Cloud Storage Costs

Business people looking worried as cloud storage costs increase.

When cloud computing and storage first hit the scene, it was marketed as a cost-effective solution. One that would save businesses money compared to operating their own data centers. The low upfront costs and pay-as-you-go pricing models made cloud services incredibly attractive, especially for startups and smaller firms.

However, as businesses have become more reliant on the cloud over the past decade, those initial cost savings are being offset by skyrocketing storage fees from the major cloud providers. What was pitched as an affordable, flexible solution is now locking organizations into expensive, rigid contracts that punish them for trying to leave.

The Steep Price of Cloud Vendor Lock-In

One of the key selling points of cloud storage was the ability to avoid expensive capital investments in hardware, real estate, and operations personnel to run on-premises data centers. By renting storage, computing, and other services from the cloud hyperscalers like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, businesses could treat IT as an operating expense.

This appealed to startups and younger companies that could get off the ground quickly without huge upfront infrastructure costs. It also attracted established enterprises looking to shift CapEx spending to OpEx to improve cash flow and financial flexibility.

The cloud model worked well initially as businesses could smoothly scale usage and spending up or down as needed. Providers offered free introductory tiers and attractive discounts on committed spending to pull customers in. But as data volumes have grown over time and companies built more core services on top of these providers, their costs and reliance on a single vendor increased in parallel.

Due to a lack of easy data portability between clouds and expensive egress fees for transferring out data, it has become extremely difficult and costly to switch providers or repatriate data back on-premises once you’re locked into a platform. Cloud storage vendors know this, which is why they’ve been steadily raising prices year after year, safe in the knowledge that most customers are now hostages.

Major Price Hikes from Cloud Storage Giants

Recently, the biggest providers have jacked up prices significantly increasing cloud storage costs:

These steep increases are a blow to any business that has come to rely on the cloud, as the bill shocks have arrived out of the blue. According to Wasabi Technologies, 92% of businesses allocate more than half of their cloud storage budgets to fees, rather than storage capacity. In 2021, public cloud spending rose to $383.6 billion, up from $307.7 billion in 2020, which includes cloud infrastructure and application services. Cloud spending currently represents approximately 30% of overall IT budgets, and will exceed $1.3 trillion by 2025.

The Cloud Storage Repatriation Movement

Faced with rapidly rising and unpredictable cloud bills, a growing number of companies are now pursuing cloud storage repatriation — bringing data and workloads back in-house to on-premises or colocation data centers they control. Third-party research indicates over 60% of SMEs in the UK plan to reduce cloud usage by the end of 2023 in response to price hikes.

The challenges of repatriating data from the public cloud are significant. Aside from supplier lock-in through egress fees and lagging data portability, businesses need to weigh costs of purchasing new hardware, software licenses, data center space, hiring IT talent to manage on-prem infrastructure, and implementing robust security.

However, the potential long-term savings of owning and controlling data can outweigh those upfront costs for firms whose cloud bills keep ballooning. Many businesses find they hit an inflection point where repatriating select workloads from the cloud becomes more cost efficient than continuing to rent resources from a cloud provider that keeps jacking up prices.

Regulatory Pressures Encourage Cloud Portability

Enterprise complaints over cloud storage costs and vendor lock-in aren’t being ignored by policymakers and regulators. The European Union has led the charge by recently passing the EU Data Act, which will require cloud service providers operating in Europe to remove technical, contractual, and commercial barriers that make it difficult for customers to switch to competitors.

Among other provisions aimed at enabling cloud portability, the act bans predatory practices like hefty egress fees for customers trying to move their data out of a cloud environment. It will also mandate providers assist businesses with the complexities of application migration and data transfer.

While well-intentioned, the Data Act has prompted criticism that facilitating seamless cloud portability is an oversimplification of the technical challenges involved in moving production data and apps between different providers’ platforms and APIs.

Nevertheless, the regulatory pressure reflects the EU’s stance that cloud vendor lock-in poses anti-competitive risks that must be addressed to foster choice and fairness in the market.

