Sometimes it can feel like you need to be an economist to understand the baffling array of cloud storage options open to business and pick out the best one. Well now you don't have to worry, because a group of Italian economists have done all the hard work for you.
Loretta Mastroeni of the Universita di Roma Tre and Maurizio Naldi of the Universita di Roma Tor Vergata wanted to know which cloud storage service was the cheapest. The problem was, most of the providers use a complex set of bundled products and tiered offerings, making like-for-like comparisons a little tricky.
Not to be put off, they analysed offerings from the likes of Dropbox, Amazon, Mozy and Google Drive to ascertain which offered the best unit price – looking at upfront costs and variable fees, charged according to usage.
The results showed that for firms needing between 10GB and 530GB storage space per month, the best providers were Amazon and iDrive. But for those needing higher storage levels Dropbox won out.
As the researchers noted: “We realise that the complexity of a service proposition cannot be captured by price only.”
But given that price was their chief concern, they decided to use an economist's trick known as a Pareto-dominance analysis to determine which were the best services overall, rather than on a incremental basis.
This overall analysis uncovers the fixed fee and marginal price of each pricing plan, then subjects the services to a sort of knockout competition to determine which was best.
Using this economic sleight of hand, the researchers determined that for businesses, the best competitors were iDrive, Carbonite and, once again, Dropbox.
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