When it comes to working in their own business cloud, businesses have their own specific needs. In this article, we look at some of the key considerations for a business cloud. We also recommend cloud solutions that fit your needs. These offerings focus on file synchronisation, i.e. cloud storage.
Looking for a solution for your home? Then find out more with our guide to your own cloud guide for your own cloud.
The first thing to clarify about the Business Cloud is its definition.
In general, cloud computing refers to the outsourcing of programs to a server. The special feature of a cloud is that it can always provide you with as much computing capacity as you need for your applications - independent of individual units - as a large "cloud".
When people talk about cloud storage, they usually mean external storage with advanced features. The focus is not on applications and computing power, but on storage capacity. You always get as much storage as you need without having to run another server. The provider takes care of organising the units for you.
This article is specifically about cloud storage for your business.
For more information on terms and different solutions, see the literature below.
#1 Work more efficiently A business cloud can save your company a lot of time. Sharing data across the company is easier when everyone has access to all the important data in the cloud, even from different devices if necessary.
#2 Managing permissions Does not every employee or customer need to have access to all your files? Depending on the provider, you can flexibly manage who has access to which folder or file in your cloud storage. This means that rights and access management is included in many business cloud storage solutions.
Depending on your individual requirements, you can fine-tune the settings for your business with the right cloud provider.
#3 Backup When you rely on an external provider, they are responsible for your data backup. At first glance, this may seem like a disadvantage. However, these providers specialise in business customers and cloud computing, and are often more capable of ensuring the security of their data than you could be in-house. They also often do regular backups and are accountable to you, and therefore often liable.
#4 International communication Communicating across multiple company locations - or even across national borders. What can be a lot of work on your own is easy to achieve with internationally accessible business cloud servers. This makes your business flexible and ready for expansion or relocation. The cloud provider is the link between you and the data centre, ensuring your (international) availability.
Access across language borders is easy thanks to different language versions. For example, English and German can be used alongside each other. Each employee receives access in the language he or she requires. You do not have to set up all the language versions yourself.
#5 Additional business features Depending on the cloud software, you can share and edit files and track all changes. You can manage individual members' calendars, view some file formats directly in the browser - without installing additional software on your company computers – and have access to many other professional features. It all adds up to better, more convenient workflows.
#6 Secure communication Not in-house, but still secure? Even with in-house solutions, you often have to rely on external providers. So why not choose a cloud provider? Depending on the provider, business cloud solutions can meet the highest security requirements. Data is sent to the cloud encrypted with strong certificates and retrieved in the same way.
Your data can be stored in the cloud using data encryption and definable virtual units so that not even the provider has access to your company's communications and files. Of course, this also means that you should be able to trust the cloud provider and use the cloud infrastructure of a trusted source.
Cloud service providers are just as concerned about security as their customers - you. This is the only way they can build long-term trust in their external cloud solutions and win business customers.
Finally, there is expertise. Business cloud providers will be heavily focused on security. Most SMEs don't have the capacity or see the need to train their own staff in business cloud security measures. This is why you should rely on a strong partner.
#7 Updates Your organisation does not have to deal with the technical intricacies of the business cloud and keep the software up to date. This is now done for you by others. The provider will install updates for you, making sure the software is stable and secure.
Despite all the advantages, there are also some disadvantages:
You need to be able to trust another provider with sometimes sensitive company data. If you have previously chosen an in-house solution, you may not find it easy to trust a different solution. In particular, you will need to meet the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation and, where applicable, professional regulations depending on your country (such as the German Criminal Code, StGB).
So choose your business cloud provider carefully.
A more attractive target
A business cloud provider holds cloud storage for many companies at the same time. This increases the attractiveness of such data storage for hackers.
Conversely, it also means that the provider itself can and will upgrade, knowing the attractiveness of attacking its infrastructure. In addition, many business providers offer detachable virtual units. If not even the provider itself has (unencrypted) access to your data, then it is no different for potential intruders.
They would usually have to go through the trouble of accessing all the individual units.
Tailored for the mainstream
Many business solutions, especially those from the largest providers, are designed to meet the needs of most businesses. If you have specific requirements, cloud storage may not be able to meet them. However, sometimes you can be offered customised solutions and expansions.
In addition to the pros and cons of a solution, there is probably another question that is on the top of your company's agenda: what do I need to look for in a business cloud to make the right choice for my company?
The top 3 criteria for choosing the right cloud provider are likely to be the following:
1. Data Security For legal reasons you may need to store your data securely. It is also in your interest to protect important company secrets and valuable know-how so that no one else can access them. Business cloud offerings are all about security.
This includes individual access rights for members of your team or company.
2. High Reliability Your business probably doesn't need the latest software update right away, unless it needs to fix security vulnerabilities. Instead, high availability and reliability are probably more important to you. Access to your data must be guaranteed at all time.
3. An Individual Solution for Your Needs Businesses need to be productive, so software that is tailored to the needs of the organisation is crucial. Customisation and the availability of teamworking features are critical when choosing the right business cloud provider.
The Right Solution for Your Business You should keep all these criteria in mind when choosing your cloud solution. We highlight a few providers that should meet your needs.
In this far from complete overview, we would like to introduce a number of business cloud solution providers.