What can you do when disaster strikes? I don’t mean an earthquake or a famine; I’m talking about a lost or stolen laptop or one that’s crashed because you’ve spilled your [insert favourite drink here] all over it!
One of the best ways to protect yourself is to ensure that all your documents are held in cloud storage. Files that are held in the cloud can be accessed from any computer anywhere in the world. So, if your current hardware is no longer available or working, you can still get access to your files from another laptop or phone.
There are lots of different cloud storage solutions out there. I use three of them for business purposes because I work inside my client’s systems too:
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Google Drive
The cloud storage you choose will depend on your current systems – do you use Microsoft or Google for your business systems? The choice is yours … but I would suggest that you keep your systems consistent; so, if you use Google, keep your data in Google Drive and if you use Microsoft, keep your data in OneDrive.
So, how does cloud storage work? Well, it works by storing your data on remote servers, where it can be maintained, managed, backed up and accessed remotely. Data stored in the cloud is accessible by any device at any time, as long as permissions are in place. Despite its accessibility, data stored via the cloud is extremely safe and secure.
Here’s 10 reasons why you should be storing your data in the cloud
Usability and accessibility
Most cloud servers come with an easy-to-use interface with drag and drop features. As long as you have access to the internet you can upload a file to your drive from a laptop and it’s instantly available in your drive on your mobile. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, if you have internet access you have access to your files.
Instead of having hardware in your office (or home), cloud storage is housed in a data centre, providing you with enterprise-level security. There’s also no single point of failure in the cloud because your files are backed up to multiple servers. This means that if one server crashes, your files stay safe because they’re stored in other locations.
You can stop emailing huge attachments and send a weblink to recipients instead.
One of the great benefits of cloud storage is the ability for small business owners to create a fully functional mobile office. Cloud storage fits in perfectly with this because it allows you to access and sync your data from anywhere, allowing you to take your office with you on the road (or to the local café).
By using a cloud storage service, you outsource your storage requirements. This means no need to purchase expensive hardware to back up your data.
Every cloud storage service provides file-sharing features, which help you to share your files with other users. You can either send a link to a file or invite multiple users to access your data.
Multiple users can collaborate in the same file at the same time. No more pop ups telling you that the selected file is in use and asking you if you’d like a read only copy!
Cloud storage provides a sync feature. With synchronisation, you can sync your cloud storage data down to any device you want. This allows data to be available offline for when you don’t have internet access.
With cloud storage, you pay for what you use, as you use it. You can adjust your storage based on your current needs, modifying them as they change.
As a small business owner, you’re probably already aware of the importance of backing up your data. Cloud storage simplifies the process by allowing your data to update automatically as you work. It also creates copies of your data off-site where it will be safe from any local natural disaster, theft or spillage!
So the question now is ‘is your data protected?’ or would you lose everything if your hardware was lost or stolen?