These days, tools that make it easy for your team to collaborate on projects and work on important documents from anywhere are—for good reason—steadily gaining in popularity.
These are precisely the benefits that you can reap from a cloud file sharing solution. And this isn’t even to mention the more unique cases, like one we recently encountered with a new client of ours who was in need of a file server to better manage their data. Rather than investing thousands in a new piece of hardware, they were able to harness the power of a high-end file sharing solution instead.
Collaboration, mobility, and potential freedom from hardware—the capabilities are clearly quite alluring. Not only that, but cloud file sharing is still a fairly new development, especially at the corporate level. Combine these two factors, and it’s no wonder that we at Optimal get a lot of questions about what a solution like this will cost.
While the answer takes several factors into account, the discussion is actually far less complicated than your average pricing discussion. You’ll see what we mean below as we walk you through the features and average price ranges below.
What is a cloud file sharing solution?
A cloud file sharing solution is a platform that looks and feels like any standard file storage system, folder hierarchy and all. The difference here is that the files are stored on an off-site server that you and your coworkers can connect to over the Internet, from any device that connects to the Internet.
The service will copy the files down to your device (in most cases your laptop or home computer) for instant access, and keep them synced with the cloud so that you're always looking at the most recent, updated versions.
While there are many individual offerings out there, cloud file sharing solutions can be divided into two main categories:
1. Consumer-grade file sharing solutions. This is your standard Dropbox solution that is designed with fairly loose security for one-off personal accounts.
2. Corporate-grade file sharing solutions. This is where you need to focus your attention (and where we’ll focus ours for the remainder of this article). These offerings are far more secure, far more reliable, and are designed to handle multiple users under the same account.
Regardless of the type, the market for cloud file-sharing solutions is a young one that is heavily rooted in competition at this stage in the game. Storage costs continue to decrease on the end of both vendor and client, and we haven’t yet seen pricing settle completely.
This has resulted in fairly consistent pricing across the board.
What is the average price range for cloud file sharing solutions?
Research almost any corporate-grade cloud file sharing solution, and you’ll see pricing along the lines of $15 per account per month.
- Box.com – Base package of $15 per user per month for file sizes up to 5GB
- Dropbox for Business - $15 per user per month for “as much space as needed”
- Egnyte – Base package $8 per user per month; business package $15 per user per month
From here, you may see some enterprise-level packages that include more advanced features such as:
- Audit trails
- Remote wipe features
- Sharing with outside users
- Technical support
- Synchronizing with your existing file server
This last feature is a real kicker: after investing so much money in maintaining and protecting your file server, wouldn’t you want to be able to synchronize your files there? If so, plan on investing closer to $25 to $40 per user per month.
In our case, we offer a cloud file sharing bundle for up to 20 users and 100GB at the flat rate of $250 per month.
So, while the conversation about cloud file storage is less complex than many other pricing discussions, there are still factors to keep in mind when you’re looking to make a selection.
While market competition may keep prices predictable for you, it’s up to you to vet your providers and the features that are included in your package.