Once the decision has been made to transit data from traditional computer storage to online storage, the next question is how to select a reliable provider.
After all, files are only as secure as the company that holds them, and they cannot be accessed if the provider goes out of business. A careful evaluation of the company’s needs will produce a list of services that providers must offer to be considered. Along with this, answering the following five questions gives business leaders the key information necessary to choose an online storage service:
This is often the primary concern of those new to the concept of online storage. Business leaders express concern that sensitive information can be compromised more easily when it is virtual, as opposed to being contained in traditional storage devices.
Providers of online storage have taken every possible step to minimize this risk, with the most reputable services offering encrypted transfer of files. Complex passwords that cannot be guessed are required for online security. When multiple employees will access the files, select a service that is set up for role-based access control.
What features are available?
Some online storage providers are quite basic, offering little more than the ability to back up critical data. Others have a wide range of features that simplify the process of uploading and backing up records, accessing them, and sharing them with others. Those looking for a user-friendly system prefer online storage with drag-and-drop functionality and an option to schedule regular, automatic backups .
What will it cost?
Comparing pricing structures can be complicated, as quotes are not always apples-to-apples. However, once needs have been defined and described to the service, they can break down charges for unique business situations into a regular monthly payment. The most popular online storage providers offer a lot of space at a reasonable price.
Many allow users a free trial period to test out some of the features. Finally, in the interest of full disclosure, it is important to ask about set-up fees, which should be low.
How easy is it to use?
Answering this question is more difficult for online storage services, as the ease of use can be subjective. However, by requesting a trial period to experiment with the system, users can determine which they are most comfortable with. The more complicated an online storage service is to use, the less likely it is that a complete transition will occur. That makes it all the more critical to select an option that the average staff member can master quickly.
What support is available?
As with any service, quality assistance will make or break a user’s experience. Ensuring there is live customer support available via phone, email, or online chat is important. One should examine help indexes and searches for thoroughness and check for sections devoted to frequently asked questions, tutorials, and similar resources.
The experience of transitioning to online storage depends heavily on the features, ease of use, and support offered by the service. Evaluating these aspects of all online storage companies under consideration leads directly to the success of the project.
Oliver Hays writes article about useful online tools and services. He believes everyone should consider online storage (say ‘Hi’ to Handy Backup’s partner online backup service, DumpTruck) for photos, files, and documents. His articles help educate readers about the benefits of secure cloud storage services.