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Cloud storage is continuing to grow in popularity and prominence. It seems as though everyone and everything is “in the Cloud” these days. With so many Cloud-based options, though, and tremendous overlap between services offered, it can be confusing to know which solution is right for you. This article is designed to help you understand some of the basics of how Cloud storage works, what the risks are, and how to best utilize this technology for your business.


What is the Cloud?

First things first: understanding what the Cloud is—the Cloud refers to services and software that are hosted remotely, on different servers around the world, instead of your computer or internal network. The great benefits offered by Cloud services are that it greatly reduces the amount of infrastructure that you need and allows you to access your software and information from anywhere in the world. Good examples of Cloud service providers are Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft. These companies are among the chief data center operators for consumer Cloud services in the world, an industry valued in the hundreds of billions of dollars. A good example for the prominence of Cloud storage is found in Facebook, with more than 400 billion photos currently uploaded with about 350 million added each day.[1]

In addition to consumer usage, many business owners are choosing to capture, store, and share company information on the Cloud. This means that instead of the company computers storing all electronic data on-site, it is uploaded to servers housed in data centers across a wide variety of locations.


Cloud Storage Concerns

As with any new and emerging technology, some business owners and consumers have concerns over the safety of using Cloud storage. While this is understandable, many concerns are alleviated through proper education and using a reliable Cloud service provider.

Some of these concerns include the following:

  • Security: There is worry over storing and sharing information through a third party in the Cloud. Many feel insecure about relying on someone else to house their information. With information always being transmitted back and forth over the internet, this opens the possibility of having that information intercepted or hacked.
  • Technical Problems: It is a wonderful service to be able to access your information from any device, whether you are on vacation in a tropical location or sitting in your home office. However, every so often, just as with most software or programs, services could be interrupted through down servers or interrupted internet connectivity and work would be halted.
  • Network Dependencies: The ability to utilize the Cloud depends on functioning network connections. Additionally, when your network runs slowly, so does your production.

These are the main concerns that we hear time and again from our clients and we will address these concerns in the following paragraph.


eFileCabinet Cloud Solutions

As you can see the list of concerns is small, and eFileCabinet can address each of these concerns and leave you feeling comfortable with the utilization of Cloud-based programs. The answer to all of these initial concerns can be found in the use of hybrid cloud model for document and data storage like those found at eFileCabinet.


eFileCabinet Desktop

eFileCabinet Desktop is an on-premise document management solution that assists with storing, organizing, and retrieving information. With the desktop version, you store all your data securely on your company computers. eFileCabinet desktop also benefits from all the advantages of Cloud services with CloudView. CloudView backs up all the data you have to the Cloud and also allows you to access it from the Cloud, but all the data is initially stored on your own computer network. This combines all the benefits of the Cloud with all the benefits of on-premise data management.


On-Premise Security

The necessary security features for on-site storage include the following:

  • Encrypted Storage: Storage of data in an encrypted format can provide an added level of security should someone gain access to a sensitive server or PC.
  • Role-Based Security: This prevents unauthorized users from writing data to a DVD, jump drive, or other device.
  • Automatic Backup: With CloudView, this allows you to schedule automatic backups to keep your storage up-to-date.
  • Secure Document Sharing: Additional security with on-premise DMS in secure online document sharing security.

The necessary security features for online storage include the following:

  • Access Control and Certifications: High quality Cloud-based data and document management systems have highly secured facilities complete with intrusion detection, visitor logging, and video surveillance. This level of security is often too expensive for small to medium-sized businesses to accomplish on their own.
  • Environmental Control: A huge plus for online data storage, environmental controls such as climate control, fire detection, and power control provide a level of security that is difficult to replicate on-site.


Advantages of Cloud Storage

Cost-Effective: When you have a company and you use traditional on-site storage, you have to outfit every employee with a computer—a computer with a big enough hard drive to properly store data and with the appropriate software and hardware to complete necessary tasks. This also means paying for licenses, in-house IT support, and company servers.

With Cloud storage all you need for each employee is a device with an internet browser. No need to worry about having enough licenses or enough storage space.

Accessibility: Another advantage of Cloud storage is the ability to access information both within the office and from any other place with appropriate internet and interface program, making accessing work easier and more flexible.

Storage, Backup, and Recovery: With the Cloud you have an almost unlimited amount of storage. The Cloud’s data centers are extremely large and hungry for more data.  Because the data is stored in the Cloud, the process of backing it up and restoring it is much easier than completing the same task on a physical hard drive. Recovery is also easier due to higher competence of data storage providers.

As far as technical difficulties, with a hybrid model of storage, even if an online server is down, you can still function with the data you have on-site until repairs are made. But, technical issues are not relegated solely to internet storage, you can have them no matter how you electronically store and manage data.

With the right security, programs, and support, such as that found within eFileCabinet’s Desktop, eFileCabinet Online, and SecureDrawer, you can rest easy knowing your data management risks have been minimized as much as possible. Fill out the form for a demo today.

[1] http://money.cnn.com/2014/09/03/technology/enterprise/what-is-the-cloud/index.html