Keeping documents, photos and information ‘in the cloud’ is increasingly becoming the norm, and cloud storage provides small businesses with an extremely useful solution to keeping large digital files archived and saved in an easy to access location.
Most cloud storage is really simply to use, allowing businesses and all their employees to access important work whilst on the go, anywhere in the world. And it’s cost effective too; traditional server storage space can be expensive but with cloud storage you only pay for what you require.
Files and Tools You Can Keep In Cloud
There’s now a plethora of cloud storage providers, and many have their own unique offerings of what can be stored in the cloud. Here’s just a few things that can stored effectively online:
- Emails, photos and documents – These are the standard things which most users, business and personal, will keep in the cloud. Almost all email providers, including Office 365, keep emails in the cloud, so you can access them whenever you need.Photos are often saved automatically to the cloud, and documents can be easily uploaded for sharing with colleagues or access out of the office. As with anything though, be wary about what these documents and photos contain, as some things should not be kept in the cloud.
- Organisation and planning software – If your business manages a lot of different internal projects, cloud based operational software like Basecamp or Trello can help employers keep track of to-do lists, completed tasks and deadlines.Plus with software like Mindmeister in the cloud, your team can brainstorm and mind map new projects and generate creative ideas with contributions from every employee, even if they are not currently in the office.
- Applications and programs – Sharing programs and applications you have purchased for your organisation used to be a difficult and time consuming task, but cloud storage has made that a lot easier now.The Dropbox API allows a host of applications to utilise its cloud storage and share a wide variety of processes, whilst Microsoft Azure is an invaluable tool for many larger businesses, with its provision of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) for deploying applications to users and sign on access to hundreds of online SaaS (Software as a Service) application websites.
- Passwords – As we’re regularly asked to create longer, more complicated passwords for security online, storing them in the cloud can be an extremely useful solution to avoid forgetting them all.
Options like 1Password and iCloud Keychain create uniquely generated passwords, made up of a complex mix of random letters and digits, which are saved and encrypted so you only need one master password to access everything.
Keep These Out Of The Cloud
There are also a number of common things which should not be stored in any type of cloud if you want to follow best internet practice and protect your business:
- Passwords in a document – Countering the last point, you should never keep all your passwords together in a single document in the cloud. It might seem like a good idea to have them in one place, but they’re easily susceptible to being hacked.Instead, use those solutions mentioned above to keep a variety of passwords safely and securely.
- Sensitive information – Any personally identifiable information, such as date of births, employees numbers, personnel files and credit card data should not be kept in the cloud, where they can be easy pickings for hackers.Protect your employees and customers by using secure back up storage solutions, and a strong encryption protocol. Always change your passwords regularly, and use a two-step verification process for new devices too, which will help to prevent hackers from making educated guesses as to your login details.
- Critical operational documents – Anything that impacts the day to day running of your business should not be kept in the cloud. Those files are stored on the servers of the service provide, so you don’t have direct access to them.If the cloud you’re using experiences technical difficulties, you might not have immediate to access to something you urgently require. In these instances, it can be useful to have local servers with all the information you need on them alongside a secure backup system.
Choosing Cloud Storage
When you’re looking for an effective provider of cloud storage for your company, there are a number of options you should consider.
Make sure the provider can offer high performance and accessibility when you need it, check out their security and encryption protocols, and whether they can provide a backup recovery and restore solution. It’s worth paying attention to those service level agreements.
Ultimately, it’s about what your company requires from the cloud and what suits your business needs. Just get in touch with us here at Paralogic, and we’ll be more than happy to advise you on your requirements and the best solutions.
Call us today on 01844 293330, or simply fill in the form on the right and we’ll get back to you!
Image thanks to iosphere from freedigitalphotos.net