Cloud data storage – why isn’t everyone on board yet?

Cloud solutions could help organisations in a competitive market deliver new services to customers at no extra cost, and more firms are becoming comfortable with the idea of using cloud-based storage. However, there are still plenty of businesses reluctant to adopt cloud technologies.

Storage demands

The cloud is the obvious solution to all of the requirements of data storage in modern society: local and remote accessibility, massive scalability, continuous uptime, greater automation, and fewer resources needed to manage a greater capacity. You can store a ton of data without having to invest in local servers, which is why cloud-based services are so popular with smaller or new businesses. For larger businesses, however, the cloud isn’t quite so attractive.

Plenty of larger businesses do use the cloud to host apps, store their email data for remote access, and allow employees to work from home sometimes, but they still generally keep the main bulk of their static data on their own servers. From their perspective, this allows them to conduct faster analytics, and it also feels safer and more secure. There are still plenty of concerns about the security of cloud data storage, and companies are reluctant to place large amounts of valuable data in its hands.

A world of possibilities

It’s exhausting to go out every day and promote the benefits of cloud technologies to people with their heads in the sand. For years, cloud technology has been heralded as the future of data storage, but vendors haven’t seen the anticipated uptake from businesses for even the most basic of packages. There is a whole world of possibilities out there, and the cloud services industry is only just entering it.

The beauty of cloud services is that they can be customised to work in pretty much any way a business needs them to. For example, if you really wanted storage that requires a local appliance, incorporates encryption, needs a secure high-bandwidth internet connection, and makes for instant access and replication, cloud systems can actually do all these things and more. In fact, they’re already doing this for so many organisations.

Cloud storage can also make huge environmental impacts. If a business is trying to aim for a paperless office, for example, working in the cloud can solve a huge number of problems for them. Pushing these less obvious selling points could make a difference to uptake in the coming years.

Meeting specific needs

For most companies these days, the focus is on achieving much more than the safe storage of data. It’s more common to require a range of bolted-on, integrated products and services to a standard cloud storage package in order to meet a wide variety of specialist goals and needs. No one just wants to store their data; they want it to work for them, too.

This means that companies want their data to be accessible and discoverable whilst having the integrity and security that ensures this data will be usable in the future. They want automated data storage workflows, ways to share information with clients and customers, and instant access to their whole repository of data. Storage is only half of what people are asking of cloud services.

What a company wants to do with its data and how it wants it to be managed will determine what direction the firm goes in when it comes to storage solutions. Some organisations simply can’t use cloud storage, whether it’s for corporate, regulatory, or geographical reasons, while for others, choosing the cloud will be a no-brainer. Most firms will be somewhere in between these two extremes, and opting for cloud services may take some consideration.

Nevertheless, the benefits of cloud technologies are plentiful. Flexible storage solutions that enable people to instantly access and edit data while ensuring that everyone else can see the updated files are increasingly popular as businesses become more and more aware of how much time gets wasted in the tedious task of file management. Clouds are still the way forward – it just might take time.