Cloud Storage Selection Tips for Small Businesses

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One of the main reasons many small businesses fail has to do with a lack of capital; the inability to keep the doors open. Indeed, many small business owners who are new to the game often find themselves pinching pennies and diverting limited funds from one service to another. And if this results in forgoing certain vital services, like data backup, it can put the whole operation at risk.

Unfortunately, many small businesses are using antiquated methods of data storage, such as external hard drives or even writeable CDs. The best way to ensure total data protection in the modern world is through cloud storage. With cloud’s ability to store data remotely in offsite servers, there is no better way to secure a small business’ vital info.

Of course, there are many things the small business owner will want to do when considering a cloud-backup service. These include:

Forgoing on-site backups

The first thing to do is get rid of all physical backups. The era of the external hard drive is over. These were useful methods of storage for many years, but they were prone to damage, loss and theft. More to the point, any physical data-storage device is at risk precisely because of these factors. There are far too many reputable and secure cloud-storage providers operating today to warrant the need for physical backups.

Auditing business data

Business owners should do this before looking at cloud-storage providers in order to identify which specific portions of data need to be secured. They will want to protect account information and customer data, but they should look at their mobile devices as well. Increasingly, more and more business is being conducted on tablets and smartphones, therefore, owners will want to look at all such devices used in their operation in order to determine if they contain valuable data.

Auditing cloud-storage providers

It’s important for small business owners to come up with a checklist of things they are looking for in a data-storage provider. Most reputable cloud-storage providers will offer many services but the owner needs to ask the tough questions as well. It’s important to ensure the backup system in question has its own backup in case of emergencies. Therefore the business owner is going to want to insist on a minimum 99% uptime rate guarantee. This ensures that all of the provider’s servers are guaranteed up and running a minimum of 99% during any calendar month.

There are other considerations as well. Business owners will want to pour over any plan offered by a provider with a fine-tooth comb. That means looking for any hidden administrative fees or cancellation charges. That said, some of the best companies offering the most competitive rates include:

  • Carbonite
  • Mozy
  • BUMI
  • Box
  • Egnyte

No matter the type of business, all of the above options offer plans that can accommodate most needs and budgets.

By adhering to these simple guidelines, small businesses of all stripes should be able to find a quality data-storage provider and bring their operation out of the past and into a secure, cloud-based future.

Ryan Seigel is an avid blogger and contributor to, a leading Dallas Ethernet service provider.

Michael Bowen


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