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Storage and Collaboration Tools: Searching for The Best Cloud Storage Solutions For Your Business

Several businesses today are starting to move from on-premise hardware to cloud storage solutions to keep their files and records. Indeed, storing company files and folders in the cloud allows for more flexibility and easy scalability. Using cloud-based storage and collaboration tools give more space to grow for your company without weighing it down due to numerous on-premise hardware storage systems.

There’s a lot of cloud-based storage and collaboration tools out there, it can truly be daunting to find one that fits your business requirements. Let us take you through all the facts related to storage and collaboration tools so you’d know how to pick the right solution for your organization.

Cloud Storage Solutions Defined

A cloud storage solution is a tool used to store, save, share, and manage different kinds of files. It is an off-site, cloud-based storage system maintained by third parties. Cloud storage tools can be used to securely save and store data without having to use your computer hard drive, flash drive, or any other kind of storage device.

Perhaps you’re already using cloud storage and collaboration tool for personal use. Examples of these tools are Google Drive, iCloud, OneDrive, and DropBox. Cloud storage tools for business use work pretty much the same as these personal ones, albeit there are additional features for collaboration, productivity, and ramped-up security.

How Cloud Storage Tools Work

Cloud storage tools use a multi-tenant and highly virtualized structure to provide scalable storage services for businesses. Cloud-based storage tools get their resources mainly from a web-based interface as well.

A cloud storage solution needs at least a single data server where users may connect to through the Internet. Files from the users can then be sent to the data server automatically or manually. The data server receives them and in turn forwards these files to multiple servers for storage.

Several data servers are needed to make an entire cloud storage solution work. This ensures that data stored in the cloud can still be accessible even if another data server goes down or is under maintenance. Often, data stored in public clouds are replicated in data servers located in different physical locations across as part of disaster recovery or fault tolerance processes. However, the main servers are typically located locally where the company’s main data center facilities are. This proximity helps cut down costs and improve the storage solution’s speed.

Cloud Storage Types

There are four main types of cloud storage services available to the public:

1. Public Cloud Storage

Public cloud storage has its infrastructure created, maintained, and managed by third-party providers. These storage solutions are owned by third-party companies and are typically offered to enterprises as a service. Public cloud storage has the following characteristics:


  • The use of an underlying object or block storage


  • Multi-tenant architecture


  • Utilizing APIs to connect other applications, allowing them to access the data through the Internet


Note that opting to use the public cloud for your storage needs relinquishes part of your overall data control to your chosen third-party provider. However, using this cloud storage type reduces your operational costs and provides you greater flexibility and scalability.

2. Private Cloud Storage

Private cloud storage runs under the control and management of an organization or company that owns it. It utilizes on-premise storage servers, data centers, or virtual machines completely owned by the company that uses it.

Private clouds share many of the characteristics of public clouds, such as the use of object storage and its packaging and delivery to users under the “as-a-service” solution. The main difference is that it isn’t a third-party solution; it’s directly owned, managed, controlled, and maintained by a single company.

3. Personal Cloud Storage

Personal cloud storage uses a personal cloud drive attached to a network to store all kinds of personal files and data. Only the user has ownership, access, and control of the personal cloud drive device. You can access and manage your files as long as you’re connected to the Internet

4. Hybrid Cloud Storage

This cloud storage type combines elements of the public cloud, private cloud, and data centers depending on a company’s needs. Hybrid cloud storage combines enterprise-owned sources with third-party public cloud storage solutions. This enables an organization to enjoy the flexibility and scalability of public clouds alongside greater data security offered by a private cloud and data center.


Why Use Cloud Storage Solutions?

Businesses nowadays choose to move their data to cloud storage solutions because of the following advantages:

Cost saving

Using cloud storage lets you save on operational costs. It is more affordable than having your own hardware and infrastructure for data storage. Cloud storage providers divide the costs of their services and infrastructure among the businesses that use it, making it generally cheaper for everyone.

Data storage facilities are costly to maintain and upgrade. Now, using a cloud-based storage tool frees you from the high costs of infrastructure maintenance and related service salaries. You’ll also save on physical space when you use cloud-based storage tools. That’s because you won’t need numerous server hardware for cloud storage tools to work. Computers and a reliable internet connection are all you need inside your office.

Work anywhere, anytime

Cloud storage and collaboration tools make it possible for work to be done anytime, anywhere. You can add files to your storage account wherever you are. You may also access the latest versions of documents uploaded to your account. All files are also accessible on any device you may be using – whether it be a laptop, desktop, tablet, or mobile phone.

