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Cloud storage and your small business: How much storage you really need

So you’ve decided your small business needs cloud storage. The next question now is, how much storage does your company actually need? After all, you don’t want to pay for a service you’re barely using.

One of the benefits of cloud storage over physical hardware is the scalability. Cloud storage providers typically offer scaling plans. Meaning, you can choose a plan with the right amount of storage and upgrade your plan later as you need more space.

But how do you know how much storage you actually need? Keep reading to learn more about determining the right amount of cloud storage for small business.

Determining the right amount of space

The first step to calculating how much space you’ll need is to determine the current use of your disk space.

How big is your current storage drive space? How much of that total space are you using? Has the amount of used space increased or decreased over time?

Knowing how you use your current disk space storage will help to figure out how much cloud storage you’ll need. You’ll be able to determine if you need more or less space or about the same.

Once you’ve seen how you’re using your current space, you’ll next need to look at the types of files. You’ll need to figure out how much space is dedicated to pictures, documents, audio and video files.

Each one takes up a different amount of space and may require different types of plans from your provider.

Documents

If most of your storage is taken up by documents, you could probably get away with a smaller amount of space. Documents take up very little to no space. Even larger reports and documents aren’t as big as the other media files.

Knowing this will help to ensure you don’t pay for a plan with a large storage size that you’ll only use a small portion of.

Media files (pictures, videos, and audio)

Media files compared to documents are much larger and require more space when being stored in large amounts.

Of the three, video files are the largest by far. Pictures and audio files depend upon the size of the image or the format of the audio file.

Pictures can get resized smaller in physical size and file size. Some formats of audio files are larger than the others. Be sure to pay attention to how many media files you store and how big each of those files is.

Remember if you do choose a plan without enough space, contact your provider and ask about upgrading to a plan that better suits your needs.

Benefits of cloud storage for small business

While the biggest benefit of the cloud is off-site storage and universal access, there are many more benefits worth mentioning.

One of the biggest benefits of cloud storage over physical on-site data storage is its scalability. Physical data storage can come with a host of problems. If the hardware becomes damaged or even too old you run the risk of losing all your data.

When these occur, you’ll need to purchase a new drive and hope you can transfer all your files to the new drive without losing any. The same goes if you need to increase your amount of storage.

With cloud storage, however, these are no longer concerns. If you need more storage all you need do is purchase a bigger plan. Some providers will even offer unlimited storage.

Other concerns such as aging and damaged equipment are the problems of the provider. Providers of cloud storage have the ability to keep their subscriber’s data safe and secure even in the event of faulty or damaged equipment.

Since the security and storage of your data rely on third-party service providers, you’ll need to thoroughly do your research and choose a cloud storage provider that meets your needs.

Choosing a service provider

You’ll want to take your time choosing both a service provider and a plan. Remember, all your company’s data will be placed in the hands of someone else for safe keeping.

Make sure the cloud storage provider you choose is going to properly secure and store your files so they don’t get stolen or lost while maintaining your privacy. You’ll also want to be sure to choose a plan that not only meets your storage needs but your budgetary needs as well.

One thing to look for when researching how secure your data will be is to find a provider who offers two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication helps to prevent against cyber attacks.

The way two-factor authentication works is it sends a one time password via a text message or app to be used for logging in with your password.

For an added layer of security on your end, you can encrypt your files prior to uploading them into the cloud.

Cloud storage and your business

Cloud storage for small business is the future of data storage. Cloud storage offers off-site data storage and takes the worry of security and storage space out of your hands.

No more buying new equipment when something breaks or gets old and risk losing all your data in the transition. Since cloud storage plans are scalable you can choose to pay only for the size of storage you need.  If you need more then you can upgrade your plan to what you need.

Cloud storage providers offer two-factor authentication features adding a layer of security to your data.

If you still have questions about cloud storage or are worried about how secure cloud storage is, read more about it on our blog. We have articles covering this and many more topics to help you meet all your small business needs!

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