When running a business, we have hundreds of files and a lot of client, business, and staff data which needs to be stored securely.

Is storing in the cloud the best option for your business or would having everything on local servers be better?

What is cloud storage?

Cloud storage is when you use third party servers in a large data centre to store your data. Users can then access, edit and save their data from any device with an internet connection.

What is local storage?

Local storage however is the act of storing data on pieces of hardware housed locally. For example, on external disc drives, thumb drives, hard disc drives (HDDs) or solid-state drives (SSDs).  

Pros and cons of cloud storage

At the moment, with many businesses working from home or having a combination of office-based and remote workers cloud storage has made collaborative working much easier.

The pros of using cloud storage include:

·        Access – Regardless of where you are in the world, as long as you have an internet connection you are able to access, edit and store data.

·        Security – Should something happen to your business network or your premises this will not effect your data as it is stored off-site.

·        Secure logins – The data is protected by a user subscription service (either paid or free) which only allows access to those with the login details.

·        Data Back-ups – Cloud storage providers will often offer a back-up and data recovery service so if the worst happens you can still access your data.

·        Collaboration – Cloud storage can make collaboration with remote teams far easier, as it is possible to all be working from the same documents with the latest updates.

·        Environmentally friendly – It can be a more environmentally friendly option for your business to use off-site third-party cloud storage than house your own data centre within your premises.

The cons of using cloud storage, however, include:

·        Security – If you are relying on a third party for the storage of your data, you are trusting that their security measures are robust and that your data is safe.

·        Environmentally questionable – There has been a lot in the press recently about how data centres are a major contribution to the Earth’s carbon footprint with many relying on diesel generators. They are thought to be responsiblefor 0.3% of total global emissions, and data centres in China alone use more power than the whole of Australia in a year.[1]

Pros and cons of local storage

Therefore, it could be worth considering using local storage solutions for your business. The pros of this solution includes:

·        Access – Access can be much quicker as there may be limited login procedures, and you can access all data when offline.

·        Security – You and your IT team will have complete control over how something is stored and who has access to it, as well as being responsible for the security protocols which are in place.

The cons of local storage include:

·        Access – If users are off-site and need access to data which is on-site there is no way of accessing it without getting another team member to email it to them.

·        Security – Portable drives can get lost which means the data is potentially accessible to non-authorised people. Additionally, if a local drive has a malfunction, or is affected by powering down this data is potentially irretrievably lost.

·        Extra costs – When data is stored locally there must also be additional off-site back-ups and a robust disaster recovery plan in case of localised hardware failure.


For many businesses using the cloud is almost second nature, with Google Docs or OneDrive being common practice. However, for some sensitive data public cloud storage may not be appropriate meaning that local storage would be the best option for your business.

If you are not sure which would be the most suitable option speak with the team at Supportwise today for some down to earth, unbiased advice.

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/mitsubishiheavyindustries/2020/10/27/for-power-hungry-data-centers-four-ways-to-cut-co2-emissions/?sh=128eec4f59dd