As more of the workforce becomes remote, ensuring your team has a safe and efficient way to transfer critical documents is more important than ever. Though you could send documents in an endless encrypted email chain or shuttle them from place to place on USB flash drives, there’s an easier way.
Cloud document storage enables you to upload and access a document from any authorized, internet-connected device anywhere in the world, making file sharing a snap.
What Is Cloud Document Storage?
Cloud document storage is an online file system that allows you to store, share, open, and view documents from any authorized device. All you need is the correct login credentials to see your work from anywhere in the world on any computer, tablet, or even smartphone.
The best cloud storage solutions provide additional features such as verified e-signatures or collaborative editing tools.
Main Benefits of Cloud Storage Services
Cloud storage services can expand access to documents, help streamline your projects, and save time and money.
1. Data Accessibility and Mobility
If you store documents locally on a computer or a portable drive such as a flash drive or external hard drive, you can only access them if you have that computer or drive. If you forget your laptop or flash drive at home or work, your only option is to go back for it.
Cloud storage makes your data accessible from any compatible device, near or far. As long as you can log into your account, you can reach your documents. You can even access your files from desktop apps or mobile devices to work on the go.
Cloud accessibility also means any authorized team member can access your documents from anywhere. Cloud storage space is accessible from unlimited devices, so everyone who needs access can upload, download, or view the files they need, whether on the other side of the world or just a room away.
2. Security Features and Protection
Some people worry this accessibility presents a security risk. However, documents stored in the cloud can easily incorporate additional cloud storage security features such as blockchain to keep your records safe. Blockchain security allows you to share a document with your network and team. Modifying that document requires the permission of the whole network, protecting your data and creating an extra layer of accountability for those accessing it.
Any time someone with access attempts to modify a document stored within your blockchain, a record of that potential change is kept, enabling you and your team to see who made edits and when. Other features include password protection and authorized users, helping prevent potential data leaks or privacy concerns and identify where they came from if they do occur. Since documents are stored in a trackable digital file instead of locally (where they can be surreptitiously copied and distributed), it is much harder for would-be data thieves to get in and out unnoticed.
3. Scalability and Flexibility
Cloud services are not one-size-fits-all. Some companies require tons of storage, while others require relatively little. Fortunately, most cloud storage options offer flexible and scalable plans to suit the storage needs of your team. Some providers even offer customizable options to create a perfect fit for your company.
Large companies that trade dozens of docs daily may find the local storage on their computers insufficient. Some cloud storage plans come with terabytes or unlimited storage to ensure every document you need is right at your fingertips, no matter how big. For small businesses with limited storage needs, plans with only a few gigabytes of space enable you to share important documents without breaking the bank.
A cloud storage provider can also limit the number of documents you can send or store instead of the total storage space.
4. Cost Savings and Efficiency
You might not think storing your documents costs much, but you’d be surprised. Keeping physical copies of your documents takes up space and adds expenses such as paper, ink, and filing cabinets or boxes to accommodate them. Even storing digital copies locally requires high-volume hard drives.
Although cloud storage often requires a subscription, the cost is typically much lower than printing and storing every document, especially for larger businesses. Of the average monthly expenses per employee, 50%-60% is for supplies such as paper, ink, and writing tools.
Additionally, with cloud document storage, you and your team can collaborate, complete projects, and sign contracts more efficiently. If someone has a question about a document or needs to make a change, they can do so instantly from their device. There’s no need to wait for it to be emailed to them — or worse, waiting until the next day they return to the office. You can complete projects more efficiently, so your team is more likely to have the time and energy for additional projects.
Signing contracts also becomes more efficient with cloud storage. Documents previously needed to be signed in person to verify their authenticity, but today’s cloud business solutions enable verified e-signatures that are fully traceable, legally binding, and defensible in court. You can even see when your client or contractor has opened the document and get notified once it’s signed, helping you get moving on projects much faster.
Since you don’t have to wait days or weeks for an in-person meeting, work can start almost as soon as you hang up the phone or send the last planning email.
5. Collaboration Features and File Sharing
Collaborating on projects is much easier when everyone on your team can access your documents simultaneously. Emailing the same contracts or designs back and forth while you edit is tedious and time-consuming. Instead, coworkers across the hall or on the other side of the world can collaborate without delays or losing changes in an eternal email chain. Any modifications reflect immediately in the stored document as soon as they’re saved.
Some cloud collaboration tools even allow you to see changes reflected in real-time as multiple people work on the same project. Your online storage services can even be compatible with editing platforms like Google Drive.
Safe and Centralized Document Storage With jSign
Cloud services provide many benefits for businesses of all sizes. E-signature verification and integration with popular document collaboration platforms lets you access everything you need in one place. To see what document cloud storage solutions are available for your company, check out jSign’s flexible plan tiers.