IT Security Articles

Five Tips for Choosing Cloud Storage Solutions

by Stephanie Watson
Published on 17 July 2012

There are many different types of cloud storage solutions available for your small business needs.

Whether you choose a solution like Dropbox Box, Google Drive, SugarSynch or something else entirely, will depend on how each service fills your needs.

Today, a good storage solution isn't only for large businesses with a lot of cash to pay for an on-site solution, it's also for small businesses, even mom and pop operations.

There are solutions in all price ranges, with all types of capabilities, from drag, share, collaborate and save, to automatic back up services. There is something for every business need.

Choosing The Right Cloud Storage Solution Requires That You Ask These Questions:

1.What Files Do I Want to Store?

The type of files you want to store matter a great deal. If you want to store entire copies of programs, documents, or personal records of clients, you'll need to know this before you start your search. There are specific criteria for each type of file in terms of space, security, and access that will be important for you to figure out.

2. Do I Want Manual, Automated, And / Or Scheduled Sharing and Backups?

If you are fine with dragging your files to the system to update with the new file you'll need a completely different type of system than if you want automatic or scheduled updates or backups. Task automation services such as IFTTT, which stands for "if this then that" and tarpipe are great to help you automate your sharing and backups. Know what you want and need before you start your search, and you'll be able to qualify your choices faster.

3. What Level Of Security Do I Need?

Will your files be stored in a data-center that also has backup procedures and criteria in case of natural or other disasters? If you are going to store data critical to your business in the cloud, ensure that your solution provider offers geo redundancy of your data. This means that your data is stored in two separate geographic locations in order to protect it from an outage or catastrophe. In addition, ask if they provide true data encryption. Most do encrypt data, but if they have access to your data via a key, it's not fully encrypted. It should be encrypted as it leaves your computer so that no one but you or those you give access to can see your data. This is the best way to avoid breaches.

4. How Much Does It Cost?

Don't just look at the start up costs, look at long term costs. Is their fee structure straight forward enough that you can understand what you'll be charged? Don't forget to include what it would cost if you tried to implement on-site backup, including IT costs, to get a true picture of the value the service will provide, as well.

5. Is It Flexible Enough For My Needs?

Does the cloud based storage solution offer you enough flexibility in terms of time and place as well as usage needs. For instance, can you access your data from any location using any multiple Internet ready devices? If you use more space this month, will you still pay the same next month? Can you upgrade or downgrade at anytime to avoid paying too much or not having enough space?

By answering these five questions you'll be more likely to find a cloud-based storage solution that fits the needs of your small business.

Then take a look at the various solutions offered by looking at our reviews and listing of cloud based storage solutions.