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Cloud storage is more affordable than ever, but so are large-capacity hard disk drives. The question becomes which is better for your business? Let’s take a look at some of the considerations and how each presents pros and cons for a business, depending on their business model.
If you choose to store your data in onsite hard drives that are connected to your central infrastructure—as many businesses who choose to have direct control over their information systems do—you will need to ensure that your IT is set up to protect the data should those drives fail. This means not only do you have to purchase and maintain this hardware, you also have to pay people to actively manage it to ensure that it is in working order, and that it has enough storage space for your organizational computing needs. You also have to ensure that the drive itself is backed up.
By using the cloud, you basically rent the storage space from the provider. For that you get anywhere, anytime access to those files (with an Internet connection), and you can scale the amount of space you need in minutes. This means that you aren’t going to have to purchase expensive hardware and pay for maintenance; the provider handles that. They also ensure that all data is backed up.
Depending on how your organization’s IT infrastructure is set up, there are definitely benefits to having your data storage in-house. First, and most importantly, you know exactly how it is managed, even though you will pay for that. If your business holds sensitive data, whether it be intellectual property or client personal information (financial or medical information especially), you have complete control over how the underlying storage facility is managed. For compliance-based issues, this is mandatory. Another massive benefit is that you don’t need an Internet connection to access the data. This is crucial for organizations that deal with sensitive or personal information.
Cost is the number one benefit of cloud storage. First of all, you won’t have to purchase hardware, which can be a massive cost and can often go underutilized. With cloud storage, you can pay for what you need and scale up and back as needed. More than that, the cost of maintenance and management can be substantial and it is completely baked into the cost of cloud-based storage. Another benefit of cloud storage is that it gives organizations that rely on a distributed workforce the ability to disseminate data easily. Workers can collaborate from wherever they are without the hurdle of connecting back to the office’s network.
Obviously, the detrimental characteristics of each are the benefits of the other. If your business needs to have airtight control over its information and information systems, you will definitely want to host your own IT infrastructure. That’s not to say you can’t use software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications to supplement your productivity needs, but for data that requires a careful eye, you will want to keep your IT in-house.
For those companies that want more flexibility or if cost is a major issue, the cloud is a great place to store data. Not only can you get the storage you need, your staff has access from anywhere at any time, giving them the best chance to succeed.
If you would like some help determining what storage option is best for your company, or if you would like to talk to one of our IT experts about upgrading your technology, give Preferred a call today at 708-781-7110.