There are lots of cloud storage groups out there today. With it’s January 2010 update to Google Docs, the search engine giant stepped onto the field; Dropbox is becoming increasingly popular; and Microsoft has advanced servers designed specifically for cloud purposes. Alternatives for cloud storage abound, however, many people are only using this space to backup their files, and are thus not getting the most out of this resource. Here are five creative ways to utilize your cloud storage system.
1: Replace Your FTP
Most cloud storage systems allow you to upload and download using some form of graphic user interface with a secure login, but that’s not the only method available to retrieve files. Many of the major cloud servers allow you to make an image public, and subsequently provide a virtual web address for file download.
If you’re currently using FTP to send bulky files to people, or to store larger company documents, consider tweaking your cloud space. This can negate the need for constant FTP interaction.
2: Use the Space for Collaboration
If a group of individuals is working on a creative project, you may want to utilize your cloud storage space as the main file storage location. This not only saves time in file sharing, it can also negate the risk of crossing wires by using non-current file versions. Some types of cloud storage space even allow for real-time collaboration on items like documents and spreadsheets (as with GDocs), content management (as with Silverline), and project management (as with Bootcamp).
3: Synchronize Your Workspaces
Dropbox has been popularized as a method of synchronizing your files from one location to the next. You can do more than simply keep current work files up to date, however. You can store your current system settings, contact information, and even software installation files in the cloud, allowing you to quickly create mirror workspaces anywhere that you have internet access.
4: Store Current Company Documents
The days of passing around memos have come to an end. Most of these files are sent electronically. Many of them are even sent multiple times because of updates or errors. Sadly, your employees are just as likely to refer to old versions. Not so if you use your cloud space creatively. Store the current version of company files there, and notify your staff when there have been changes. That way they can easily refer to the up-to-date iteration.
5: Create a File Version Trail
The lower limitations and heavy organization of cloud storage backup means that it’s relatively simple to create a trail of file versions. This makes it easier to revert to an older version, it can be an excellent resource as a project moves forward in different creative directions, and it’s a great legal resource should you ever need to demonstrate the work done on a project.
While backing up your files is still one of the major items of importance, you shouldn’t keep your view that narrow. These five creative uses are just a few ways you can maximize the positive impact of your company’s time in the cloud.
Image Credit: Freetoop