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Why trust will reign supreme in a broader storage war

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Image by: ars technica

Cloud storage is all the rage these days, especially given Microsoft and Google’s announcements this past week, but as  says on InfoWeek, “Cloud storage booming, but trouble brewing.”

When you compare Cloud Storage providers, you can obviously look at things like price, capacity, mobile compatibility and integration with apps (Great Cloud Storage Comparison chart for consumers by Ars Technica), but as Woody contends, with security and privacy concerns, illegal distribution of content (i.e. Megaupload), the number one factor in this all out war for your content storage needs is trust.

But, this is nothing new to traditional (pre-cloud storage) storage suppliers, except before, trust was mostly related to reliability. Do you trust Company ABC’s hard drives to store your precious digital content?

With Cloud Storage, this shifts a bit. Sure, reliability is still a factor, but Cloud trust is more related to security, privacy, and quite frankly longevity. Is the cloud storage provider reputable, honest, and in good financial standing?  Because, if they go away, so does your content. Fear mongering aside, consumers never had to think about this before when it came to storage. The only fear was mechanical failure, hence the backup, backup, backup mantra storage companies have been saying for decades. But the fear of mechanical failure is something we have to deal with for almost everything we own…appliances, cars, phones, televisions, air conditioning, heating, water systems, alarm systems, you name it. But there are always precautions we can take to feel safer in our investment whether they be extended warranties, backups, or routine maintenance contracts.

With cloud storage, trust must be built not only in the terms and conditions (which yes we should all read instead of just clicking “accept” or “I agree”), but also in how the company operates, how it enforces misconduct by subscribers/users, who it shares information with, and how much access they have to yours.

Yes, cloud storage is here to stay, and with innovation and technology advancement, it can only get faster, safer, and more cost effective. The question is, who will be around for the long haul?  The answer lies in who you trust the most.

Who do you think is or will be the most trustworthy cloud storage provider?

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