Cloud-based storage provides important convenience features that can make employees far more productive. Workers can begin to create or edit a document at work, save the work in progress to the cloud, and continue editing the file on their smartphone during their commute home. Once home, they can continue again on their home computers if they wish.
This scenario once posed challenges in terms of multiple file versions being created, but newer cloud-storage offerings provide advanced synchronization features that distribute the most recent version of a file efficiently across devices. There are drawbacks to over-reliance on this model, however. If employees or businesses begin to treat cloud-based storage and synchronization as a backup solution, major problems can result.
At first glance, this may seem counter-intuitive. If several copies of a file are in existence, then naturally the file has a backup. The issue arises primarily from the fact that while certain key files may have a backup, the system as a whole will not have one unless alternate IT solutions continue to be in place. A complete backup that is kept properly maintained will be invaluable during disaster recovery. Cloud-based ‘dropbox’ style file storage will only have the most recently created or edited documents that employees have decided they need to access from off-site.
File storage and synchronization is a powerful business tool, to be sure, but it should not replace a solid backup such as can be provided through a managed programs model of IT support.