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The Pros and Cons of Cloud Storage

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Cloud File StorageIs ‘cloud storage’ the latest buzz phrase, or does the concept really carry advantages for your business’s IT infrastructure? Cloud storage simply describes an online space created to store and back-up a company’s IT data. The cloud platform enables on-demand, convenient access to a shared pool of computing sources (servers, networks, applications and services) to a pre-determined user or set of users. Utilization of online data storage should enable business organizations to respond more rapidly to changing needs and should foster IT innovation. But as with any platform, there are pros and cons that should be evaluated when determining if cloud storage is a good fit for a business’s IT infrastructure.

Cloud Storage Pros

Some of the pros to online data storage include:

  • Accessibility- Stored files can be accessed via any Internet connection.
  • Disaster Recovery- All businesses should have a plan of action designed and ready to implement in the event of a disaster (fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, etc.). Cloud storage can protect a business’s valuable files and information in the event of a disaster, as they are stored remotely and can be accessed from anywhere offering an Internet connection.
  • Cost Savings- While storage costs vary between providers, the average costs to store IT data using a cloud platform are roughly 15% of the cost per gigabyte to store the same information internally. In addition to direct storage cost savings, as the information stored remotely doesn’t require internal power to run/manage nor the requirement of internal manpower to facilitate, organizations often see reductions in their annual operations costs.

Cloud Storage Cons

While numerous advantages to cloud storage exist, there are potential cons that should be examined. Some of the most discussed cons within the IT industry include:

  • Bandwidth Limitations- Many cloud storage options are available with a specified bandwidth allowance. Should the business exceed this allowance, significant charges may apply. On the other hand, some providers, including GWI, provide cloud storage with unlimited bandwidth, so be sure to ask your provider if bandwidth will be measured.  Even with bandwidth charges, many industry experts still believe that this platform offers cost savings over more traditional storage options.
  • Data Security- As data is stored remotely, some concerns surround the possibility of data commingling with other organizations. And, some professionals are concerned about the general security and privacy of information stored in these remote locations. To alleviate these concerns, choose a partner that encrypts your data.

Despite concerns surrounding cloud storage, most businesses view the cost savings, disaster recovery security and accessibility benefits as more significant than the associated risks.

What is your business doing with cloud storage, and how is it working?

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