Cloud storage services have grown exponentially within the last ten years, and they’ve become extremely cost-effective. Which makes them prime pickings for enterprise level companies looking to utilize the cloud effectively. And we’re here today, to present the top five enterprise cloud selections of 2018.
In the not-so-distant past, the only option enterprises had for data storage was to purchase, setup, and administer their private storage servers or farms. But this method had several drawbacks.
Firstly, the physical hardware just costs too much money. Secondly, it eroded an enterprise’s bottom line profits by increasing overhead, such as personnel and maintenance costs, and it ate up a lot of time trying to manage a custom internal infrastructure.
Today, however, things have changed drastically. Cloud storage technologies have become so efficient and ubiquitous that many enterprises are opting to save time and money by moving to the cloud.
However, large companies face a common challenge: many cloud solutions are unsuitable for enterprises because they were designed with individual users in mind. In addition, many basic cloud storage services don’t offer enterprise-grade collaboration tools or security measures.
Best Cloud Storage for Enterprise 2018
The Benefits of Cloud Storage Benefits for Enterprises
The largest problem with most cloud storage services is the lack of adequate security controls. Sure, many cloud services designed for individuals include time and date expiration mechanisms, that control when an external user can access files, but this solution is inadequate.
Because enterprises frequently handle sensitive customer information from legal departments, medical practices, and even technology companies. If there were a data leak and intelligence gets seen by unintended parties, the consequences could be truly detrimental.
This is why having adequate security controls is so critical with cloud storage services. With that said, most enterprise-grade cloud storage solutions contain an account structure, whereby the administrator has a high degree of control over which files individual users can access.
Furthermore, the best enterprise-grade services allow administrators to aggregate users into functional groups, thereby letting them apply group policies and access permissions, for better management and security. To take things one step further, these cloud storage solutions even provide auditing tools. Any enterprise will understand how valuable audits are to an organization, and it will help administrators find holes in their user permission configurations.
The best auditing systems time stamp every user activity. From file uploads, to read and write operations, the administrator will be able to control everything that each user does with a cloud storage service. These days, enterprises need cloud storage to more efficiently manage relations with partners, enhance productivity, and provide mobile access.
Some of the benefits are as follows:
- Improved remote file access
- Improved productivity via collaboration
- Improved client relationships via data sharing
- Multi-layered security via encryption & group controls
- Eliminates the need to host internal data centers
- Decreased management overhead of IT resources
Autotask WorkplaceAutotask Workplace is an extremely secure file syncing and sharing solution, designed with enterprises in mind. Autotask Workplace complies stringently with regulations such as HIPAA, and they help enterprises securely access, organize, share, and manage files from any location on any device.
Furthermore, they have customizable security controls to help lock-down which users can access files and folders, which is critical to making sure the enterprise adheres to regulations and protects customer data.
Other Reasons Why We Like Autotask Workplace
They help enhance enterprise productivity by providing a platform for individuals or teams to collaborate on, in real time.
Autotask workplace has incredibly useful features for enterprise IT departments, like Active Directory, SAML 2.0 (single sign-on), Salesforce, Outlook, Office 365 and Google Docs.
- Continuous real-time backups
- Integrated document viewer
- No VPN/FTP required
- Interface lacks customization
- Mobile access can be slow
- Per-user cost is expensive
EgnyteEgnyte is a great alternative to Autotask Workplace for enterprises, especially since it’s designed with businesses in mind. Egnyte allows businesses to customize message headers, logos, and even the URL of a cloud storage volume.
Branding is an important facet for enterprises, but there are yet more functional benefits to think about. Even though Egnyte has useful sharing and collaboration features, which allow users to seamlessly share information, security is taken to heart.
Other Reasons Why We Like Egnyte
In addition to standard encryption, they also include user and group access permissions, which are essential for enterprises managing functional units such as the legal department, HR department, accounting department, PR department and IT department.
Egnyte also saves administrators a lot of time, by allowing them to apply access permissions to groups of users all at once, and their auditing system timestamps user activities.
- Great transfer & security
- User & group permissions
- Tracks file operations per user
- No zero-knowledge protocol
- No Linux support
- No single-user plan
BoxBox also has tight security mechanisms in place. Not only do they provide tools to manage user permissions, but they are also a zero-knowledge security provider. For enterprises that need to maintain HIPAA compliance, Box won’t let you down.
The starter version of their service only costs $5.00 per user per month, but enterprises should be more interested in the Business package, which costs $15.00 per user, per month.
Other Reasons Why We Like Box
Box provides some features exclusive to enterprise customers, such as secure collaboration, project management tools and rule sets for work-flow automation.
Box also offers integration tools that pair nicely with other services, like Google Docs, and they’ll let you custom brand logos, message headers, and the URL, to create a professional appearance.
- Platform independent web app
- Zero-knowledge provider
- Regulatory compliant
- More expensive than competition
- 5GB limit on Business package
- Local encryption slows transfers
Citrix SharefileSharefile is Citrix’s enterprise-class cloud storage solution, and they’re well-known in the commercial software and service industry. Notable features of Sharefile include an auditing system that generates activity reports, integration with Single Sign-On, download alerts, and two-factor authentication.
This cuts down on the amount of time it would take to print out a document, sign it, and scan it to the cloud. Though they do have a file size limit, the limit is pretty large (10GB), which should accommodate most enterprise users.
Other Reasons Why We Like Citrix Sharefile
To protect enterprises data, they set up disaster recovery sites in both the U.S and Europe. They also secure data transfers with AES-256-bit encryption and SSL/TLS (though they are not a zero-knowledge provider).
Not only does it enhance productivity with collaboration features, but they also help save time, with their electronic signature feature (RightSignature).
- Great security & collaboration
- Large 10GB file size limit
- Great file versioning features
- Mobile apps lack some functionality
- Doesn’t support Linux
- Not a zero-knowledge provider
Dropbox for BusinessDropbox for Business has a lot more advantages than the individual user service, and it isn’t particularly expensive. For starters, the business version of Dropbox has unlimited storage capacity.
And unlike their single user service, the business service includes tools that help administrators control user accounts and group access permissions, which is a staple of modern enterprise security. These tools can even limit user access to specified folders, which can help an enterprise organize data into functional units such as legal, IT, HR, etc.
Other Reasons Why We Like Box
The single user version only allows file recovery for up to 30 days. But the business version sports unlimited file recovery and versioning, so no worries!
Though they do provide sharing and collaboration features to enhance productivity, they lock down file access with password protected links. Plus, Dropbox for Business has integration tools for Office 365.
- Office 365, SSO & Active Directory
- Password protected links
- Unlimited storage & file recovery
- No local-encryption
- Starts at $15 per month
- 5 user minimum
Cloud storage for enterprise offers far more advantages, compared to creating, implementing, and managing an in-house storage infrastructure. It helps to remove the burden of management, by offering collaboration, secure file sharing and enhanced productivity.
Through a centralized cloud service. By taking care of the security and disaster recovery requirements, enterprises can focus on what matters most — running the business.
IT is a support service that can detract from an enterprise’s bottom line, but cloud storage will help save time and money while simultaneously improving the speed and effectiveness of an employees’ work. What did you think of our top five picks? Share any thoughts or ideas you may have in the comments section below.