The need for cloud storage is universal in today’s data-heavy business environment. Affordable storage solutions are especially critical for small businesses, which may lack access to vast data centers. There are many options, but a few stand above the rest.
Let’s take a closer look at cloud data storage for small businesses – and which solutions might fit your company’s unique needs.
1. Google Drive Enterprise
Google Drive is arguably today’s most popular file storage service, reaching one billion users in 2018. Its intuitive design and superior accessibility make it a top choice for personal use, but it’s also increasingly relied upon for business functions. The personal version offers up to 15 GB of free cloud storage. The Enterprise edition ups the ante while allowing organizations to only pay for the storage they actually use.
Third-party tool integration allows for seamless adoption, including easy access to Microsoft Office files. Patience is not a virtue that Google Drive users need to possess, as the service’s uploads and downloads are notoriously fast. Its security protocol is by no means perfect, but data encryption and regular third-party audits should leave you feeling reasonably confident.
2. Dropbox Business
No list of cloud storage services would be complete without Dropbox. As an iconic name in cloud storage, Dropbox boasts a strong reputation and a devoted following. Launched in 2007, the service has managed to remain a key player in an increasingly competitive market.
Unfortunately, it has fallen behind its competitors in several respects. Prospective users are most likely to worry about Dropbox’s security protocol, especially as the service suffered a major 2012 breach in which hackers obtained both the login credentials and passwords of over 68 million accounts. Thankfully, the service has since beefed up its security features. Currently, two-factor authentication and 256-bit AES encryption keep hackers at bay. Other highlights include easy file sharing and a robust help center.
3. Microsoft OneDrive
A top alternative to Google Drive, Microsoft’s OneDrive plays an integral role in Office’s suite of online services. Although not nearly as popular as Dropbox or Google Drive, this alternate option is clearly the favored storage service at the corporate level; over 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies opt for OneDrive. Its greatest strengths lie in its approach to app integration, with a myriad of beloved native applications automatically included with Office 365 plans. Third-party apps can also be incorporated. Exceptional training and support make it easy for businesses to adopt OneDrive. Security is another high point – at-rest encryption provides valuable data protection, while the Files Restore feature can be depended on in the event of a catastrophe.
4. iCloud Drive
5. Amazon Drive
Once known as Amazon Cloud Drive, this cloud storage service is a top choice for those who desire personalization. With over a dozen plans available, Amazon Drive offers a flexible and highly scalable solution. Other perks include reasonable rates, easy login for Prime members, and exceptionally fast uploads and downloads. Unfortunately, Amazon Drive remains decidedly behind the competition in terms of security. While the system supports two-factor authentication, it lacks the basic security protocol users take for granted with other services –including, most alarmingly, at-rest encryption.
Another viable option worth exploring? Amazon S3. Also known as the Simple Storage Service, S3 leads the pack in the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) industry. It has far fewer security concerns than Amazon Drive – and this strength primarily derives from its reliance on server facilities, which have long formed the backbone of Amazon in general. S3 adoption can prove a bit tricky, in part because storage buckets must be created within the Amazon Web Services (AWS) system. However, those familiar with AWS should find the process straightforward.
The Bottom Line
Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to the enduring question: which cloud storage is best for small business users? Ultimately, your preferred file storage solution will depend on how you prioritize security, privacy, app integration, and speed. None of the current options are perfect, but several should provide the accessible and extensive storage your business requires.
As you examine options for cloud data storage, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from NerdsToGo, a trusted data security company. The experts at NerdsToGo offer IT support and solutions to optimize your business while minimizing the potential for data breaches. Contact us today to learn more about our managed IT services.