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Exploring Cloud Storage Systems: A Guide for Small to Mid-sized Businesses

Posted by Michael Goodwin on 3 August 2023
Exploring Cloud Storage Systems: A Guide for Small to Mid-sized Businesses

In today's fast-paced business landscape, where data accessibility and collaboration are paramount, cloud storage systems have emerged as essential tools for companies of all sizes. For businesses wanting to access data away from the office and/or from different devices, harnessing the power of cloud storage can significantly enhance productivity and streamline workflows. In this blog post, we'll delve into the world of cloud storage systems, highlighting key players like Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, and SharePoint, while uncovering their differences.

In considering cloud-based storage solutions it is important to remember that there is a difference between these and secure back ups. Loyal I.T. recommends having a secure backup solution. Our discussion of these can be found HERE

All of the solutions below can be synchronised with a folder on your computer so that you can simply use your computers folder structure to access them directly. The saved document will be synced with the cloud to be accessed by yourself or others from your organisation.

All of the solutions have the ability to grant different permission levels to different people. The permission levels can grant access to a whole directory, a folder, or a specific document. You can also grant permission based on email addresses or a link.

Using email addresses to grant access allows only those with that email address to access the document. Whereas you can generate a link that allows anyone with the link to access the folder or document. This would be considered less secure for your whole system.

SharePoint: Enterprise-Grade Collaboration

SharePoint, by Microsoft, offers more than just cloud storage; it's a comprehensive content management and collaboration platform. While suitable for businesses of all sizes, SharePoint's features shine when managing larger repositories of documents and fostering enterprise-level collaboration. Its customizability allows businesses to create tailored workflows and intranet sites, making it an ideal choice for companies with complex organizational needs.

OneDrive: Seamlessly Integrated with Microsoft Ecosystem

OneDrive, tightly integrated with Microsoft 365, is an ideal choice for businesses already invested in the Microsoft ecosystem. It offers seamless synchronization with familiar applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. This integration facilitates real-time collaboration, ensuring that multiple team members can work on the same document simultaneously. As it is part of Microsoft 365, there are no extra charges for OneDrive unless further storage is required.

Dropbox: Simplified Sharing and Collaboration

Dropbox is renowned for its user-friendly interface and seamless file sharing capabilities. It allows users to easily upload, share, and collaborate on files and documents. Dropbox Paper, a collaborative workspace, empowers teams to create and edit content in real time. Its simplicity makes it an excellent entry point into cloud storage for businesses seeking a straightforward solution. Dropbox is not tied to any particular operating system or software, which is a consideration if you think you might move between platforms.

Google Drive: Collaborative Powerhouse

Google Drive stands out with its robust suite of collaboration tools, including Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Designed for real-time teamwork, it allows multiple users to co-edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Businesses benefit from Google Drive's scalability and easy sharing options. With its focus on collaboration, it's an excellent fit for teams that value synchronous work processes. Google Drive is part of the G-Suite system and is included in your subscription fee. Extra charges become applicable if extra storage is required.

Key Differences and Choosing the Right Fit

When selecting a cloud storage system, consider your business's specific requirements. Dropbox and Google Drive are well-suited for businesses that prioritize ease of use and collaboration. OneDrive is the go-to choice for Microsoft-centric organizations, seamlessly integrating with familiar tools. SharePoint is a strategic pick for businesses with intricate collaboration needs and a desire for a customizable solution.

In conclusion, cloud storage systems have revolutionised the way businesses store, share, and collaborate on data. Options like Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, and SharePoint offer tailored solutions to enhance productivity and data management. Assess your company's needs, weigh the advantages of each platform, and embark on a cloud storage journey that propels your business forward in the digital age.

Where to find more information

Loyal I.T. Solutions provides advice and implementation of the right solution for your needs. To find out more about how cloud storage can work for you, please contact Loyal I.T. Solutions at 02 4337 0700 or reception@loyalit.com.au.

Michael GoodwinAuthor:Michael Goodwin
About: Michael Goodwin began his career in Information Technology in 1992 and he brings a wealth of experience to his is current venture - Loyal I.T. Solutions. Based on the NSW Central Coast, Loyal IT Solutions services businesses large and small from Sydney to Newcastle.
Connect via:LinkedIn
Tags:Computer hardwareSecurityITNetworking SecurityCyber Securitybackup

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