Today the cloud is ubiquitous, and cloud services are becoming increasingly important in all aspects of computer and communication technologies, serving both individuals and businesses. One of the most common ways of using cloud services is for storage. Cloud storage offers many advantages over conventional storage and back-up technologies; here are some of the benefits of using cloud storage.
For businesses one of the more important benefits of cloud storage is the cost savings compared with conventional storage. It removes the need to purchase, manage and maintain costly in-house storage facilities.
Data stored in the cloud can be accessed from any location and on any device. This makes it the ideal medium for businesses with a mobile work force. As long as an employee is able to access the internet, then he has access to all of the business data twenty four hours a day.
Cloud storage makes file sharing simple. Workers can share data with colleagues wherever they might be located worldwide. This can have enormous benefits in productivity and cost minimisation.
Allowing employs to work using their own devices is becoming an increasingly popular way of working. Called “bring your own device”, or BYOD it has been found to increase productivity and worker satisfaction. The cloud means that workers have access to the data they need when they need it 24 hours a day. There are also significant cost savings for the business.
In the early days of cloud storage many businesses were concerned that placing their valuable data in a remote location could compromise its security. In fact this was the main reason for the initial reluctance of many businesses to use cloud services. However the cloud has proven to be at least if not more secure than on premise storage. The economies of scale that cloud service providers implement mean that they are able to apply advanced enterprise level security to the data with which they are entrusted; such levels of security are too costly for most small to medium sizes companies.
As the data is generally distributed across multiple servers in the cloud, there is no single point of failure; the data is always available even in the event of a disaster.
The cost model of cloud storage means that storage requirements are effectively infinitely scalable. Users pay only for what they need, and if they find that they need more, then it is instantly available to them.
Regulations concerning what businesses do with the data they own are becoming increasingly onerous as the regulations become more stringent and the amount of data grows at an almost exponential rate. Failure to comply with legislation such as the Freedom of Information and the Data Protection acts can result in enterprises facing stiff penalties as well as potential damage to their brand image.
Managing data when it is stored on multiple devices such as servers, back-up tapes, the hard drives of individual workers, and so forth is almost an impossible task and implementing audited deletion retention policies is impractical when there are multiple copies of the data on multiple devices. Cloud storage bypasses these problems.
In addition to the data information acts, today’s e-discovery requirements are also causing concerns in many company boardrooms. Complying with an e-discovery request from a court of law can be expensive and arduous, and failure to comply in time can result in penalties. Sorting data on the cloud simplifies e-discovery considerably.