In the meantime, enterprises shouldn’t have to wait for legislation to solve issues of escalating cloud storage costs and lock-in. Solutions like MyWorkDrive exist today as an affordable, secure bridge between any cloud storage and end users.

The MyWorkDrive Solution for Cloud Storage Cost Control

The MyWorkDrive platform gives organizations full control over their data while providing seamless, secure access for employees to the files they need regardless of where that data resides. Rather than being locked into a single vendor’s cloud, MyWorkDrive allows companies to leverage any type of storage:

Private cloud set ups like on-prem or colocation data centers

Public cloud services like AWS or Azure

Hybrid and multi-cloud scenarios

Being storage agnostic, MyWorkDrive enables true data portability without the technical hurdles of trying to migrate data between different cloud environments. Because MyWorkDrive fully separates data access from the physical storage, companies can freely move terabytes between storage locations with ease, and anytime they wish to avoid egress fees or renegotiate their cloud contracts.

With full flexibility over where data lives, MyWorkDrive customers maintain leverage over their cloud providers to push back on unreasonable price increases or shift to lower cost alternatives. They can minimize exposure to runaway cloud storage costs while still realizing many of the operational benefits that drew them to the cloud in the first place.

Lower TCO & Predictable Costs

Besides severing cloud dependency through storage freedom, MyWorkDrive provides hard dollar savings to organizations weary of paying premium prices from name-brand providers. Its predictable and straightforward pricing be approximately half the cost when compared to other enterprise cloud file sharing platforms.

Compared to cloud storage providers, MyWorkDrive provides a cost-efficient path to secure file access for employees while keeping total cost of ownership low for the organization. With the flexibility of storage choice, it eliminates the costly pitfalls of vendor lock-in.

Robust Security and Compliance

On top of the economic advantages, MyWorkDrive was architected from the ground up around stringent security principles that protect data no matter where it lives. All data transfers occur over encrypted tunnels and never pass through MyWorkDrive servers, so no third party can access those files. Customers maintain full custody of their encryption keys.

This level of security meets the most rigorous data handling standards for industries like finance, healthcare, legal, and government where data privacy and compliance are paramount. With MyWorkDrive, businesses can confidently adopt a secure hybrid cloud posture and avoid the trade-off of public cloud convenience over control and data sovereignty.

For organizations getting burned by the escalating costs of cloud storage, MyWorkDrive provides a timely escape hatch from vendor dependency. Its unique storage-agnostic approach gives customers the flexibility to optimize their storage mix and leverage the most cost-effective locations for their data. They regain control over their IT roadmap and expenses, allowing them to avoid surprises and run their operation transparently.


File Sharing for Healthcare Organizations

Healthcare professionals accessing files remotely.

Advancing Healthcare Data Security Through Integrated Solutions

In today’s digital landscape, the healthcare industry faces both opportunities and challenges as it seeks to embrace innovation while safeguarding sensitive patient data. As information sharing becomes more widespread, the importance of robust, integrated security solutions intensifies. Crucial security strategies include implementing a zero-trust architecture, data leak prevention (DLP) mechanisms, multifactor authentication (MFA), device management protocols, and ensuring compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). MyWorkDrive delivers a comprehensive file-sharing solution for healthcare that encompasses these critical components, enabling secure and flexible collaboration while protecting patient privacy.


Zero Trust Architecture: The Foundation for Robust Data Security When Sharing Files

A zero trust architecture operates on the principle of “never trust, always verify.” This approach is crucial in healthcare, where the integrity and confidentiality of patient data are paramount. By implementing a zero trust model, healthcare organizations ensure that access to their networks and data is strictly controlled and monitored, with authentication and authorization procedures in place for every access request, regardless of the user’s location or device.

In a zero trust environment, healthcare organizations replace traditional perimeter-based security models with granular access controls and continuous monitoring. This approach involves segmenting networks, enforcing least-privilege access principles, and implementing robust identity and access management (IAM) solutions. By treating every user, device, and application as untrusted, zero trust architecture minimizes the risk of unauthorized access and data breaches.


