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Which cloud storage service is best for business users?

With more and more companies working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a big shift in the way that organisations are working. With traditional options such as network storage being replaced with cloud-based storage options which allow access from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. In this article, we look at some of the best cloud storage options available for business use and look at which ones offer you the most for your money.

Cloud storage considerations

When it comes to cloud storage there are a number of factors and features that will influence your decision and help you choose the right storage for your business. While most providers offer similar product offerings some of the factors that should determine their suitability for your business include:

Storage available – This is the fundamental part of any storage system. Most platforms have a range of plans available offering many gigabytes or even terabytes of storage. When looking at storage it’s important to understand how much space you are likely to need as those that will only be working with simple documents are likely to need a lot less space than someone working with large graphics and video files. While it can be tempting to get carried away you only want to be paying for the storage that you need.

Security – Next up on the features list is security. In addition to how your files will be kept safe you also need to look to see if the storage you are looking at includes a cloud backup service as well. Encryption is another feature to look out for when it comes to security as you want to ensure that your sensitive data is protected at all times.

Ease of use – it doesn’t matter how feature packed the storage is, if it’s difficult to use then you won’t be getting the most out of it. Always get a demo of the storage and, if possible, see if you can get a free trial to make sure that it is the right platform for your business.

Integration – How easy is cloud storage to use? Does it integrate into your existing workflow? The easier it is to save your files to your cloud storage the better the solution.

Value for money – If you are looking to roll out a cloud storage system across your business then you need to look at value based on cost.

OneDrive for Business

Built into Windows 10, OneDrive offers native cloud storage for Windows users and the business solution offers seamless integration with all Microsoft products such as Office 365 and Exchange. OneDrive for Business includes one terabyte of storage per user and the ability to store files up to 15GB in size. Internal and external file sharing is secure, and files can be synced locally for offline viewing.

For most companies OneDrive for Business will provide them with all the cloud storage they will need for most use cases. Integration is good and security is very good as you’d expect from Microsoft’s own solution with all data to and from the client to the server being encrypted. This is a great solution and one that just works with an intuitive interface.

Dropbox Business

For a lot of small to medium sized businesses Dropbox Business will make a lot of sense. It takes the platform from simple file storage to a full-on file-sharing solution that is focused on the needs of business users. Along with unlimited storage, administrator tools and user management, Dropbox Business includes a suite of collaboration tools to make working with team members easier when working remotely.

Unlike Microsoft’s OneDrive for Business there is no option to edit documents within Dropbox and you will need to use the native application to view these files. One area where Dropbox truly excels is integration and security. It has a huge API presence and integrations for popular apps from Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, Slack and many more. Security is no less impressive with Dropbox having invested heavily in its own data centers.

Google Drive Enterprise

Designed to work with Microsoft Office products, Google Drive Enterprise is a great option for small, medium and enterprise size companies. There is a monthly cost per user and then an additional small charge based on the storage used. This works out more expensive than Microsoft’s own business cloud storage solution. Security is very high, and data is encrypted at rest with military-grade encryption.

Workflow is good with the ability to view and work with a large range of Microsoft files with online and offline editing capabilities. There is a powerful search function which will help users quickly find the files they need and get to work on these.