Best Online Cloud Backup Business Services Reviewed
With online storage becoming increasingly popular for private use, it is not surprising to see that these services have ended up in a business setting. However, the use of personal accounts could leave enterprise customers at risk for information to be compromised.
With corporate cloud file storage, enterprise clients have greater protection against their files being compromised or hacked. Each provider offers slightly different features and options to choose from, which can make it difficult to decide on a provider for an entire company.
Designed for Business
Business cloud storage is designed for businesses, to make them run more effectively. While many of the providers started off as personal off-site storage and backup services that evolved to include the corporate customer, some, like Box, were built with enterprise clients in mind.
The difference between business cloud storage and personal cloud storage is quite often the features as well as how many users have access to the overall account. With a personal plan, only the user who signed up for the account is supposed to have access to store files and documents. They may be able to share these files but no one else is supposed to be storing files to their account.
A business plan, on the other hand, is designed to have multiple users accessing the account. Because there are multiple log-in credentials, an administrator needs to be able to set the limitations and restrictions for the various employees accessing and saving information. This central administrator can decide who is able to do what within the account.
Business cloud storage plans frequently have features that personal accounts do not have such as the ability to set limitation on files and folders. They also often have collaborative options that may be missing from an individual account.
Business cloud storage has many benefits that can provide a company with more than just a place to save all their precious data. In addition to being a place to keep files secure from potential hackers, online storage locations provide employees with new ways to work together that they have never been able to take advantage of before.
No longer do the workers have to be in the same room to complete a project. Instead, co-workers can be anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection. With messaging and collaborative software included with most business cloud services, it is easy for employees to tackle a project without the endless emails back and forth with updated attachments for review. Many of these collaborative features allow users to tag one another within comments to alert them to changes within the file.
Additionally, business cloud storage sync allows users to work on a project one place and access it through various devices even when they are not at their work desks. By synchronizing across all accounts, other workers will be able to immediately access updated files and documents without the hassle of email. The file automatically links up to the master folder on the other devices.
Companies can also take advantage of the cost savings that online cloud storage comes with. While there is a monthly or yearly service fee for utilizing their services, there is no maintenance or equipment to buy. IT departments don’t have to waste time, which is money for a corporation, maintaining equipment; instead, they can work on projects that can move the company forward.
Other benefits include:
- Sharing with employees and clients outside the company
- Ability to restrict access to files or folders based on particular needs of the user
- Ability to set an expiration date for shared items
- Military grade security
Companies are also moving more towards a “bring your own device” environment. Employees can stay up to date on the latest technology by purchasing it themselves and getting what they know will work best for them. The cloud then allows businesses to grant access to these devices. The company gets to save on the cost of updating technology every year or two and employees don’t have to learn two or three different types of devices just to get their jobs done.
When comparing business cloud storage companies, it is important to note of what features and benefits the provider may have for the enterprise. Some options out there can help groups move forward in their desired growth pattern, while others will simply be unnecessary expenses. Not all providers offer the same set of options.
Storage location is another consideration during cloud comparison-shopping. Not all countries have the same rules and regulations concerning privacy. Business cloud storage UK will have different requirements than the United States, Canada, or even China. Businesses need to be aware of where data centers are located, where their information is most likely going to be stored, and what the privacy regulations for that country are.
For example, business cloud storage Australia has a list of privacy laws they must comply with in order to operate legally. These regulations force companies who utilize the cloud for storage of customer information to ensure this data remains private from outside sources. These rules also detail what cloud providers are supposed to do in order to help corporations meet these standards.
Knowing the location in which the data is actually stored can help keep companies within regulation of their own country. Enterprise clients outside the US may find their privacy laws lacking and not in compliance with their own regulations. U.S. customers may enjoy the extra protection in a foreign country; however, there may be legal issues in the event that information stored there is deemed illegal by the outside government.
Location cloud benefits aside, when it comes down to comparing two providers, the bottom line is always money. The big question for administrators is: how much does business cloud storage cost? While the monthly fees are not going to be as low as for that of a private user, it is quite often more cost effective than purchasing the hardware and maintaining it all locally.
