In the digital age, data is the new oil. How you store your data and manage your information can be a key source of competitive advantage. That's true for every business be it a global conglomerate or a local butcher.
Picking the right cloud storage service is crucial and thankfully, Irish SMEs now have more options than ever before. In this piece, we’re going to ignore the “obvious choices” for data solutions, including DropBox, OneDrive and Google Drive and instead, focus on 5 alternative cloud storage options you might not know...
Egnyte is often graded up among the likes of Dropbox and Google as the best cloud storage system on the market and for good reason...
Its hybrid-style system allows users to store data on secure, on-premises servers and in the cloud.
Data files of any kind can be easily stored on Egynte’s public cloud, while highly-sensitive data can instead be kept in the local servers.
Egynte also works across all platforms and can be accessed via mobile through the Egnyte App.
Egynte is the perfect option for companies who are heavily reliant on sharing and collaboration, and those who deal with sensitive information requiring additional security.
Egnyte offers flexible and scaleable plans that start at $8 a month per employee, right up to "Enterprise" level, making Egnyte suitable for companies of all sizes.
It’s becoming increasingly common for businesses to use Apple Mac computers company-wide.
Especially Irish SMEs, where there is a big push towards IT, graphic design, app development, and media content.
If you are such a company, BackBlaze is the cloud storage service for you!
BackBlaze has been fully optimized and designed around the UI of Apple’s OSX.
The system is simple to use and affordable to boot. It can be be used for typical storage, file sharing and hosting, but is also capable of maintaining large-scale backups of hard-drives.
Because it's optimized for Macs, BackBlaze acts like a Time-Capsule for your whole business. By integrating with the OSX systems in your Macs, it allows users to seamlessly backup and restore their systems in the event of data loss.
BackBlaze's standard packages start from as little as $5 per month per computer and can be scaled from there. If you rely on Macs, this is the first place you should look for cloud storage.
IDrive is a cloud storage system targeted directly at small businesses.
Don’t think this means you’ll miss functionality over the Big Boys like DropBox. IDrive offers everything you’d expect from a storage system.
It can fully back-up all of your computer systems and also comes with impressive file-sharing and syncing capabilities.
Specific features include the ability to share files and folders via email and social media, mobile access, remote management tools, and online file syncing. The service is highly secure as it allows users to fully encrypt all their data.
A Basic 5GB package is free, making it perfect for Sole Traders. Packages for unlimited users start at just $70 per year for 250GB.
Box is a fantastic “best-of-both-worlds” cloud storage system.
It couples the affordability of IDrive with the power and features of Egnyte or Dropbox.
The system offers extensive storage, backup and sync options, and can be used on PC, Mac and Mobile.
Box is perfectly usable on a daily basis for personal use on your home computer. However, where it really comes into its own is for businesses that rely on sharing and collaboration; similarly to Egnyte’s offerings, but without the on-site storage options.
Users can easily share uploaded files by sending links or embedding them on a website or blog. For mobile users, the Box app is available on all systems: iOS, Android and Windows Phone; and offers all the same features as the desktop system.
Price wise, users get 10 GB of storage for free with a maximum 250 MB file upload size. This places it perfectly between Egnyte and IDrive for cost vs features.
Starter plans for multiple users start from $5 a month per user and include 100 GB of storage.
Finally, lets look at the cloud storage system which is 100% targeted at the needs and requirements of SMEs: Zoolz.
Zoolz comes with unlimited users and servers as standard.
This makes it far easier to scale the service to yours and your business's exact needs. There are also no limits on upload or download speeds or file sizes.
Zoolz offers all the secure file-sharing capabilities you would expect from a cloud storage service. It also accommodates mobile backups and is the only tool on this list which can back up your Social Media data from sites like Facebook, Instagram.
Zoolz can even be linked with other cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive, if for some reason having 1 system wasn’t secure enough for you and you need to backup your backups.
Zoolz has a free plan with 10 GB of storage (which would typically be more than enough for a Sole Trader or small partnership) and a starter plan for $20/month that comes with 500GB of storage.
If you are planning any sort of investment in IT or data management, Linked Finance can hep with fast and affordable business loans.