The cloud might be the most controversial topic in technology this year. On one hand, it’s a tool that makes managing massive amounts of data easier and more convenient than any local drive every could. On the other, it’s a young, vulnerable technology causing a lot of headaches for people and businesses because of data breaches like you see on the news.
The reality is that the cloud is here to stay and if you’re not using it, you’re living in the past. The good news is that the security and ease-of-use is constantly improving. So, if you’re managing more than one Louisiana-based company in the cloud, there are more options now than ever before. Here are just a few cloud-based services to consider:
Learn From Twitter Before You Start
If you work in the social media industry, you should use separate apps for personal and professional accounts. And, if you run multiple businesses, you should have separate accounts for each business. For example, if you are someone like Max Gaudin and you own multiple New Orleans businesses, you don’t want to accidentally choose the wrong Twitter handle and send your customers a personal tweet about the movie you saw or the coffee you bought. Same thing for multiple businesses: Gaudin’s Airpnp followers are not going to want to hear about Sidework’s restaurant customer service. This is a quick and easy way to confuse and lose your followers and customers. And, remember, the tweet will not go away after you delete it, which can cause you a lot of problems.
Learn this lesson from social media, and approach cloud storage the same way. You wouldn’t want to mix documents between businesses, especially if they contain customers’ sensitive data.
iCloud started as a pseudo-cloud storage service that organized pictures and some basic iWork files. It has evolved into a full file storage system with tons of usability. Each iCloud account comes with 5 GB of free storage with the option to upgrade to 20 GB for $0.99 per month going up to 1 TB for $19.99 per month. Apple recently announced that it’s beefing up security for iCloud, and it will use a two-step verification process to access accounts on new devices.
Pro: Seamless integration on Apple devices.
Con: Doesn’t work for Windows or Linus environments.
Hightail is a business-minded cloud storage service that’s especially good at sending large files between account holders. Hightail offers 5 GB of storage and has upgraded tiers available. It is very highly reviewed on Top10CloudStorage, especially for its exemplary customer service.
Pro: Great customer service and compatible on every platform.
Con: More expensive than consumer options.
Dropbox wrote the book on consumer-level cloud storage. They’re available on every platform and have one of the simplest user interfaces. A free user account gets you 2 GB or 1 TB for $10 a month. Additionally, there’s a $15-per-month business account that has better admin controls, unlimited version history and a user log so you can see what others are adding, moving and deleting. Dropbox uses a 256-bit AES encryption, two-step verification and can sync with local folders on your drive.
Pro: Affordable extra space and business options.
Con: Can be expensive for larger amounts of space.
Just like iCloud works seamlessly with Apple products and services, Google Drive is a great tool for businesses running Google Apps. Drive started off as a basic, bare-bones storage service, but Google has introduced an entire line of features to accompany Drive and apps to make it a great business tool. For $10 a month, your business gets unlimited storage, multiple levels of security and encryption and admin options.
Pro: Good for Google app users.
Con: Doesn’t work for Apple or non-Google users.