The cloud is a computing trend that has staying power. Cloud computing, for those not in the know, refers to the use of computers at distant locations for storage or other computing functions via the internet. When evaluating cloud services for your small business’s needs, there are several major players to consider. Here are some of the most popular cloud services.
Dropbox was one of the first entrants to the cloud ecosystem. Founded by a bored programmer who wanted access to his files on a bus, Dropbox has grown to be an industry leader, with particular strength in the education sphere. Dropbox touts its system agnostic position as its greatest strength. Since the company is independent of any operating system creators or hardware manufacturers, it has no incentive to make sure its product works better on in-house systems, making them great for companies that encourage employees to bring their own devices. The downside is that Dropbox isn’t as well integrated into most systems’ operations.
Google Drive is probably the broadest of the major cloud services from a consumer perspective. If you’re looking for a cloud service that your employees or customers would already have, Google Drive is a good bet. This is partly because it’s deeply integrated into other Google products like Android, which is the most commonly used phone operating system, or Chrome, the popular browser. In terms of features, however, Google Drive lags behind its competitors. It feels the most stripped down of the major services.
Apple has never been a company that lets competitors move into a space uncontested. ICloud is Apple’s answer to the Google and Dropbox services. It functions as a cloud storage space for photos and documents with a consumer focus. Like Google Drive, it integrates with its in-house device line. Unlike Google, Apple is a manufacturer of devices, so the reinforcing effect of selling devices to market the service to sell the devices benefits the company.
ICloud’s compatibility with the status-symbol iProduct lines is something that all employees will appreciate. Apple has had some very public security concerns, however, and your business’s use of this service could benefit from outside protection.
Amazon Web Services
With a robust international network of available computing power, Amazon Web Services is often the cloud solution of choice for companies with serious storage and on-demand computing needs. The business-focused service largely focuses on the more complex ends of the cloud spectrum. It places less emphasis on offering a way for students to shuffle files around and more on making computing hours available to corporate clients that have flexible and variable power needs.
While the company’s strong services offer a lot of computational oomph for those who need it, Amazon Web Services does operate on a larger scale than some of their competitors. This makes them most suited for larger firms.
Whatever your cloud needs, finding the best service is a crucial part of your IT strategy. Evaluate your options and make the best choice.