There are many good reasons to invest in cloud storage software, but with so many competing options, it’s hard to make a final decision. Ultimately, your decision should be based on your company’s biggest priorities. For example, if you need a lot of data storage space, the option with unlimited storage is going to stand out to you.
But what exactly are your company’s top cloud storage priorities? And what’s the right way to use them to make a decision?
Potential Priorities for Cloud Storage
When evaluating cloud storage solutions, you’ll need to consider the following potential priorities:
- File agnosticism. First, you’ll likely want a data storage solution that is “file agnostic.” In other words, it allows you to upload and edit almost any type of file. While most generic cloud storage apps in the modern era will allow you to upload practically everything, not all will offer the editing and collaboration tools you need to make tweaks to those files while stored.
- Cloud storage and accessibility. Data storage is almost exclusively in the cloud these days, due to the advantages of storing data this way. But how accessible do you need your files to be? Most organizations like the idea of being able to access their files remotely, from any device; it makes it easy to work from home or access certain documents while on the road. However, this may not be as big of a priority as some of the other items on this list.
- User interfaces and learnability. When integrating a new cloud storage system in your organization, you’ll need to train and educate your staff members so they can use it properly. Ideally, your solution will be so intuitive and learnable that your employees figure out how to use it in mere minutes, all on their own. But not all UI/UX design is favorable to this – and it may not be your top priority.
- Administrative and user management options. How much control do you need to exercise over the accessibility and storage of your data? Do you want to set up multiple different tiers of users with different levels of access? How much do you need to control accessibility and editing? Some data storage platforms allow you a wide range of options you can use to perfectly customize your experience.
- Security settings and protections. Most well-known cloud storage solutions take security very seriously and will have robust defenses against both cyberattacks and potential natural disasters; for example, they may have your data stored in multiple physical locations to ensure it can never be completely wiped out by a single incident.
- Storage location. Some companies prioritize cloud storage companies with local storage options. Different countries have different regulations related to data storage, which you may need to consider or follow.
- Backup and restoration options. Most companies seeking cloud storage are interested in having multiple backup and restoration options. If your company suffers a cyberattack or if an unfortunate mistake corrupts your work, will you be able to quickly and conveniently restore everything back to normal?
- Management tools. What tools are available to help you manage projects, tinker with files, and adjust settings related to users? If you plan on doing a lot of work within this cloud data storage platform, you’ll need a robust set of tools available to you.
- Collaboration features. You may also prioritize collaboration tools if you want to streamline the efficiency of your organization. How easy is it for two people working miles apart to collaborate on a file that’s mutually stored? Is it easy to share a file with someone outside your organization, using a link or another type of sharing tool?
- Customer service. If you don’t have an in-house IT team or if you just want to have some extra assurance, you may prioritize customer service. Most cloud storage apps offer comprehensive documentation, including customer forums, FAQs, and tutorials, but if and when an issue occurs, you may want to get on the phone with an agent and talk things through.
- Budget friendliness. Some companies are willing to pay whatever’s necessary to get the right solution in place. But others must find a data storage solution that works within their allocated budget.
The Importance of a Trial Run
Even with a firm understanding of your top priorities in cloud storage, it’s often hard to feel confident in your final decision. That’s why it’s important to take a trial run of several different cloud storage solutions. Try them out on your own, uploading files, sharing them, and testing their security. Once you and your team have more hands-on experience with the various options available to you, you’ll be in a much stronger position to make the right data storage decision for your business.