Big data is a diamond ore mine waiting to be unearthed. In the recently proposed merger between Salesforce and Twitter, Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff said that “Data is the currency in software’s new world order.” Although the deal between the two tech giants didn’t occur, it's easy to see how much value Benioff placed on Twitter’s depository of data.
Data Offers Insights
In a world where companies are trying so hard to target consumers based on niche interests, community affiliation, and even personal search history, data has become the new unexploited resource. Being able to cross-reference data and make sense of it by finding patterns is where the art of customer relations comes in. Through this process data can turn into valuable insights, and the rough diamond can turn into a scintillating stone.
Data Needs a Cloud
Yet is becomes hard to unearth such insights from your clients if you don’t have the storage capacity to hold it all. Furthermore, as a business you need the bandwidth capacity to be able to go in and crunch these numbers in an efficient fashion, allowing you to see the trend lines that enable you to pivot strategy accordingly.
Get on the Cloud
If your small business, organization, or company recognizes the value of data, then perhaps you’ve been shopping for vendors offering cloud storage. Cloud storage allows you to keep the files you have on your clients - not on a fluffy white cloud - but in a secure server room halfway across the world. You purchase this storage space from a vendor and your data is backed up - meaning that when it is deleted, the servers still keep a repository of it, allowing you to rest easy knowing your data is safe.
Variety of Vendors to Choose From
A variety of vendors exist that can offer you the storage, bandwidth, backup, and security to meet your business needs. Some names you may recognize include Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive, Box, Dropbox, and Amazon S3. Other vendors you might not know include Zoolz, JustCloud, OpenDrive, Mozy, Zip Cloud, SOS Online Backup, IDrive, and Sugar Synch.
Most of these vendors’ business model centers around a “freemium” service - that is, free initial services with the ability to purchase more as per your needs, all the way up to the costliest premium plan. Rest assured that each player in the cloud storage space has an awareness of what the other competitors are doing and how they are pricing their wares. Comparison shopping is advised, as is getting a full (often free) trial of the starter version to see its functionalities in practice, but I wouldn’t spend too much time comparison shopping. Most likely, if you’re in the process of purchasing cloud storage for your company, you have the heat at your back and are tasked with upgrading antiquated systems into a modern and more manageable format. You’ll need a strong company straight from the get-go.
Look to see what natural integrations you can make with your existing company communication system. For example, if your staff is using Gmail it makes sense to opt for greater Google Drive storage capacity; likewise Microsoft’s cloud will pair with Outlook .
When shopping, keep in mind that the primary factors you are looking for are storage capacity, bandwidth (speed), backup capabilities, and security.
For those that think cloud storage is complex, it’s not. Think of it as a modern-day file cabinet. With a secure partner offering backup and tight security protection you’ll always have the ability to leverage your customer data and polish the diamond that would otherwise have remained undiscovered and unrefined.
About the Author: Rob Haynie serves as Managing Director of Life Insurance Settlements, Inc. He is a speaker, panelist and author or contributor on the topic of life settlements in various trade journals, periodicals and press outlets across the globe. He currently resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with his wife of 19 years, Lauren and their identical twin daughters, Skyler and Brooke.
Edited by Ken Briodagh