Consumer-Grade Data Storage Products Prove That Free Isn’t Always Cheap Enough


Last week, Microsoft announced that it was changing the amount of free storage available through its OneDrive cloud offering from 15 GB to five GB. In addition, OneDrive will discontinue its 15 GB camera roll bonus—and a 50 GB plan will replace paid 100 GB and 200 GB options. Office 365 will also end its unlimited storage offering and replace it with a one TB option.

For most personal computer users, this won’t affect their storage needs. But depending on what kind of data requirements your business has—and what kind of cloud storage service it currently uses—this could have an adverse effect on you.

How so?

Many technology solutions begin with a “free” offer these days. Cloud service providers in particular are adept at using customer acquisition pricing strategies that are fine-tuned to lure customers in at a price point that looks attractive—and then, when they’re perceived to be unlikely to change because of the barriers of moving data, raising the price.

This means the sort of announcement that Microsoft made is to be expected. The hard part for computer users—particularly those in the business world, where changing data storage horses midstream can be difficult (if not downright impossible)—is when they find themselves lured into such a trap.

Say your business uses a free offering like OneDrive but has 10 GB of critical information stored in the cloud. And say that data must be accessible to all employees at all times to ensure productivity, efficiency, and proper workflow procedures. With Microsoft’s announcement, now you must either pay up for extra storage or face the cost of transition. This is far more than just moving your data—a much larger cost will be incurred due to having to rewire organizational processes that grow up around all forms of technology.

When It Comes to Technology, There Really Is no Free Lunch

When you or the decision makers in your company are considering any technology solution, be wary of the “hook you in free sample” approach. At Baskin Robbins, you can see the free sample for exactly what it is. But free technology is not served on a miniature spoon, and tech offers can be much more cagily packaged.

For instance, the fine print in Microsoft’s announcement states that users who remain over the new storage limits will:

  • Receive an offer to claim a free one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal.
  • If that offer is claimed, users will have 90 days to purchase additional storage or remove some of their files.
  • After 90 days, users will still have access to their files for 9 months, but only to view and download them, not to add any new content to them.
  • If after nine months users are still over the quota, their account will be locked and files will not be accessible until action is taken.
  • If after 6 more months no action is taken, user data may be deleted.

Sounds scary, right? That’s where CMIT Solutions comes in. We offer customized cloud, data backup, proactive monitoring, and network security solutions that fit the needs of our clients—not the other way around. If you have questions about cloud storage or are a Microsoft OneDrive user unsure about new data limits, contact us today. We commit ourselves to making technology work for our clients by giving them the options they need to work smarter, faster, and more efficiently.

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