Business cloud storage costs will vary depending on the features and the overall amount of storage to be used. There are some providers that offer a set price per user. Each worker receives access to the same features and a set amount of storage space. There are also services that allow companies to purchase flexible storage that will expand as they need it. The price for this service always varies depending on how much the overall account size grows or shrinks.
For the cheapest business cloud storage, a comparison must be completed. Prices of the services vary based on features and account size. It can also vary depending on how many users are going to be accessing the account. Typically, the most cost effective service has fewer features than their competitors although providers routinely change their costs to remain competitive.
While the cloud may best benefit the larger corporations, small businesses can take advantage of many of the same features and options. Small business cloud backup storage is becoming a popular way for SMBs to compete with larger enterprises. By utilizing off-site storage, these companies can lower their IT overhead by not having to purchase the servers necessary to keep up. They can also take advantage of the same computing power that big companies have at their disposal by finding a provider with cloud computing capability.
Like with big companies, small businesses can gain the same access anywhere. Employees can make virtual copies of the applications they use and take it on the road with them. It can be very helpful for engineers and sales people who are unable to get to the office during the day for extended periods of time.
Small businesses also get to take advantage of security that they may not have been able to get separate from the cloud. This way, they can ensure their files and documents are safe from hackers. This added security can help them stay in compliance and protect not just their information but their customer’s information as well.
Because more small businesses are turning to the cloud to help lower their overall cost, more providers offer packages tailored for them. They often offer less overall space or fewer seat coverage to help keep the subscription price down. Typically, however, they don’t skimp on the features that attract enterprise clients to them in the first place.
While enterprise clients typically use the cloud for more than just a place to park their items, there are a few that want it just for backup and cloud document storage. These groups don’t want a lot of bells and whistles, they simply need an off-site area that will allow them to keep in compliance with their own backup regulations.
There is a difference between cloud storage and cloud backup. Storage often allows users to access, edit, and share their files. While it can be automated just like backup, there are usually features for business customers to make working on these files seamless. A prime example of this type of service would be:
Cloud backup services are just as they sound. They are for backing up files located on a hard drive or server. While some of these providers do allow anywhere access just like storage and computing, there are often no sharing or editing features to allow users to work together on a project. These files are simply put onto the off-site server and kept there until they are needed to restore a system or deleted by the user due to being outdated or unnecessary. Examples of backup services include:
- Carbonite Pro
- Crashplan Pro
- Mozy Pro
Typically, when a company choose a backup only service, it is to help remain in compliance with their disaster recovery plan.
There are obvious security concerns when saving to the cloud. It is probably the number one reason most companies are not interested in using the cloud for their computing and storage needs. It is a valid issue and not one that should be easily overlooked.
Some providers are not as secure as they could be. When comparing two or more services, the level of security should be scrutinized above all else. Most will use military grade AES security to protect the servers located in their data centers. However, not all services will encrypt information during transit, only when it is at rest on their hard drives. Others will make sure the files are secured before they are uploaded.
In addition, some of the top cloud storage providers for business providers will allow the administrator of the account to hold the master key. This password is the only way to unencrypt files to make them readable. Without the master, anyone who cracks into the account will only find files that are encoded and therefore unreadable. By not having access to this code, employees at the cloud provider company cannot access the files on their servers, adding a layer of security for their clients.
While all accounts offer some layer of security, business and professional accounts tend to have higher levels than personal plans. This is in order to get enterprise clients to utilize these services rather than employees bringing their own plans in and utilizing them without administrator knowledge or approval.
Choices for business cloud storage 2015 are growing each day. To ensure that information is safe, administrators should take their time and look at all their options. Not only should things like features and cost be taken into account, security and location of the storage centers should be considered.
By taking advantage of the cloud, businesses can increase their storage capacity and allow employees to work better than ever before. It is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Companies should take their time to find the best service for them, one that will meet their needs for sharing and collaborating as well as saving the important files in the event of a catastrophic event.
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