The idea of cloud storage has been around for a while. For several years now, people have seen the benefits of ditching clumsy hard drives in favor of virtual storage systems. Cloud storage is increasing in scope and scale, and it will affect a greater number of businesses in various ways in the future.
Most of these developments will make life much easier and more productive for businesses. Nonetheless, there are some dangers that are posed when data is put out on such a large scale publicly. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of and concerns about working with clouds.
Benefits and recent advancements in cloud storage
Storing unprecedented amounts of data
Beyond the simple fact that hard drives can be done away with when you shift to storing data on a cloud, the amounts that can now be stored have skyrocketed in recent times. The overall cloud storage market was about $50 billion at the beginning of the decade, and it is due to increase by around 20% in just the next five years.
In addition to the growth of businesses and advancements in technology, the period of the pandemic was a major driving force for technology that doesn’t require a human element and cloud computing was at the forefront of this growth. People came to realize very quickly that there will be times when offices will be physically out of reach, and it is all the more important that information be readily accessible anywhere they are.
Another big advantage to cloud storage is security. Hard drives are, of course, physical objects and physical objects are always subject to possible damage and destruction.
By utilizing the cloud, your data is kept securely in cyberspace. For the most part, at least. There are dangers such as malware and cyberattacks that can cause untold amounts of damage to clouds.
For this reason, cloud storage backup is becoming commonplace among businesses looking for extra security.
Mutual accessibility and synchronization
Not only is having your data on a cloud beneficial in terms of your ability to access your data, it also allows for whole company networks to be accessed from remote areas. People can share and utilize data from multiple points simultaneously.
Also, just as multiple users’ clouds can have their data updated, so too can any number of devices. All you have to do is get online, and whatever device you’re on will automatically be updated with whatever changes have been made to the cloud.
Concerns about cloud storage
The biggest concern that people generally have with cloud storage is that of privacy. It is great that data can be shared and utilized among coworkers, but if complete privacy is your goal then you might have problems. This is particularly the case if you have sensitive or confidential data, but even if you don’t, you might not want your information put out for everyone in your larger network to see.
In addition, there are related issues that can accidentally cause data breaches. Misconfigurations of cloud security settings, for example, can inadvertently cause otherwise secure data to become public. Also – as stated earlier – cyberattacks can be a major concern, and there is also the related concern about “malicious insiders” within a given network that we might not know about.
Because of all the benefits it provides, cloud storage on a large scale can be quite costly. Small clouds are of course cheap, and in many cases free (like with email services). But the technology has not yet become widespread enough that competition among providers is driving down costs for premium-level services. It will likely take time before this becomes the case, and until then businesses will have to weigh the balance of cost versus benefits when it comes to doing business in the cloud.
A more minor concern is the ability to get data to other members of the network at times when online access is absent or spotty. Many clouds allow for the ability to work offline, but if there are access issues then the data migration to cloud might be compromised. Also, if a connection is weak, there might not be enough bandwidth for a complete upload.
Something for everyone
Depending on the size and sophistication of your company, there should be a cloud storage solution out there for you. If you have a small budget, then you might have to compromise on some of the higher-level features you want, but you should be able to find a service that suits your needs.