One of the most common questions I get in my Seminars, when talking about shared file storage using tools like DropBox, is “is this a good solution for me?”. DropBox and other such systems CAN be the perfect solution for many small businesses – IF it’s the solution to the right problem!
There’s an old saying among people who work with their hands: Use the right tool for the right job.
When you use the wrong tool, either you injure yourself or you do a really lousy job. Either way, more than likely, it shows. Note also that you have to do the right job. That means even the best tool can be used the wrong way.
We see a growing trend of moving to “cloud” services among small businesses. However, we are also seeing that employees (or owners and managers) are grabbing whatever tool they can find to make their job easier. One of the most common examples of this is cloud-based storage. Time and time again, we see clients who are throwing important company data up on free accounts. Some people even brag about having 5 GB accounts on several different providers – all free! Oops!
Free is great when free is appropriate.
Free means, in the end, you have ZERO guarantees that anyone is responsible for your stuff. Even if everything was lost by a freak accident and you were paid one million times what you paid for the service, you will still get ZERO. If you’re not paying for it, assume it’s not as secure as when you are. Assume it’s not as private as it could be.
What does that mean? In a nutshell, it means that these free accounts aren’t good enough for use with data that 1) Is important in any way, and 2) You don’t want to lose. If your industry is regulated in any way, YOU are responsible for the security of your data and being compliant with regulations.
Getting the right advice.
When you hire a professional technology consultant, they will make sure that your data is secure – in a way that protects you and has your best interest in mind.
The real irony is that good, secure, cloud-based systems are now VERY affordable. That means low-price, not free. But to save a few dollars every month, people still choose to do whatever they think is “easy.”
Your Take Away.
DropBox might be your friend. But only if it’s part of an overall system designed to meet your needs and fulfill the requirements of your business. PLEASE talk to your technology consultant and make sure you have a data storage system that makes sense and was created specifically to meet your needs.