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February 26, 2015

Making The Most Out Of Cloud File-Sharing


File sharing in the cloud 

A business’s ability to access, protect and share its data amongst its employees can be seriously limited if it tries to do everything in-house with only minimal on-site technology resources. This is where cloud storage comes in.

Moving data to the cloud can improve an SMEs productivity, security and data accessibility no end. Of course, it does come with its own concerns, but, due to the cost savings and the overall efficiency and convenience benefits of cloud storage, more and more businesses of all sizes are deciding to utilize cloud services in one form or another.

Choosing the right cloud storage service for your business can indeed be a bit of a tricky task, however, as there are nearly as many of them as there are clouds in the sky – and so the purpose of this blog is to help you become familiar with the different features of cloud storage that you will find available to you when start shopping, in order that you may be better informed when it comes to making a decision.

File-Sharing In The Cloud

Firstly, going for cloud storage will allow your company to be able to work without a virtual private network (VPN) or file server(s). When cloud storage first emerged, companies were mainly using it to enable remote accessibility to important files for employees who were doing a lot of work from their smartphones or tablets. However, as things have progressed, many businesses have found that by utilizing many of the available online services – such as Dropbox, SugarSync or Egnyte – they can actually replace the file servers that they had previously hosted in-house. Without the need of a VPN, a huge cost saving is initially incurred right out at the outset.

It’s fair to say that Dropbox can be thought of as the pioneer for simplicity and ease of use when it comes to file-sharing. Now there are literally dozens of well-known vendors offering similar services.

There is great appeal for many SMEs, as Vladis Filks, the research director at Gartner explains:

Enterprise employees use Dropbox and Google [Drive] because they are consumer products that are simple to use, can be purchased without officially requesting new infrastructure or budget expenditure, and can be installed quickly on your own device without the involvement of IT.

The Concerns

Be this as it may, IT departments around the globe have become increasingly concerned about the security of sensitive corporate data being stored off-premises, especially due to the fact that data laws require knowledge of and control over data location. What is more, a lot of the consumer-grade services, such as those most commonly provided by the likes of Dropbox et al, don’t necessarily provide the kinds of features that is required by businesses.

However, there are plenty of options to go for, and so below we have compiled a short list of 5 of the very best cloud storage services for businesses and have outlined their key features.

5 Cloud Storage Services For SMEs

  1. Dropbox For Business

Dropbox for Business is becoming as popular for enterprises as Dropbox has proved to be for non-commercial use. Providing business with 1 TB of storage and supporting multiple user with centralized activity monitoring, this is one of the very best cloud services that you can go for.

  1. Google Drive

Google Drive is another very popular service that pairs with an SaaS (software as a service) suite (Google Docs) which allows to create and edit documents via a browser. What’s so appealing about Google Drive is its ability to let you view files even if you don’t have the program they were created on installed onto your computer (so, if you don’t have the Adobe suite, then no worries, you can still view files that were created in Photoshop or Illustrator etc.).

  1. Microsoft SkyDrive

SkyDrive is great for free storage and of course integrates well with Windows operating systems – for example it will sync Windows Phone with Windows 8+ so that all settings, apps, files and folders are seamlessly integrated. SkyDrive is not limited to Windows, however – it’s available on iOS and Android too.

  1. Box

The central idea behind Box, unlike that of the others whose main focus is to keep online files synced and stored so that various copies can be accessed on various devices (though it does of course still have this capability), but rather to serve as a means to centralize business data for easier collaboration in the cloud. Box also lets you share screencasts and screenshots from your desktop.

  1. SugarSync For Business

SugarSync For Business lets you sync files and folders across any Mac, PC, Android, Blackberry or iOS device. It also includes an Outlook plugin that lets you embed links in your emails to large files rather than attaching the actual files themselves.

Cloud storage and file-sharing is something that you will require as your business grows. It is a fully scalable solution for many business’s storage needs, and V&C Solutions are the team that can help you find the right service for you. Get in touch to find out more.