Convenient set-up

Computers and a reliable internet connection – these things are all you need to run your office when it uses a cloud storage tool. Say goodbye to tedious server hardware set-ups, maintenance activities, and system downtimes! Cloud storage offers you a convenient data management set-up that doesn’t require additional support from an on-premise server maintenance team. All the support, management, and maintenance are carried out by your cloud storage provider.

Using an online cloud storage tool offers a huge amount of convenience and peace of mind for everyone on your team – from the management down to your employees. All of you can concentrate on your work without worrying about data loss.

Enhanced employee productivity

Cloud storage solutions typically come with collaboration tools that make work more efficient and productive for employees. These tools allow your team to work together to accomplish more tasks on the cloud. Not only that, but cloud storage tools are also lightning-fast, enabling your team to get more jobs done in a few clicks. Multiple people can gain access to their much-needed files, giving them the freedom and flexibility to collaborate on projects in real-time.

These tools also enhance productivity by freeing up certain departments from the tedious tasks of data management, maintenance, and security. All these aspects are handled directly by the cloud service provider, so your IT teams can focus on other aspects that’ll improve your business even more.

High level of data security

Indeed, data stored in the cloud can be easily accessible through the Internet. However, organizations often put strict permission levels so that only authorized users can gain access to data, files, and information. Most enterprise-level cloud storage providers also offer additional security features such:


  • Expiration dates and passwords for shared links


  • Permission access managed by your admins


  • Lost device protection


  • Single sign-on and two-factor authentication


These features keep your data safely accessible only to the people who need it within your organization.Should one server crash, stop, or undergo maintenance, your data is still safe since it’s backed up to multiple servers. Hardware malfunction risk is therefore minimized as well.


Pay for what you use while you use it – this is another convenient benefit of a cloud storage tool. There’s no risk of running short on tools or paying more than you need to. You’ll only pay for what you need and modify them along as your business demands change. You can even adjust your available cloud storage resources especially when it’s time to scale up your business.

Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery is a nightmare for most businesses. Losing all your vital business data due to a lack of backups can seriously hamper your company’s operations if and when it happens.

Most cloud storage tools offer a disaster recovery plan to prevent data loss during emergencies. Backups are consistently and automatically created by these tools, saving your important data on different remote locations should one server crash or needed maintenance. Saving your important data in the cloud prevents the loss of vital documents and information essential to running your business.

Just select which data to backup and how often it’ll be scheduled, and your cloud storage tool takes care of it without hampering your daily operations. Backed-up files and information are then retrievable and accessible anytime in just a few clicks.

Downsides of Cloud Storage Solutions

While there are numerous benefits to cloud storage tools, there are a few downsides, too. Luckily, the cons of using these storage tools are few and outweigh the benefits. We’ll also include some ways to combat these downsides.

Increased use of the Internet

Internet access is absolutely critical to running a modern business. However, using online cloud storage tools ramp up your corporate internet usage. How much internet usage a cloud storage tool needs greatly varies, but it definitely takes up more bandwidth than when you’re using hardware infrastructure for your data storage needs. This is especially true when your tool is automatically doing a back-up of your entire data systems.

It’s a good idea to set up internet bandwidth utilization rules within your cloud-based storage tools, especially when performing backup activities. That way, your internet connection doesn’t have to suffer and other activities using the internet can still be continued without lags.

At times, automatic backups of your entire business data can slow down your productivity platforms due to increased use of internet bandwidth and slower storage max ingest speeds. Some organizations may not notice this though, especially if they’re using a powerful internet connection and are running the backup in the background for extended periods. However, others may see a noticeable lag in their work environments while a cloud storage tool performs backups.

Automatic incremental backups are a great way to combat slowed-down backup speeds. It uploads a smaller number of files at a time, reducing backup sizes and hastening backup speeds. Consider using this feature when you notice a marked slowing of your systems during a full-blown backup session.

Matching your Internet bandwidth to your backup requirements is another way to speed up your cloud storage backups. Note that cloud storage providers have little control over this, so it’s up to you to increase your bandwidth to an acceptable level for faster data transfer.

Factors to Consider When Scouting Around for Business-Level Cloud Storage Solutions

What makes an incredible business-level cloud storage solution? Here are some key factors and considerations to take note of when searching for your ideal cloud-based storage tool.

Ease of Use

Look for a cloud storage tool that has a simple, easy-to-use, and intuitive dashboard and features. That makes it easier for anyone in your organization to use the storage solution. If everybody on your team can seamlessly upload, manage, and update their documents in your cloud storage tool, then it’s truly a user-friendly one.

