Cloud Storage is a service where data is remotely maintained, managed, and backed up. The service allows the users to store files online, so that they can access them from any location via the Internet. According to a recent survey conducted with more than 800 business decision makers and users worldwide, the number of organizations gaining competitive advantage through high cloud adoption has almost doubled in the last few years and by 2017, the public cloud services market is predicted to exceed $244 billion. Now, let’s look into some of the advantages and disadvantages of Cloud Storage.
Advantages of Cloud Storage
1. Usability: All cloud storage services reviewed in this topic have desktop folders for Mac’s and PC’s. This allows users to drag and drop files between the cloud storage and their local storage.
2. Bandwidth: You can avoid emailing files to individuals and instead send a web link to recipients through your email.
3. Accessibility: Stored files can be accessed from anywhere via Internet connection.
4. Disaster Recovery: It is highly recommended that businesses have an emergency backup plan ready in the case of an emergency. Cloud storage can be used as a back‐up plan by businesses by providing a second copy of important files. These files are stored at a remote location and can be accessed through an internet connection.
5. Cost Savings: Businesses and organizations can often reduce annual operating costs by using cloud storage; cloud storage costs about 3 cents per gigabyte to store data internally. Users can see additional cost savings because it does not require internal power to store information remotely.
Disadvantages of Cloud Storage
1. Usability: Be careful when using drag/drop to move a document into the cloud storage folder. This will permanently move your document from its original folder to the cloud storage location. Do a copy and paste instead of drag/drop if you want to retain the document’s original location in addition to moving a copy onto the cloud storage folder.
2. Bandwidth: Several cloud storage services have a specific bandwidth allowance. If an organization surpasses the given allowance, the additional charges could be significant. However, some providers allow unlimited bandwidth. This is a factor that companies should consider when looking at a cloud storage provider.
3. Accessibility: If you have no internet connection, you have no access to your data.
4. Data Security: There are concerns with the safety and privacy of important data stored remotely. The possibility of private data commingling with other organizations makes some businesses uneasy. If you want to know more about those issues that govern data security and privacy, here is an interesting article on the recent privacy debates.
5. Software: If you want to be able to manipulate your files locally through multiple devices, you’ll need to download the service on all devices.