As a small business owner, you know how easy it is to accumulate files quickly. Because many of these files are critical to your business’s operations, it’s important to store them in a place that is accessible and secure.
Cloud storage refers to storing your files and data through the Internet, rather than storing them on a server. This offers many advantages for both keeping files safe and boosting overall productivity.
Benefits of Cloud Storage for Small Businesses
For any kind of small business, storing your files in the cloud has a range of advantages.
Accessibility – Cloud storage allows you to access your files from any location that has an Internet connection. This is extremely helpful for employees who are working from different locations, computers, or devices. No matter where you are and what machine you’re using, you’ll be able to access important documents through the cloud.
Backup – All your files will be backed up through the cloud. Even if you lose your phone or your computer crashes, you’ll still be able to ensure continuity of access your data.
Collaboration – Cloud storage is an easy and effective way to share files with colleagues and customers. This is especially helpful for files that are too large to send via email.
Security – The cloud is one of the most secure ways to save and share information. Some of the best business cloud services encrypt your files, meaning no one outside your company can see your data, including the cloud storage provider’s employees.
Below, we’ve outlined the most popular cloud storage solutions for small businesses.
Top Cloud Storage Providers for Small Business
Google Drive is one of the most popular cloud storage providers on the market. It offers an integrated file sharing and collaborative editing suite through Google Docs, with up to 15 GB of free storage space to upload all types of documents. It includes a complete set of office tools with cloud storage in Drive, including a word processor, spreadsheet application, and presentation builder. These tools allow multiple employees to edit the same document at the same time, which can be a great way to promote collaboration within your organization.
One of the main advantages of Google Drive is the integration with Gmail and Google+. You can easily save attachments from your email directly to Drive, and photos are automatically backed up without requiring the separate Google Photos app.
Google Drive is free for up to 15 GB of data. If you need more than this, you can upgrade to one of Google’s paid plans of $1.50/month for 100 GB or $7.50/month for 1 TB.
Dropbox is another popular Cloud storage provider. Its file-syncing and storage service is easy to learn and works well across PCs, Macs, Android, and iOS. The desktop applications also blend seamlessly with your computer file system allowing you to sync all documents.
Dropbox offers a free 2 GB account, but for small businesses requiring more storage, Dropbox offers a standard paid version that is $12.50/user/month for up to 3 TB of storage. If you need more storage than this, you can upgrade to the advanced version, which is $20.00/user/month for unlimited storage.
OneDrive is the default cloud storage service for Windows 10 and Office 365. However, you can use OneDrive by downloading the desktop app even if you do not use Windows.
You can store photos, video, and documents on OneDrive and access them from any of your desktop or mobile devices. It’s easy to open and edit files from OneDrive in Microsoft’s other applications, such as Word or Excel. Like Google Drive, multiple users can edit the same document at the same time within OneDrive.
OneDrive’s biggest strength is that it works seamlessly with Microsoft Office apps such as Word and PowerPoint. OneDrive is included with an Office 365 subscription.
Every business is different, so if you think a cloud storage solution could be helpful for your small business, take some time to determine which cloud backup option works best for you based on your small business’s needs.