For small businesses, cloud services are quickly becoming the preferred method of storing digital data.
While they used to rely on in-house servers to store their growing amounts of online files, many small businesses are now transferring those services to online data storage services, such as JustCloud or DropBox.
From the flexibility they get being able to access data from anywhere there is an Internet connection to the cost-savings they realize, there are number of benefits small businesses experience from storing their data in the cloud.
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Here are eight of the biggest benefits small businesses say they get from using online data storage.
Employees can work from anywhere
Online storage data allows employees to work from anywhere there is an Internet connection, which is a huge benefit to Matthew Vollmar, CEO of managed IT services provider Newmind Group. He said his staff is no longer limited by location.
"It provides our 19 team members the freedom to work from anywhere (home, coffee shops, client facilities) and still have access to any needed documents or information," Vollmar told Business News Daily.
No server maintenance
Jeff Kear, owner and founder of online event management software provider Planning Pod, said one of the greatest benefits he gets from using online storage services is that he doesn't need to hire IT staff or retain consultants to maintain a server for all of his digital data.
"Servers are expensive to run and often more expensive to maintain, and by using a service like Dropbox, I don't need to spend additional money on server support personnel," Kear said. "This probably saves my business $5,000 to $10,000 every year."
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Data is easily moved
As a business that has moved offices five times in the last seven years, Tao Wong, CEO of eCommerce consultant PDB Sales Inc., said using online storage makes the process go much smoother.
"Concerns about data loss is minimized," Wong said. "With the online data storage solutions, setup for the [new] offices has been a matter of plug-and-play."
Robyn Tippins, co-founder of the marketing agency Mariposa, said with offices in three states and consultants across the globe, online data storage allows them to share files efficiently. She said they previously used email files, but that didn't work as well as new staff members were added.
"We use an inexpensive cloud storage provider to ensure everyone has the most up-to-date version of working docs, like client proposals, training documents, SOWs and contracts," Tippins said. "It helps us manage our workflow, onboard new consultants and new clients, and makes it possible to be a small team, despite the large geographic area we span."
Cost is a big reason why Mickey Luongo, vice president of heating and air conditioning products provider Total Home Supply, uses online data storage services over in-house options.
"Managing servers in-house is expensive," Luongo said. "By outsourcing our data storage, we saved on a lot of hardware and maintenance costs."
No data loss
Jacob Lang, business development coordinator of Back Bay Networks, said one major benefit of using online storage services is that his company doesn't have to worry about losing any data should a natural disaster hit their offices.
"Living in New England, we're prone to heavy snow storms and weird weather patterns that may knock out our server," Lang said. "With online storage we never have to worry about losing our important documents."
While cybercriminals are a threat to everyone, Tripp Wiggins, co-founder of Cooking Planit, said he feels more confident in the protection online storage services can provide, than what he is capable on his own.
"Though everyone is vulnerable, online storage companies like Dropbox have teams of people that are solely focused on data security," Wiggins said.
X. Kevin Liao, founder of design firm Illustria Designs, said he prefers using online data storage services because it gives him the ability to easily share his design files with clients who are eager to see his work.
"We are able to share project drafts in real time and get instant feedback from clients," Liao said. "It makes [clients] feel that they are involved in the process and gives them that in-house experience."