File management is a tedious but essential part of every business. Effective file management saves time while increasing your team’s productivity as well as helps you keep track of everything for a stress-free work environment.
One important component for this is the storage system and they will typically be local or online.
- Local storage come in the form of devices that can store large amounts of data and can be accessed by a networked computers. The most common types of local systems are:
- NAS (network attached storage), the most popular choice for small businesses since it allows easy scalability. Files stored in NAS are shared through your LAN.
- TapeDrive, an offline magnetic tape storage device best used for archival data storage. Since it is offline, it offers better data protection from ransom ware and virus
- Servers, a computer that can store files and can be accessed by other computers connected on the same network
- Online storage system is where we can store digital data that can be accessed remotely. This is more commonly referred to as Cloud Storage.
Choosing between local and online
Deciding which kind of storage to use for your business can be tricky. Ultimately, it boils down to your needs.
Local storage offer faster storing and retrieval of data. However, it can mean that accessing your files remotely can be a little more challenging. In todays mobile first world access to data is critical.
Online, or Cloud storage, can be accessed as long as you’re connected to the internet. The speed of your internet and the numbers of users is going to dictate the experience. but note that your download and upload speed is dependent on your bandwidth limitations. Cloud storage can be more cost effective and is certainly much more scalable with the right solution.
With the right infrastructure in place cloud solutions can offer better flexibility and value to the business, especially when you have remote workers. Getting a cloud platform can make a lot more sense than trying to continue managing a file server internally.
Making the move
There are several cloud platforms you can choose from. There is Apple’s iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft’s OneDrive and SharePoint. Each of these have different applications and associated processes, so make sure to know them before transferring your files.
Take note of the unsupported files and names, folder and library structures, list-views, and other limits prior to the transfer so that you will be able to store everything properly.
Simply dumping all the contents of your local storage to the cloud will not work. You won’t be able to find anything and everything will be a mess, causing a lot of confusion for your team. Spend time familiarizing the new system and build an environment where you can easily find and access your files. Think carefully about the type of data, how it is accessed and how it is used to begin to structure the environment that you want your staff to use.