Most storage tools also incorporate collaboration solutions with them. Search for a tool that fits all your business requirements without being too tech-savvy. That way, all your team members and employees can easily grasp the tool and start adapting to it smoothly from the first onboarding session alone.


Business Requirements

It’s critical to factor in your business requirements when selecting the right cloud storage provider. That’s because most businesses looking for backup data storage tools end up purchasing a cloud storage solution when all they need is just a cloud backup service.

Note that cloud backup services offer just that – backup services. Meanwhile, cloud storage solutions provide you more than backups – it lets you edit, manage, delete, share, collaborate, and link the files to different integrations and productivity apps. Hence, if you require a solution for actively working through your stored files, then by all means go for a reliable cloud storage solution.

Make sure that your chosen cloud storage solution has a system that’s aligned with your existing workloads along with its data availability requirements, application latency, and bandwidth. For instance, suppose the bulk of your workload lies in analytics and AI. Search for a cloud storage tool that supports the high-performance requirements typical of analytic systems and workloads.

Cloud Compliance

Consider investing in a cloud storage solution that observes compliance with privacy laws for data access and regulatory offerings. Note that many nations observe stringent laws mandating businesses not to store sensitive personal information outside national borders. An example of this would be the European Union with its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As such, check if your prospective cloud storage tool operates within the borders of that particular country or region with enough compliance to government regulations. It’s also a wise move to purchase from a cloud storage provider that offers regulatory compliance. Examples of these include:

  • SOX compliance (Sarbanes-Oxley Act) – for transparent financial reporting
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) – compliance to payment card standards for security, preventing breaches and cardholder data theft
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) – compliance with standards for the protection of sensitive patient data in different healthcare settings and facilities

No need to worry because many cloud storage providers today offer some, if not all, of these compliances in their tools.


Indeed, using storage from the cloud is way cheaper than building and maintaining your infrastructure. But still, watch out for the costs incurred by a cloud storage solution. Dig deeper into the following factors when researching for a cost-effective cloud storage tool:


  • Amount of data you need to store – This is usually calculated by cost-per-gigabyte. Storage costs will vary depending on your data type and its movement and activity level.


  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs) – This is an agreement offered by cloud service providers wherein you pay a bit more for a set uptime percentage and a guaranteed durability level.


  • Data egress – This refers to your data leaving your network and going in transit to another location or network. Note that if you regularly need to egress or migrate your data to the cloud, back and forth your platforms, or to different cloud storage vendors, your cold data storage can get a little expensive. The same goes for large volumes of data egressed to another platform or storage provider.


Don’t simply select the cloud storage provider that offers the cheapest storage and collaboration tools. Look for one that’s cost-effective considering the three crucial factors mentioned above. Keep in mind that cloud storage tools are a useful investment for your business, and a little higher price could be worth it if your business will run smoothly because of its added benefits.

Some of the Cloud Storage Solutions

In today’s world, cloud storage has become an integral part of our day-to-day life. With the rise of cloud computing, numerous cloud storage solutions have emerged, each offering a unique set of features and benefits. Let’s explore some of the most popular cloud storage solutions available today, including Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, and more.


Dropbox is a leading cloud storage solution that provides users with a convenient and reliable way to store, share, and access their files and folders from any device with an internet connection. The service operates on a cloud computing platform, which means that users’ data is stored on remote servers maintained by Dropbox, rather than on their local devices. This eliminates the need for users to carry around physical storage devices and reduces the risk of data loss due to hardware failure.

Platinum Partner offers Dropbox for businesses; a simple yet powerful tool that doubles as a collaboration platform. It has streamlined features, generous storage capacity, and plenty of integrations to keep your workflows going smoothly.

Google Drive

Google Drive is a cloud-based storage platform provided by Google. It enables users to securely store and access their files, such as documents, photos, videos, and more, from any device with an internet connection. This platform gives users the ability to store their files in the cloud and retrieve them from their computers, smartphones, or tablets. The files are protected by Google’s secure servers, ensuring that users’ data is protected and secure at all times, giving them peace of mind.

One Drive

OneDrive is a cloud storage solution offered by Microsoft. It provides users with a great tool to store, access, and share their files and documents from anywhere with an internet connection. With OneDrive, users can store their files in the cloud and access them from any device.


Employing the right cloud storage solution for your business seems challenging, but it’s worth the effort. The right solution can help streamline your work processes, increase collaboration and productivity, and keep your data secure. Whether you’re a small startup or a large enterprise, the right cloud storage solution can help take your business to the next level.

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