The Cloud is essentially a metaphor for the Internet. Anything put online is can get saved to the Cloud for later viewing. This storage method particularly comes in handy for businesses that need to keep track of important data and mission critical systems. The Cloud allows information to get backed up nearly instantly, which is a major benefit.

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage refers to all documents, files, photos, and information stored online. Much of this data gets placed in a shared pool where everyone with an account through the cloud service provider can access it. Private information that companies should never share should be placed on a separate server that can only be accessed by those eligible to do so, such as business owners or managers.

The business owner and the cloud storage provider should discuss details of the type of storage and amount of privacy needed before making a final decision.


Remote Backup

Remote backup services ensure all files are backed up to a remote location. Having data backed up means it is not only accessible on the computer or device where the information was initially created. Its location moves to a server provided by a cloud service provider.

The Internet allows this information to be added to the server and keeps it for a designated timeframe. It can remain on the server for as long as needed, often set to a predetermined period, such as one year or five years.

Near Instant Backup

The remote backup of this data is near instant. If an account is set to automatically backup data, it will begin sending the data through the network as soon as it is all entered and updated. This automatic option is highly useful for businesses, as it ensures information is backed up without an employee having to set it as so. No forgetfulness or mishaps can prevent the data from being backed up as needed when it is done automatically by the system.


Anytime Access

The great thing about cloud storage is that there is anytime access. Anyone with the ability to access the information can do so any time of day, whether they need it in the morning, afternoon, or night. This immediate access to files is highly important to businesses that never know when they could need to gain access to a file, such as when meeting an important deadline.


Encrypted Data

Encryption is key for many businesses, ensuring documents and files are encrypted so just anyone cannot read them. This security measure is a valuable method put in place to keep files safe. Personal information, highly sensitive information, and trade secrets should always get encrypted in this manner for added security and protection of everyone involved. Checking with the cloud service provider regarding their security practices is important to ensure data does get stored in this way.


Recovery of Mission Critical Systems

All mission critical systems required for a business should automatically get placed in cloud storage. Malware or a simple computer malfunction could instantly wipe out a critical business system. Having it available on the Cloud ensures the system is available at all times. It also means the information can be re-downloaded whenever necessary.

Continuity of Operations

Having system operations on the Cloud ensures they can be re-downloaded quickly. The fast-re-downloading capability limits downtime and allows the company to continue to operate efficiently. Continuity of operations ensures a business continues to run even during an emergency. Less than 30 percent of companies were proven disaster-ready in a 2014 survey.


For Business and Personal Use

Cloud storage is not just for businesses. It can be utilized for personal purposes too, such as saving music, photos, and important documents. The option for storage is even available on a cell phone, but often requires the use of Wi-Fi before anything can be uploaded.

Free Offerings and Paid Options

There are plenty of free cloud storage offerings to use. However, free storage is only available up to a certain amount of space, such as 5GB. This storage option may prove worthwhile for personal use, but it is not nearly enough from a business standpoint. Further paid storage options are available from almost all providers. A discussion should take place regarding the amount of storage needed before putting a plan in place. There are often several package options to choose from, each of which includes a larger amount of storage space than the last. Once an option is decided on, the cloud service company will begin offering the designated amount of storage.

Near instant backup and the recovery of mission critical systems are just two reasons why the Cloud is essential to businesses. There is much less need to worry about natural disasters, hacking attempts, or computer malfunctions, as all data backed up on the Cloud is always available for viewing. Putting money and effort into cloud storage should be a top priority for all businesses.