A storage service provider is a company that gives other companies something that they desperately need: storage space. Now that a great many of a company's normal operations are done electronically, the need for data storage is all the greater. Companies have financial records, customer tracking information, phone records, even meeting agendas and notes that need to be saved and archived, ready for easy access. Storage service providers can do all of that.
The common perception of data storage is that of a company doing its own thing: collecting its own data and storing it in its own way, be it disks or tapes or hard drives. This is entirely true for many businesses large and small, but it is entirely untrue for a great many other businesses which lack either the resources or the initiative to store their own data. Enter the storage service provider. A company's data -- no matter what it is, along as the company wants to save it -- is saved in a remote location, and the company is given access to that information whenever its employees want it, usually through the Internet and usually using some sort of encryption.
Another service that a storage service provider might offer to its clients is data backup. This is an extremely useful process, one that many companies will opt for. It is often the case that storage service providers have the latest, the greatest, and the most secure methods for backing up data and keeping it safe and sound. Along with backup comes archiving, or digital indexing. A company will want to be able to search easily for a specific block of data, as an employee would do on his or her personal computer's hard drive, and storage service providers commonly offer this service as an incentive to take advantage of their offerings.
One way in which a storage service provider can help a large company is to consolidate data from multiple locations. A company might have offices in different physical locations, either across town or across the country. In these cases, the company will find it difficult to store all its data in one physical place, unless that place is a storage service provider. Many large companies act as their own storage service provider, but many other companies put their data in the hands of the experts, for backup, storage, sharing, and archiving.