Dean Roscoe explains the benefits of switching to cloud-based storage services

Storing embroidery and artwork files on your hard drive or removable media could spell disaster if the drive or media was lost, stolen, damaged or simply stops working. There’s a much safer place – it’s called the cloud and it comes with productivity benefits too.

There are numerous cloud services to choose from; my favourites are Dropbox and Google Drive. They both provide plenty of secure storage space for free, and all it takes is 5 minutes to create an account then you’re ready to start uploading.

Once your files are uploaded to the cloud they can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, and there are mobile apps that make it easy to access data on the move. For example, you could share a link for an artwork proof with your client, or work collaboratively on a single document at the same time with your team. This makes cloud storage especially useful when working remotely – for example, sales staff who are out on the road, employees who are working from home and different departments housed at different locations.

Cloud storage has another ace up its sleeve – file syncing. In the past you might have created a design on a work PC, put it on a USB stick and modified it elsewhere, losing track of which design was the most current. With file syncing you download a small utility to each of your workstations and it will sync the modified file to all of your other devices as soon as a change is made.

And there’s more…

Ever made a change to a design, saved it, then wish you hadn’t? Maybe you deleted a file six months ago and now you need it back? If you save a file on the cloud you can roll it back to a previous version that was saved at an earlier time. This has saved my bacon on a number of occasions!

What about security? The good news is that cloud storage is extremely secure so you don’t need to worry about data safety. With a service like Google Drive you can protect your account access with 2-step authentication and Google will warn you of any suspicious browser activity. It’s even possible to track devices on Google Maps and remotely wipe them to remove all files if they ever fell into the wrong hands.

Dean Roscoe is the director of Decotech Solutions, which specialises in software, training and support for the garment decoration industry. He is the developer of Shirttools, the online product customiser, and Inkquoter, the cloud based invoicing app for embroiderers and printers.

Call: 01297 300501