Cloud services have quickly established themselves as critical resources for businesses in every industry. With each passing day, pressure mounts on organizations that lack cloud functionality to embrace this technology as a means of improving efficiency, effectiveness, security and productivity. Those firms that fail to do so will likely suffer a competitive disadvantage, one which can be difficult, or even impossible, to surmount as industry rivals reap the benefits of cloud solutions.
There are many ways by which businesses can and should utilize cloud services to improve operations. Among the most important and powerful of these is data storage. Here are three reasons why cloud-based data storage is far superior to on-premise options.
Perhaps the most obvious and significant advantage data storage in the cloud has over on-premise options is scalability. The cloud is, by its nature, a scalable offering, as businesses essentially "rent" the cloud servers they need for whatever services they are pursuing.
This means that businesses can increase their available space for cloud-based storage simply by purchasing more capacity from the cloud services provider.
With on-premise data storage, on the other hand, businesses need to purchase new servers and other data center hardware in order to accommodate growing data volumes. This is problematic for several reasons. First of all, the business must develop physical space for all of these items, and property is often one of the greatest costs businesses face. Additionally, these firms are responsible for maintaining these solutions, meaning that their IT costs will be far greater. When using the cloud, such maintenance is handled by the cloud vendor.
Lastly, a firm relying on on-premise data storage will need to make difficult choices when pursuing new hardware. Choosing a too-small option will result in the need to purchase additional storage in the near future, which is costly. However, investing in an unnecessarily large data storage unit can be an inefficient waste of valuable operating funds.
2. Disaster recovery
Improved disaster recovery is another key advantage inherent to cloud-based data storage. Disasters, both natural and man-made, are a reality that every business must prepare for. In addition to all other considerations, firms need to determine how they will protect their data assets if such a catastrophe were to occur.
The cloud is ideal in this regard. By storing data in the cloud, business owners and leaders can rest peacefully with the knowledge that even if their physical organizations are struck by a disaster, their data will remain safe and sound on distant, well-protected cloud servers within their vendor's off-site facilities. This information can subsequently be recovered once the business is up and running again.
If a firm relies on in-house data storage, a serious disaster may destroy all of its data assets, which can be a devastating event for businesses in any industry.
3. Data access
One last advantage inherent to cloud-based data storage is the improved access to this information. If data is stored in the cloud, authorized workers will be able to utilize these files, documents and other information types from anywhere at any time. This encourages greater productivity, and enables a more mobile, flexible workforce. This has the additional advantage of improving employee job satisfaction, which in turn leads to higher retention rates.
The same is not true of on-premise data storage. Information stored in this manner will be far less readily available to employees when they are out of the office. Firms consequently lose out on one of the most significant advantages offered by the cloud, and will suffer competitively as a result.