What are the pros and cons of cloud storage?

What are the pros and cons of cloud storage

SharePoint, OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox – the list goes on. What unites these applications? Well, they’re all examples of popular cloud storage solutions. Cloud storage has revolutionised organisations over the past decade, enabling organisations to adapt to change and situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic. But what are the pros and cons of cloud storage for your organisation?

What is cloud storage?

Cloud storage is a method of saving files, whereby they are stored in remote servers that are accessible from anywhere, on any device. Providers such as Microsoft and Google store billions of files in secure servers and offer platforms like OneDrive and Google Drive where you can access the files you’ve stored.

For many organisations of varying size, cloud storage allows them to offer remote work and removes the need for large and often clunky servers on-site which pose many negatives, not least the amount of space they take up, and the electricity they use.

Pros of cloud storage

Cloud storage offers organisations of all sizes flexibility to scale up and work in a way that fits in with the modern workplace. It allows organisations to offer greater flexibility, adapt to any situation and provides increased security.

1.   Accessibility

A key benefit of cloud storage is accessibility. Cloud storage allows a user to access files from any device, assuming they have appropriate access to do so. This means files can be accessed regardless of where the user is based, and doesn’t require every user to jave large drives as the physical storage is independent of the local device.

2. Adaptability

A modern workplace demands flexibility. Users expect to be able to work from multiple devices in multiple locations. Cloud storage means users can work from the office, at home or from the coffee shop, with real time access to live versions of files from a laptop, tablet or phone.

3.   Safety and security

Linking to documents rather than attaching them to emails or downloading them to USB devices, is significantly more secure.  With the levels of encryption that providers like Microsoft have on a platform like SharePoint, as well as the access controls in place, you’re able to restrict who can see what document or folder even if the document link has been shared with someone it shouldn’t. By sharing links to secure SharePoint or OneDrive locations, means the owner can keep control even if an email gets forwarded, whereas documents attached or copied to local devices are immediately outside of your control.

With cloud storage, you also know that all your employees are saving and using documents in a secure way. People are less likely to download sensitive documents to other devices to work on out of hours for example. Instead, they can simply access a secure platform like SharePoint to work from.

4.   Sharing and collaboration

Sharing and collaboration is one of the greatest benefits of cloud storage. You can easily give access to people based on their job role, or even their location for example. This makes collaboration and shared working much easier, without impacting productivity in the slightest.

With SharePoint and Microsoft 365 for example, you can all work  in a document that’s been saved on SharePoint and start to work together, making amends and leaving comments in live time. This makes approvals and changes much easier to manage, and much more organised, rather than having fifty different pieces of paper flying around!

Cons of cloud storage

While there are so many benefits to cloud storage, for some people, there may be a barrier to them moving to the cloud. This could be cost, a lack of control over documents or even the fear of migrating over to a new platform and the disruption this can bring.

1.   Cost

Moving to the cloud, for most organisations, does come with a cost. However, if you have a Microsoft 365 license, or pay for Google Workspace, then you’ve already got cloud storage included!

As most organisations will use either Microsoft, Google or Apple products, and will inevitably pay for some form of software licensing, unless you need an  unusual amount of cloud storage, your existing license should do the trick! And it’s better for the planet as well, when compared to paper.

2.   Loss of control

For some companies, there is a worry that moving to SharePoint or another cloud software may cause them to lose control over how documents are managed or shared. This can easily be mitigated through careful setup and planning, however, as well as rule-based systems for sharing.

The great thing about cloud storage is that it actually increases the control you have over documents. Rather than anyone being able to pick up a piece of paper, with SharePoint, you can restrict only essential users from seeing documents, prevent them from being downloaded or even stop people from sending documents to external users.

3.   Migration to a new platform

One of the main barriers to organisations making the switch to cloud storage is the migration itself. It does change how you work; however, this is arguably for the better. For some companies that have worked in a certain way for many years, changing the way you store documents and share them with others can be a huge change, but this isn’t necessarily a negative one.

With a move to a new platform, creating an educational guide for users to follow as well as offering training sessions can help to ease any worried minds. This is one of the most essential parts of a migration, as user adoption of a new platform is key to its success.

How ramsac can help with cloud storage

Here at ramsac, we’re a Microsoft Modern Work Solutions Partner, and understand the need for a reliable cloud storage system. That’s why we help you to create a SharePoint system that works for you and your needs as a growing company.

Get in touch today to learn more.

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