maintain an outdated storage solution that no longer fits your needs, for the sake of familiarity, but it will cost you in both time and money in comparison with switching to a bespoke cloud storage solution.

With cloud storage and cloud computing solutions, businesses needn’t worry about technical issues, as all data – including software – is housed off-site, any technical issues are the responsibility of the provider to solve. In fact, most technical issues related to cloud computing and storage are easily solvable remotely by cloud providers and can be done in a matter of minutes, not days, helping businesses stay on track and remain profitable and productive.

Disaster Recovery

Data loss can have a severe impact on the trajectory of a growing business. According to data featured in Truelist, 94% of businesses that suffer “catastrophic” data loss never recover and ultimately close their doors. Add to this the worrying statistic that 96% of workstations are not fully backed up, the implications of large-scale data loss for a business are truly horrifying.

Luckily, businesses that choose cloud storage solutions to house their data need not worry about such things. As the data is stored off-site, with a cloud backup being made as a precaution against such events, business managers can rest easy knowing that their precious information is in good hands and can’t be destroyed due to a severe technical error.

Choose Netcentrix to Make the Most of Cloud Storage Services Today

If your business is ready to make the most of a cloud storage platform, speak to Netcentrix today. As experts in business technology and cloud storage, we are your number one choice to help you implement the latest cloud storage solutions within your business operations. As an official Microsoft Partner, we are trusted by the world’s leading name in computing technology to offer their products and services to businesses seeking to maximise their digital efforts. We can provide industry-leading cloud services such as Microsoft 365, Azure Services and more. 

In addition, we can also assist in the creation of a hybrid cloud setup through the combination of private and public cloud environments, offering you the best of both worlds. With decades of combined experience, we can look at your business and your needs and offer the best business cloud storage to suit you.

To find out more about cloud storage the services we provide, speak to a Netcentrix expert today.

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