The rapid advance of modern technology has brought a whole raft of benefits with regard to online collaboration for businesses. New features and technologies have appeared on a regular basis, helping the business sector to develop rapidly in the virtual realm. From those companies who are looking into virtual file sharing services for the first time, to those seeking to change their provider, there are a number of issues to consider. They will help you to decide which cloud storage options to choose, in order to boost your business.
Specific features to look out for

Version tracking (keeping track of who has made changes to a file, and when they did so), along with the ability to access files from multiple computers are valuable options for today’s businesses. If your cloud storage service is not able to keep track of changes that are made to files, then business collaborations lose their efficiency. Similarly, if you are only able to access your files from one computer, this limits the flexibility of your collaboration. These are features that are not always present in cloud storage options aimed at home users, but should be considered as essential features for business users, as their absence will severely restrict your possibilities.

You will also need to find out which types of file are supported by your cloud storage service. The list should include at least the standard Microsoft office and image file types, along with file types such as the Adobe PDF. Some service providers will enable you to create custom backups of uncommon file types, which can be a very beneficial feature, depending on your business.

Consider your regular business practice, and do make sure that your service package includes enough storage to enable you to work on as many online projects as you need, during your busiest periods. It is worth considering purchasing more storage than you currently require, to allow your projects to grow in file size, as they inevitably will.

Security 

Security will of course be an important issue with cloud storage, as the safety of your files is paramount to the way that you do business. A good cloud storage system for business collaborations will include the opportunity for multiple users to log on and to edit files (perhaps even concurrently) but will do so in a secure environment, ensuring that only those who are meant to access files will be able to do so. Passwords and logins ensure that your files are not made available to unauthorised users, and all stored data should be protected with 128-bit encryption.

In the digital age, an increasing number of workers do not operate in a physical office but instead in a virtual environment, and so the ability for multiple users to be able to access the cloud storage online is an increasingly vital service. This is relevant not only to freelancers, but also to office workers who are temporarily away from their place of business.

The importance of backup should also not be underestimated. It may be that you keep a local backup of your data, of course, but the cloud storage will often have the most up-to-date copy of your files. When choosing a cloud storage service for your business, you should be able to presume that this comes as standard, but it is worth checking with potential providers to see how their backup service is implemented.

Technical support should also be provided as part of your business cloud storage package, and can be a very valuable tool, particularly when putting new users online for the first time. Most good service providers are only too willing to help your business team get used to using cloud storage for collaborative projects.

Price
Last but not least, price is a major factor when considering a subscription-based cloud storage solution. Ensure that you check if there is a per-user cost, or if there is simply a flat rate, licensing all members of your team to use the service. Ask if there are any added installation or startup costs, and be sure also to check whether you are under any contractual obligation to stay with the company for a certain amount of time. 
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