Date: 03/03/2015 | By: Liz Painter

David Lynes of Unique IQ explains the benefits of storing business data on hard drives…

In the second of this two-part series, we’re examining which business storage solution is best for your business: cloud storage or hard disk drives. As a storage solution, paper is completely antiquated and will die out totally within the next five years or so – leaving the two more technologically advanced options to fight it out to see which will reign supreme.

Of course, each method has its advantages and drawbacks – for many businesses it is simply a case of matching the storage solution to their very specific needs. This blog focuses on hard disk drives and the type of businesses that might find them useful.

Hard Disk Drives

Hard disk drives come in a variety of forms that can mostly be categorised into two sections – internal and external. Most businesses that rely on this method of storage tend to opt for external hard drives, because of their flexible nature. External hard drives are also offer huge amounts of storage – the minimum drive starts at around 320GB and goes all the way up to an incredible 10TB, with more options available for businesses. To put that into context – a single TB (terabyte) can store 17,000 hours of music, 1,000 hours of digital video, 250 DVD films or 320,000 high-resolution digital photos. Just imagine how many invoices and employee files a 10TB drive could hold!

Many people also opt for hard drives because of the higher level of control they have over their data. Cloud storage may be hugely convenient, but some businesses just don’t feel comfortable with the idea that their data is stored remotely. Reputable cloud providers use the very latest security methods to protect files, but some people prefer the peace of mind of knowing that they have total control and responsibility for their own files.

The expense involved in buying external hard drives tends to be less than the cost of a subscription to a cloud service. An external hard drive is a one-off outlay, whereas cloud solutions come with subscription fees, charges for extra memory and potential bandwidth-usage costs. If budgets are tight, the external hard drive will win out almost every time, but as cloud servers become cheaper and more popular, this battle might get a little fiercer over the coming years.

External hard drives are not quite as accessible as cloud servers – they’re certainly portable, and can be carried anywhere, but accessing them remotely is more difficult for employees. Most cloud storage solutions allow access from any connected mobile device, but hard disk drives present more of a conundrum on this front. Whilst this does mean that they’re not great for hosting the easily accessible files that mobile employees need to be able to view and edit on-the-go, it does make them ideal for storing files that only need to be accessed by a core group of people, like senior management and supervisors.

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