Data Leak Prevention: Safeguarding Sensitive Patient Information Within Healthcare Organizations

Data leak prevention (DLP) mechanisms are essential for identifying, monitoring, and protecting sensitive patient information across an organization’s digital environment. In healthcare, DLP tools can help prevent the unauthorized access, sharing, or exfiltration of patient data, thereby mitigating the risk of data breaches and ensuring compliance with privacy regulations such as HIPAA.

DLP solutions employ a range of techniques, including content inspection, contextual analysis, and machine learning, to identify and classify sensitive data. These tools can monitor data at rest (stored in databases or file servers), data in motion (transmitted over networks or shared via email), and data in use (accessed by applications or users). By implementing DLP controls, healthcare organizations can enforce policies that restrict the flow of sensitive patient data, prevent accidental or malicious data leaks, and maintain a secure and compliant file sharing environment.


Multifactor Authentication: An Additional Layer of File Sharing Security

Multifactor authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide two or more different authentication factors to verify their identity. This method significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access due to compromised credentials, such as stolen passwords or phishing attacks.

In healthcare settings, where access to patient information must be tightly controlled, MFA is a critical component of a robust security strategy for healthcare file-sharing. Common MFA factors include:

  1. Something you know (e.g., passwords, PINs)
  2. Something you have (e.g., security tokens, mobile apps)
  3. Something you are (e.g., biometrics like fingerprints or facial recognition)

By combining multiple authentication factors, MFA ensures that even if one factor is compromised, unauthorized users cannot gain access to sensitive patient data or systems.


Device Approval: Controlling Access at the Endpoint in Your Organization

Device approval processes ensure that only authorized devices can access an organization’s network and resources. This is particularly important in healthcare settings, where the use of personal devices for work purposes is common due to the mobility of healthcare professionals and the need for remote access to patient data.

By implementing device approval protocols, healthcare organizations can maintain visibility and control over the devices connecting to their networks. This typically involves maintaining an inventory of approved devices, enforcing security policies (such as encryption, antivirus, and patching requirements), and implementing network access controls to prevent unauthorized devices from accessing sensitive data.

Device approval measures can also include mobile device management (MDM) solutions, which allow organizations to remotely monitor, manage, and secure mobile devices used for work purposes. These solutions can enforce policies, remotely wipe data from lost or stolen devices, and prevent the installation of unauthorized applications that could compromise data security.


HIPAA Compliance: Ensuring the Protection of Patient Information

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets the standard for protecting sensitive patient data in the United States. This is especially important when sharing healthcare files. Compliance with HIPAA requires healthcare organizations to implement physical, network, and process security measures to safeguard electronic protected health information (ePHI).

Adhering to HIPAA regulations is not just a legal obligation but also a commitment to maintaining patient trust and confidentiality. HIPAA compliance measures include:

  • Conducting risk assessments and implementing appropriate safeguards
  • Implementing access controls and audit trails
  • Ensuring data backup and disaster recovery procedures
  • Providing workforce training on HIPAA privacy and security rules
  • Executing business associate agreements with third-party vendors

By aligning their security practices with HIPAA requirements, healthcare organizations can demonstrate their commitment to protecting patient privacy and avoiding costly data breaches and regulatory fines.


MyWorkDrive: The Premier File Sharing Solution for Healthcare

MyWorkDrive integrates all the aforementioned safeguards – zero trust architecture, data leak prevention, multifactor authentication, device management, and HIPAA compliance – into a seamless, flexible, and secure file sharing solution tailored for the healthcare industry. By leveraging MyWorkDrive’s comprehensive framework, healthcare organizations can facilitate data access and collaboration across their ecosystem while ensuring the protection, privacy, and confidentiality of patient information.

Key features of MyWorkDrive’s file sharing solution for healthcare include:

As the healthcare industry undergoes digital transformation, holistic and integrated security solutions like MyWorkDrive are imperative for managing risk and ensuring the secure exchange of sensitive patient data. By implementing layered controls with a zero trust ethos, healthcare organizations can advance data protection amidst growing complexity and interconnectivity, enabling innovation while preserving patient privacy and trust.