Small businesses and start ups are finding it a lot easier to store information, scale applications and websites using cloud platforms as the cost is extremely lower than setting up their own servers and keeping up with the maintenance and bills associated with energy cost, cooling and so on.
Back in 2010 when cloud computing really started to grasp the attention of people all over the world, no one really understood how to define it, you would of thought it was new and never existed.
While many companies may be interested in cloud services, it’s just not meant for everyone based on what their needs are. It’s very important not to implement something into your network that’s no needed and make it more completed.
Here’s two companies that rely on cloud platforms for almost their entire infrastructure.
1. SnapChat – Uses the google platform for its 166 million daily users, its proven that start up’s can absolutely rely on backend virtual resources by companies like google and amazon who provide storage, container solutions, security for applications and more just to name a few.
2. Ghost – Publishing Platform – uses digital ocean for its entire infrastructure to host tens of thousands of blogs hosted on its hosting platform.
Although small businesses might not need Platform as a service on a cloud platform, it’s actually still implemented in our daily use, all cloud based apps being used rely on cloud based infrastructure like adobe, iCloud, Zoho, etc…
its becoming more standard for how easy it is to explore and experiment with cloud platforms, although it’s a lot to take in when designing your security mechanisms for ERP & CRM suites. Launching a new ERP app on cloud plaftform and managing 10,000 accounts is an entirely different story then launching a simple blog CMS.
Google has mentioned that its most used cloud platform service was storage, among its cloud platform users. While many developers and entrepreneurs turn to cloud platforms over traditional hosting, it’s primarily the big players that make the cloud platforms relevant for the providers.
SnapChat is one of the companies that contracted to spend $2 billion using google cloud services over 5 years.
Sources say there’s also a deal between SnapChat and Amazon for a reported $1 billion. This just gives you an idea of how companies hope for start ups to reply on their cloud platforms, as most start ups with daily users in the millions will use significant resources and help build revenue.
if your looking to benefit from the cloud as a retail business or migrate your in house data and Ecommerce into the cloud, you should consult with an professional. While running virtual machines in the cloud will run up a tab very quick depending on the configurations, storage itself is really cheap.
Due to this, from an online stand point I expect the future of cloud computing to be storage related and artificial intelligence playing an important role. Along with storage and AI, augmented reality is the next game changer for smart phones and the mobile commmunity.
Small business storage needs in the cloud
Small businesses will focus more on how data is stored in the cloud but will primarily be using this data with software like Tableau, Sales Force, Excel. I expect most retailers to adapt newer models for in store transactions, stripe will be a big game player, Apple has just released the ability to make payments to another user through iMessage with Apple Pay.
If your a health clinic, doctors office, dental firm, how you store data in the cloud will probably be different to assure your meeting HIPAA requirements.
Google offers different tiers of storage on their cloud platform, you’ll pay less for using storage tiers that are meant for accessing data less often.
If your looking for disaster recovery solutions, for storing virtual machines, backing up complete OS images, or folders directly through google cloud you can use a service like cloudberry with a GUI for handling your storage solutions. Backing up and storing your desktop images, virtual machines and folders may not seem important, but it’s the worst reality you can face if you loose all of your information and have no way to recover it.
So to put it in perspective if your goal is to save documents and photos, receipts and other miscellaneous things in the cloud, I would recommend using adobe cloud, Drop Box, google drive or one drive by Microsoft.
If your looking to automate how your data works using some form of cloud storage solution, Zapier can help automating your applications with software apps that are supported on the zapier platform, the list is extremely long as to the hundreds of applications supported.
I decided not to make this article too technical as everyone has special needs for how their storage solutions should work. So for instance at the developer level for applications you could use Cloud Wok to serve application with special upload features with cloud wok playing a CDN role.
Companies like Microsoft and google have become more generous with storage use for users, google drive offers a free 15 GB storage with its google drive application.
Adobe, Microsoft, Drop Box, Box, Google, Samsung Mobile, all have solutions that offer freemium models for its users.
With that being said if your small business isn’t a start up, health organization or strictly needs to hold data on premises I would highly recommend using a well known provider listed above to save your self some time.
Here’s a list of Cloud Storage Providers for small business.
- One Drive – Microsoft app that offers cloud storage solutions. Supports embed code for placing videos on your website, in other embed supported solutions. Store docs, pdfs, books, and other things. Integrates with SSO and active directory.
- Drop Box – simple and easy to use cloud storage with 2GB of free space. Support all file formats or atleast the most important ones, has apps for all desktops and smart phones. Sync among all drives in real time.
- Adobe Cloud offers a cloud storage solution for what ever your needs are, especially for working within their apps and software.
- Cloud Wok a platform as a service for CDN solutions for developers, store and deliver files, integrate file up system directly into your apps using cloud Wok which also has a free storage plan.
- CloudBerry Object storage solution for disaster recovery, and storing data as blob storage. This is a powerful solution for storing your data in the cloud while making sure each data store is encrypted, you can also do remote restore installs, configure your storage at various select storage providers such as google cloud, AWS, oracle cloud and so on. Definitely a service worth checking out if you need to back up Virtual machines, more than one operating system or desktop in the work place with simplicity and low cost.