Online file hosting service Dropbox is now used by more than 300 million users worldwide.
At US giant General Electic (GE) it has been rolled out to all employees with more than 300,000 workers using Dropbox’s software to store and share files on remote servers that can be easily accessed in any location.
Dropbox offers cloud storage, file synchronisation and client software. You can store documents, photos, videos and files and sync them to all your computers and mobile devices. You can send colleagues links to specific files and folders, which makes it easy to share team projects for collaborative working remotely.
Many companies are replacing their in-house software with web-based systems. There are many benefits of using external cloud companies to house data, such as saving money and avoiding the risk of losing important files. Corporate spending on cloud services, software and resources will reach $191 billion in 2020, up from $58 billion last year, according to a recent report from global research and advisory firm Forrester Research.
Cloud-based server or in-house?
If, like GE, you’re considering moving your server to a cloud-based option such as Dropbox, what are the pros and cons? If you’re an SME you probably won’t have the spending power of a global player, so here’s our guide to making a decision.
◾ You have complete control over it
◾ You don’t have to rely on a third-party for security
◾ You can tailor it to the needs of your business
◾ You can upgrade your server to meet the needs of your company as it grows
◾ No monthly hosting fees
◾ You’ll need to pay for IT staff, upgrades to hardware and software licensing fees
◾ If you have a lot of remote/virtual workers it could save you money
◾ You don’t need IT staff to manage the server
◾ It’s scalable to meet changing business needs
◾ You need a reliable internet connection as if you lose internet access, you won’t be able to access your data
◾ You have to pay a monthly hosting fee
European Commission report says cloud servers “save money”
Other cloud news comes from the European Commission, which published a report last week outlining guidelines for cloud computing service level agreements (SLAs) between customers and providers in the EU. The 41-page report shows business users how to save money and get the most out of cloud services. The report also says that using cloud servers “allows individuals, businesses and the public sector to store their data and carry out data processing in remote data centres, saving on average 10-12%”.
The guidelines are intended to help cloud users guarantee service availability, quality of support, date management and quality of support.
The European Commission will start testing the guidelines with businesses and SMEs to find out if they need to be amended. The guidelines could also be included in a future international standard for SLAs issued by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).
Posted by The Secret Businessman