- Strategy for selecting the right cloud storage vendor
- Features that you should consider
- Brief comparison of Dropbox, Box, SharePoint, and Egnyte
- When to get help
Developing a Strategy That Makes Sense
All businesses, large and small, depend on technology for essential functions. While the promises of going paperless have yet to come true, most businesses create and store essential information electronically. But where should company data be stored—on local servers or in the cloud? Read on to discover the right cloud storage vendor for your business.
Increasingly, organizations are transferring file storage and sharing to cloud platforms for reasons of volume, security, and convenience. If your business faces this decision now or if you are not satisfied with your current vendor, you need a strategy to help you choose.
Before you look at available online comparisons of file storage vendors, we recommend that you take some time to reflect on the current state of your business and what you envision its future to be. What are your highest priorities? Which challenges or pain points keep you awake at night? What does your team need to become more productive and successful? Remember, no single vendor can be best at everything.
For example, if you organization handles a lot of highly sensitive information—as healthcare organizations, law firms, or financial services companies do—security of file storage and sharing will likely be a high priority. Similarly, if your organization has teams that manage large, complex projects, selecting a vendor that specializes in workflow convenience might be your highest priority.
Once you have compiled a list of priorities for your organization, you then have a logical way of finding a vendor that most nearly matches what you need.
Common Features of Cloud Storage Vendors
Most cloud storage vendors offer various combinations of the following general features:
- Robust file storage volume
- File sharing capability within and outside your organization
- Strong security and encryption capability
- File searching, backup, and retrieval
- Ability to integrate with other apps
- Support when things go wrong
- Reasonable price
Again, the importance of each feature in the above list is likely to shift according to the nature and structure of your organization.
Four Cloud Storage Vendors
Among the many cloud storage vendors, these four have become major players. Our comments about each are intended to get you started but are not overall evaluations of each one. We are not presenting formal reviews of these vendors.
Dropbox for Business is a popular cloud storage vendor for many businesses. The user interface is easy to grasp, and the amount of storage available is large. Dropbox can synch across devices and accommodates teams that work remotely. They also integrate with several apps, including Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace. Security features are good, but other vendors provide higher levels of security plus convenience.
Box is a popular storage vendor for businesses primarily because it emphasizes collaboration for project teams and simplified workflow management. They offer integration with over 1,500 apps. Security features are configured to be compliant with industry standards (e.g., HIPAA-compliant for healthcare organizations). Cloud storage volume is sufficient, depending on the size required by your business.
SharePoint is not a cloud file storage app, but it works with Microsoft’s OneCloud for storing files. The chief difference from other vendors is that SharePoint requires creation and use of a website. Once a website is established, SharePoint works with that to manage workflows with MS Teams and real-time collaboration. Projects are managed by creating specific web pages within the website. As expected, SharePoint integrates with all MS Office apps. Security is robust but works best with MS apps. Many small businesses find that the time and effort to learn how to use SharePoint exceeds their resources. Larger businesses that use MS Office 365 can cope with SharePoint’s learning curve more easily.
For businesses that require robust security plus maximum convenience, Egnyte is a popular choice. Egnyte provides superior cybersecurity features including multi-factor authentication, ransomware detection and recovery. They also provide enhanced backup and recovery of files by ensuring that complete backups are stored in more than one remote location. Project teams can collaborate remotely and edit files in real time. Egnyte includes superior content searching within the body of files along with file auditing to track who does what to each file. Finally, Egnyte integrates with many other apps, including MS Office, Google Workspace, and other storage vendors (such as Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive).
When You Need Help Selecting the Right Cloud Storage Vendor
Each of the above vendors offer many more benefits than we can cover here. For example, all provide the ability to establish client portals for your own clients or vendors. Depending on the nature and size of your business, choosing a new cloud storage vendor or deciding to switch to another one can become a significant time sink.
Further, it might be challenging to determine which vendor integrates most smoothly with apps that your business already uses. Sometimes, the integration is direct while other apps require using a bridge app of which there are many.
Finally, after selecting a cloud storage vendor, you might need assistance in setting up your account so that everything runs smoothly and efficiently for you and your employees. In some cases, employee training will be necessary or highly desirable.
At Now IT Works, we can help you settle on a cloud storage vendor that best matches how your organization operates. And we can help you set up and manage everything for maximum convenience and productivity. When things work properly, you can grow your business securely and with confidence. Contact us to get started.