Cloud Storage is one of the most convenient methods for businesses to store data online. Many companies are embracing cloud computing solutions for their daily operations. How can you know if the cloud is the right solution for your business?
Outsourced cloud storage, cloud backup, cloud collaboration, and recovery solutions provide valuable infrastructure to businesses at a fraction of the cost of providing and maintaining them on-site.
Here is an explanation of the cloud, how people use it, and 8 reasons why businesses should use cloud storage to optimize their internal business processes.
What is the Cloud?
In short, the cloud is the internet. What you access includes everything you can view remotely on the internet. When something is in the cloud, it is stored on internet servers instead of your personal computer’s hard drive.
Rather than saving data on local storage, a hard drive, or disk, cloud storage data is kept in off-site data centers. The data can then be accessed using the internet. Meaning remote users outside of your office can access mission-critical files and information from anywhere.
Why Businesses Use the Cloud
The concept of cloud computing is implemented across various industries. Users find it helps to increase their productivity, enhance document security, and assist in storing, sharing, and accessing corporate resources.
Convenience and reliability are some of the main reasons businesses choose to use the cloud. If you’ve ever used an email service like Gmail or Yahoo!, you’ve used the cloud before. Emails in a web-based service are stored on internet servers, rather than on your computer, letting you access emails from any computer you can log into with an internet connection.
Here are some of the most common reasons people choose to use the cloud:
File storage lets you store nearly any file type in the cloud. From emails to documents, you can access these files from any computer or mobile device with internet access. Examples of common cloud file storage platforms you may have used before are Dropbox and Google Drive.
The cloud lets you share files with multiple people at the same time. Most commonly, people use the cloud-based service, iCloud Photos, to quickly share images with their friends and family. When cloud storage is combined with document imaging and scanning services, digital images of nearly any file from paper mail to historical texts are then easily shareable online.
Just like typical cell phone-based cloud services, you can upgrade or reduce storage capacities at any time.
The cloud can also be used to protect your files with automatic backups. If your device is ever lost, stolen, or damaged, you can recover valuable photos, emails, and files from the cloud.
Benefits of Using the Cloud
Aside from the most common reasons why people use cloud services, there are many key benefits businesses and organizations can obtain with digital transformation. If you’re still on the fence about cloud storage or find integration too complex, compare these benefits to your current workflows.
In today’s competitive business environments, the benefits of using the cloud can help you thrive against competitors, better serve your customers and enhance employee efficiency. Here are a few ways cloud storage providers can streamline your data:
#1: Tighter Security & Safer Data
Cloud providers make it their number-one mission to uphold the integrity of your data. Tighter security and safer data prevent cyber attacks and data breaches and help to identify foreseeable issues.
Cloud storage offers additional layers of security to your data and can be customized to meet information governance and document retention policies. Providers go the extra mile to ensure your files are not accessed by anyone who shouldn’t.
#2: Reduced Infrastructure Costs
Cloud storage can greatly reduce overhanging infrastructure costs for your business. Off-site, physical storage is a hefty fee for organizations. Digitizing paper records can eliminate the need for costly facilities.
The cloud also assists with outsourcing internal IT and cybersecurity professionals to a specialized cloud service provider. Off-premise servers let you work on virtual infrastructure that is regularly updated with the latest software. This means your system will function at its greatest capacity, saving you time on maintaining software.
#3: Use Your Data to Drive Business Decisions
Cloud storage collects data from multiple sources of information. With cloud services, businesses can better serve their customers and drive business decisions with powerful data collected through the cloud.
Analytical tools built in the cloud are used to understand and learn more about customers’ behavior and monitor employee productivity. Based on these statistics, you can develop techniques to quickly deliver detailed reports on nearly any business area.
#4: Easy File Sharing, Accessibility & Control
If you struggle with granting access to files to key stakeholders, the cloud can help. Employees can carry their own devices instead of those provided by your organization’s IT department.
Automated document access controls for file sharing and accessibility offer remarkable user control customized to maintain security measures. Internal privacy settings monitor user controls allowing you to decide what documents are kept private and off-limits, ensuring sensitive and identifiable information remains secure.
#5: Synchronized Edits for Better Collaboration
With the cloud, your business can access, edit and share documents from any location, at any time. Every file change is synced and updated across all devices that have access to the cloud.
Team members can collaborate better with synchronized edits shared across your organization. Turn around times for project updates, signatures and approvals, are drastically improved with real-time, cloud-based workflows and sharing.
#6: Automated Document Management
Most cloud storage options implement seamlessly with common document management systems (DMS). Your organization can use this system to accurately capture, store, distribute and track documents stored in the cloud.
With all organizational records stored in a centralized location such as the cloud and DMS, businesses can change the way they store, retrieve and manage vital information. The software also creates a confidential way to manage large amounts of private company data.
#7: Enhanced Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
Fires, hard drive failures, and other disasters are inevitable. Using cloud storage helps enhance business continuity by consistently backing up your files and data. You can scan historical paper records into the cloud.
The cloud makes a copy of every document you create and stores them in a continuous backup shortly after being saved or modified. If you’ve accidentally deleted documents, the cloud helps you restore them. Documents are stored in an off-site database, completely protected against possible damaging events.
#8: Scalable Solutions
Businesses continuously grow and change. Sometimes they expand or cut down depending on a variety of factors. Cloud storage offers scalable solutions to accommodate the ever-changing flow of your business.
With the cloud, you pay for what you use. You can up or downgrade the amount of storage you need at any given time, depending on what your business needs.
Work With a Cloud Storage Provider
Thousands of businesses — small and large — are working with cloud storage providers to run their organizations. The advantages of cloud computing continue to grow, so the time to adapt to the emerging technology is now.
Increase your productivity and deliver world-class customer experiences by integrating cloud storage at your business. Request a free sample scan from Didlake Imaging to see how we can put your documents to work.