The 21st century brought with it a paradigm shift in the way businesses would conduct their operations owing to the rise of the digital economy. Now that cloud computing has swept the entire industry, with cloud spending expected to hit as high as $52bn dollars in the next 4 years, businesses are quickly responding to cloud due to its myriad advantages, offering considerable cost efficiencies and competitive advantages.
A number of companies have sprung up, each offering business dedicated cloud service solutions to realize business goals and requirements. One business need above all is the need to store large datasets with most processes and activities becoming increasingly highly data-driven. Companies such as Box and DropBox as well as tech giants such as Google and Microsoft have all tailored solutions to meet this growing requirement.
With so many cloud-based file storage options to choose from, we provide a list of the best 5 services you need to know about to make the right choice regarding the best cloud file storage system.
Details: The free Basic account comes with 2 GBs of data storage, which is sufficient enough for storing files and documents. However, if your storage data consists of rich media such as photos, videos, and music, the Basic account will not offer you the best; but you could upgrade to the 1TB Pro option for a fee of $9.99 a month.
Best feature: The DropBox file storage system has a unique way of syncing all of your data, whether online or offline, to the online cloud network, via the creation of a local online folder. Although this does not apply to the mobile platform, the files can be selected to be displayed offline and the editing options are some of the best on offer today. Another advantage for clients is the lack of restriction on individual file size.
Details: While it may be easy to mistake Box for DropBox, the former has been in the cloud storage business a lot longer. Since its inception in 2005, the cloud file storage company gives a generous 10 GB storage space as part of the free account. However, the catch of the 250MB file size restriction may put off many business users, the file size restriction size being lower that that of many other cloud storage service providers.
Best feature: The Box cloud provides seamless integration with a wide variety of applications and programs such as Salesforce.com, Microsoft SharePoint, Google Apps, and NetSuite. This makes Box one of the best file sharing as well as productivity apps for enterprises.
Details: This Microsoft cloud file storage solution is in many ways similar to DropBox in terms of features. However, what makes OneDrive different is the 15GB free file storage option. Coupled with the limited 5GB data that can be gained via the referral system, OneDrive gives you a total free data storage space of 20GB. Another reason to consider OneDrive is the 1TB file storage option that businesses get as part of their subscription with Office 365.
Best feature: OneDrive has a number of features that increase its convenience and relevance. One of these is the ease of sharing files with your friends and colleagues. With this, you are given the feature of setting permissions from read-only to full editing capability, all of which can be done from your free account.
Details: If you use Gmail or have a YouTube account, then you might already have a free Google Drive account without realizing it. Google Drive is Google’s main cloud file storage service, packing 15GBs of free data storage capacity across its various applications such as Google Calendar, Google+, and more.
Best feature: Google Drive offers two storage options to satisfy your file storage needs. The first option, called ‘High quality’, is independent of your 15GB storage space, which allows you to stack up on your favorite videos and photos at a reduces file space. The ‘Original’ file storage on the other hand, covers the files and documents you upload through Google Docs, Presentations, Slides, and Drawings.
Details: iCloud is Apple’s very own cloud file storage system that seamlessly connects and integrates with any Apple device whether it is your iPod touch, iPhone, or Mac. The iCloud Photo Library allows you to store high quality images and videos and share it with your colleagues and friends. More importantly, the iCloud Drive is a shared cloud system, meaning that you can easily access your files from any iOS device that you own.
Best feature: The ‘Find My iPhone’ cloud integration feature allows you to find your iPhone even if you lose it. This may come in very handy considering the usefulness of staying mobile for office work and having a high likelihood of leaving it in the conference room or under a couch or pillow. In fact, the cloud feature can be used to locate your Apple device whether it is an iPad or a Mac computer.