The quest for storage keeps evolving

The storage and retrieval of data has been a topic of concern since mankind started keeping written records. When collections of written and visual content needed a home, our ancestors built libraries and invented methods of cataloging the collections by author, title, or subject matter. When organizations and businesses needed a place to safeguard their records they created company archives filled with filing cabinets and folders to house and organize all important information that may need to be referenced in the future. And when the computer age arrived we began storing our data in virtual folders on floppy disks, computer hard drives, portable drives, and finally on-site shared servers. Now, the latest (and some argue, the greatest) innovation in data storage is—the cloud.

What the heck is all this talk about clouds anyway

In general, if you use the internet to check email, search for the answer to a question, buy something, participate in social media, watch online videos, listen to streaming music or podcasts, make a purchase of any kind, guide you to your destination via GPS, or even read this blog post—you are passively using cloud storage in some way to access the massive amounts of data needed to run your normal day-to-day internet-infused life. And, if you back up your phone, computer, or hard drives to the cloud then you are already actively using the cloud in your personal life. The cloud, in a nutshell, is a very large data storage system that holds much of the data our digital lives rely on. So what about where you work? Has your company or organization made the transition to the cloud for storage, organization, and sharing of its digital content and records?

Servers vs. Clouds

Right now you might be asking, how does cloud storage differ from on-site servers. If you know the answer then skip this paragraph and continue reading below. If not, here is the quick version of how they are different. On-site servers are large physical hard drives that are located inside the location where people need to access it. Servers are accessible to everyone in the office and sometimes on limited and many times slower access outside the office. If storage limits are reached on a server system, the organization will need to add more physical servers to handle the increase in data storage. Cloud storage, on the other hand, doesn’t require any equipment in your office and it’s quickly accessible anywhere you have access to the internet. The data is stored in a network of secure massive servers that essentially share all the data uploaded to the system. The network acts as a safeguard if ever one location where your data was stored went down you would still be able to access it because it is stored not just in one location but essentially in all locations. If an organization needs more storage most times it just sees a small data storage fee increase. And, there is no system to maintain with the cloud. All maintenance, upgrades, and troubleshooting are handled by the company that you purchased cloud storage from.

A cloudy question with a clear answer

The need for the cloud really comes down to one logistical question. Where do your employees work? If all the people in your organization work in one building, at a singular address then you may not need the cloud. An on-site server may fit the bill for your team. But wait a minute…let’s say your company only has one location…do your team members ever work from home? Do they ever have to travel away from the office for work to visit a client or do a new business pitch? Has there ever been a time when the weather was so bad that some people could not make it to the office? Has the electricity ever gone out in your office? Do you have a backup for your chief IT fix-it person when they go on vacation (because Murphy’s Law of tech trouble always coincides with IT vacations)? Finally, do you know how fast your company is burning through its storage capacity and how much its costing to back up that on-site server with more physical storage solutions or on (you guessed it) the cloud! You see, just because you have only one location, the days of everyone reporting for duty at their desk at 9 am and punching out at 5 pm is a distant memory. With the age of the internet, laptops, and smartphones, comes a work from anywhere, anytime ethos. In theory, for better or worse, we are now all connected to our teams 24/7/365 thanks to the internet. The cloud is just a natural extension and a better solution for data storage for a modern organization and workforce.

Now consider an organization with more than one location, or one that has permanent international employees but no office they report to, or a franchiser … in these cases where people who need access to your data operate outside of your main office, there really is no argument for not using cloud storage. It just makes sense from a budget, maintenance, ease, reliability, and flexibility standpoint.

When you implement cloud storage you:

  • Eliminate costly infrastructure. With cloud storage, you can eliminate expensive in-house systems and possibly save thousands—maybe even tens of thousands—of dollars in the long run. Cloud storage adapts to your business as you scale and only costs a fraction of the price.
  • Reduce the size of your IT department. While your IT department won’t disappear altogether, an investment in cloud storage takes away a major in-house responsibility and allows you to shrink your IT budget.
  • Save on utilities. You can expect to shave thousands of dollars off your annual utility bills by replacing a few physical storage servers with virtual, cloud-based alternatives.
  • Protect against disaster. Did you know that only six percent of companies survive for more than two years after experiencing significant data loss? That’s why cloud storage is so valuable. It protects your valuable data from loss due to server failures, employee mistakes, natural disasters, and more.
  • Improve employee flexibility and agility. With cloud storage, you can access data and documents from anywhere. That means you can pull up a spreadsheet from the comfort of your home, access important company financials from a hotel conference room, or check in on the progress of an ongoing project while flying at 35,000 feet.

Sky’s the limit with cloud-based digital asset management

Ok, so you’ve made the decision to ditch the servers and get into the cloud. Well, you can’t just upload everything you’ve got into the ether and pray. You need a system to help your company organize, find, and share the content you’re moving there. Digital asset management platforms, such as Bynder, give your files a structure and a system for quick and easy usability and accessibility. The powerful features packed into DAM systems make them the perfect choice for both global Fortune 500 companies and smaller organizations who realize that a modern workforce that can work from anywhere needs quick access to everything at any moment of the day or night. With a cloud-based DAM in place, the sky’s truly the limit on how you access your data.

See how internet fashion brand Moda Operandi moved their content storage from on-site servers to Bynder’s cloud-based digital asset management platform, helping them streamline operations, increase productivity, and boost connectivity between employees worldwide.

Read Moda Operandi case study