Data in the Clouds: Cloud Storage Offers Businesses Flexibility & Convenience

Is on-premise storage a thing of the past? Is all storage inevitably moving to the cloud? If you’re in IT, you are no doubt keeping a close eye on the shift taking place in data storage infrastructure.

Organizations are increasingly adopting cloud storage options because they need more capacity, flexibility and a better way to manage storage costs. Additionally, many industries are taking advantage of remote-work options, giving their employees the ability to complete their tasks from home or while on the go.

It’s not surprising then that many businesses are supplementing their current storage with cloud data storage.

Cloud Storage Benefits

Cloud storage is a remote platform that uses a highly virtualized infrastructure to provide businesses with scalable storage resources that can be fine-tuned to fit the organization’s individual needs.

Traditionally, IT departments managing capacity-strained data centers would simply add physical storage devices, but that proved to be both expensive and difficult to manage as the amount of data continued to grow exponentially.

The use of cloud storage as the primary means for performing backups increased from 23 percent of businesses in 2016 to 36 percent in 2018.  Nearly 60 percent of businesses in 2018 now use cloud storage for at least some of their backups.

Cloud-based storage has several unique attributes that make it attractive for companies competing in today’s data-intensive business environment. Cloud storage allows access to the most recent version of any file, plus you can easily preview and edit the material while using a variety of devices and platforms. Additionally, cloud storage allows access to others, which enables an entire team to work on the same file.

A Focus on Cloud Security

The cloud presents opportunities for companies to improve the availability and accessibility to data resources, but it also comes with unique security risks.  It is your organization’s responsibility to ensure that the type of data and services housed in the cloud, as well as who has access to it and what type of access they have, is securely managed.

In other words, you need to manage and control what type of data goes to the cloud, what type of services come from the cloud, and who can use it. Ensure that your computers, devices and software are up-to-date. Data encryption is always a good idea, even if your devices have security safeguards in place.

Other considerations for the effective protection of data in the cloud include defining the types of devices and connections that users can utilize to access cloud-based resources. For example, accessing the data cloud via an unsecured Wi-Fi connection or using a public computer or one that does not have appropriate endpoint security can put your data at risk.

Final Thoughts

Once you are up and running, cloud-based data storage and services offer numerous advantages over on-premises options, from accessibility, flexibility and cost effectiveness, while remaining secure if properly managed. While there are some unique risks, protecting cloud data is not all that different from securing information in a physical data center onsite. It must be a priority and actively managed!


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