Whether you’re a small business, or a large one, you need cloud storage to compete today. Here are just some of the features you should consider, and why you need them.


File Versioning

It used to be that saving a file would overwrite the old file. Then came file-versioning. Suddenly, the ability to name files and “undo” corrections became important. Today, a good cloud storage provider has to offer file versioning as a practical necessity to compete. Some providers, however, only store your older files for 30 days, while others allow unlimited versions for an indefinite period of time. Choose the provider that can match your versioning needs with your budget.


If your company uses many different kinds of devices, and you want the ability to sync across them all, make sure your provider allows this. Synchronization is critical for some businesses, but not all cloud service providers automatically sync to all devices on the network.

Auto synchronization makes life easier and simplifies the process, reducing the number of errors the company has – everyone has access to the newest files.

Security and Encryption

You can’t talk about cloud hosting and storage without talking about security. If your company sends private information to the cloud, your provider should employ secure transfers and data encryption. Shockingly, not all providers do, or do it automatically.
Some providers charge extra for the service.
And, on top of that, you still have to make sure that the security meets regulatory guidelines. For example, healthcare companies must adhere to special security protocols under HIPAA.

Reasonable Pricing

You get what you pay for. Something like IBM cloud hosting might seem expensive, but it’s actually a good deal when you factor in what you’re getting for the money. Make sure your host can provide you with enough storage to meet your company’s needs, but without running over on your budget.

Simple Backup Solutions

The backup process shouldn’t be complicated. In fact, the best providers will do this for you automatically or offer a “1-click” solution. In this day and age, there’s no excuse not to make it that simple. If your provider doesn’t offer this, look somewhere else. Plenty of them out there do.

Pay extra for extended backups – backups which include multiple versions and dates – if you need that feature. Some hosts only provide a single backup, or up to 3 backups, per site. If you need more than that, you must ask for it.

Quick Recovery

Should the unthinkable happen, you want the ability to get back on your feet, and fast. Some cloud storage providers offer simplified downloads as a recovery solution. This process, while quick, can feel slow for some businesses who are essentially crippled without access to their data for even a few hours.

Some cloud service providers offer near-instant file recovery through online portals and direct access to essential files and applications.

In some cases, these recovery processes take hours instead of days.

Choosing the right provider is all about your budget and needs. Obviously, the most responsive solutions tend to be the most expensive, so make sure to assess your needs objectively and keep your budget in mind.

Nicholas Rider works as a freelance IT consultant. He always enjoys sharing his insights online and has previously written for a number of different websites.

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