The Great Cloud Debate: What System Is Right for Your Business?

What kind of cloud storage does your business use? If yours is like many other companies, you likely use a combination of different platforms depending on the task. That’s because hybrid or multi-cloud approaches offer a convenient and cost-efficient option for day-to-day operations, securing sensitive information as needed while keeping other documents and data immediately at hand. Essentially, a hybrid cloud strategy offers the best of both worlds and sidesteps the risks associated with single-vendor reliance, but for some businesses, such a blended approach isn’t an option.

The Great Cloud Debate: What System Is Right For Your Business?

If your business deals with sensitive data — and most businesses do hold at least some sensitive information — you’ll need a more secure approach to data management, one that goes above and beyond a private cloud. As you navigate the possible platforms available, you’ll want to consider these 3 major concerns that impact data storage and security. Though there is no one-size-fits-all option, you can certainly find one that fits your business’s needs.

Complete Control

For some organizations, the most important factor involved in choosing a data storage system is control. These are usually older businesses that are used to owning and operating their own servers and are somewhat uncomfortable with the pressure to migrate to the cloud. These businesses may even try to sidestep such migration by pushing for impractical solutions like high-volume flash drives and external hard drives.

What control-oriented organizations need to recognize is that complete control is an unrealistic aim and is not actually consistent with optimal security. Even if these organizations continued to own and manage their own servers, this approach’s most likely outcome would be data compromise. Cloud organizations have the necessary expertise to secure information in a way you don’t, even with expert consultation and support at your disposal.

Industry Expectations

Another key priority among businesses seeking to refine their cloud storage and security strategies has to do with specific industry expectations around security. For many organizations, this is the deciding factor because those norms and requirements may have legal ramifications. For instance, healthcare organizations that need to meet HIPAA requirements have to choose a company that provides cloud security functions that meet those standards; the same idea is true of businesses held to Europe’s GDPR framework.

Cloud service providers are generally clear with end-users regarding the security standards they comply with. For example, Box’s cloud content management platform provides seamless integrations with your security stack (and all your applications), plus ongoing compliance updates. Such a platform is a low-stress, high-quality solution that stands at the opposite end of the spectrum from on-premises servers, in which the customer bears all security responsibility.

Cost Considerations

Budgetary concerns are, of course, a key issue for businesses seeking a new cloud security solution and, once again, a reason that many companies are hesitant to choose cloud providers. They prefer spending money to own their servers and systems. However, when it comes to cost-effectiveness, most cloud storage providers offer services that far exceed the expense involved. So, although businesses do need to take price into account when choosing a cloud storage provider, they should not underestimate the value these providers supply, along with basic storage.

Cloud storage companies sell themselves based on a variety of different traits, ranging from encryption services to ease of use, cost, or industry specialization, but your business needs to evaluate those services in light of your individual needs. The reason there are so many providers is that end-user priorities and requirements vary.

Without careful evaluation of your specific operational needs and preferences, you may find yourself with an excellent system that’s still a poor fit for your company. Take your time and choose wisely. Ultimately, the cloud storage system you choose will dictate your day-to-day operations. So, what does your business need?

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About the Author

Jenna Cyprus
Jenna is a freelance writer and business consultant who covers business, technology, and entrepreneurship. She's lectured for several universities, and worked with over 100 businesses over the course of the last 15 years. She's a mother of two kids, and loves to go camping, hiking, and skiing with her family.