Businesses are embracing cloud storage, the latest market research shows. Increasing demand for big data will swell the cloud storage market from $18.87 billion in 2015 to $65.41 billion by 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate of 28.2 percent, according to a Markets and Markets report. More and more companies are seeing cloud storage as a solution for a growing range of applications, including primary and backup storage, online storage gateways and data movement and access. Companies of all sizes are adopting cloud storage solutions in industries ranging from healthcare and financial services to manufacturing and retail. If your e-commerce business is seeking a data storage solution, cloud storage offers a range of benefits that make it a compelling option.
Price is one of the most compelling reasons companies are turning to cloud storage. Per unit of storage, cloud solutions offer more bang for your buck than any other option. Competition among cloud vendors has fueled a price war that Gartner calls seemingly bottomless. For instance, ZipCloud offers unlimited storage space for as little as $4.95 a month, a value that earns five stars from Top 10 Cloud Storage. For most companies, storing your data on the cloud represents a much more affordable option than hosting your own network.
For companies with large databases, and especially for those handling big data, cloud storage offers significantly more space than other options. As CNET summarizes, leading cloud solutions offer as much as 15GB of free storage with affordable options to easily scale up to 100GB, 250GB and even 1TB. If you need to store large quantities of photo or video files or if you need to process large volumes of customer data, cloud storage space is hard to beat.
The cloud also represents one of the best available options for backing up the data your company stores. Hard drive failures, corrupt software, power surges and natural disasters can wipe your business out in an instant if your data isn’t backed up. Local backup provides some protection, but may not be enough in the event of an emergency that takes out your whole local network, such as a storm, fire or flood. Cloud servers offer the advantage of backing your data up at multiple locations so that even if disaster strikes one point, your invaluable business data won’t be lost. As PC Magazine explains, cloud storage enables you to back up large amounts of data while giving you control over what you want to back up, how often, where you want it stored and how fast you want it delivered. Many storage providers also offer options like file syncing and physical disc copies.
File sharing is another reason more companies are storing data on the cloud. As TechTarget’s Rachel Kossman explains, cloud storage appeals to businesses because it enables them to share files without using a virtual private network or file servers. This lowers overall network costs and also enables sharing of files that are too large to easily share through other means. File sharing also represents an excellent way for companies that are considering a wholesale cloud move to test how a cloud-based network model works for them on a small scale before making a commitment.
When companies consider storing data on the cloud, security concerns inevitably arise. While many perceive cloud storage as a risk, whether or not your cloud data is at risk usually depends more on your own policies and employees than on your cloud provider, explains TechRepublic’s Conner Forrest. Since cloud providers handle data professionally, they typically have better security standards in place than the average enterprise. However, an enterprise’s own security standards can impact the security of data it moves to and from the cloud. Last year, almost 60 percent of security breaches came from employees mishandling data, often by using insecure connections or devices, reports Experian. The best way to secure your cloud data is to combine strong in-house policies with a reliable cloud storage provider.
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