Why Cloud Document Management is Essential for Your Business
“Cloud server” has become a buzzword and many applications offer some kind of cloud integration to store your data securely on a remote server managed by them. This model has a lot of benefits for both the service provider and the users, especially when talking about a Document management system.
In the modern office, a document management system is, without a doubt, an essential tool. With the growing use of digital documents and the world moving towards paperless operation models, managing documents manually just isn’t a viable option anymore, and becomes progressively more difficult and inefficient as the business scales up.
Document management systems have been around for decades now, and are gaining popularity, whilst at the same time evolving to provide features to ensure the workflow is more fluid and visible, whilst adding automation to day-to-day business processes. Document management in the cloud is the next step in its evolution.
On-premise vs Cloud Document Management System
All Document Management systems, at their core, have a similar concept; they have a client application that is used to access and store documents, and a server which stores the document details (metadata) and the actual documents themselves.
|On-premise Document management System||Cloud Document management system|
|Documents are stored on a server managed by you.||Documents are stored on a remote server managed by the DMS service provider.|
|You will invariably require an IT team to set up and maintain your server.||No IT knowledge required to maintain the server.|
|You are responsible for backups and recovery.||DMS provider keeps backups.|
|Hardware and server-side applications needs to be upgraded regularly to keep up with the industry standards.||No hardware to worry about; (however you may need to pay extra for the server storage).|
|The DMS application may not work outside the office intranet.||Cloud application can be accessed anywhere and many have a mobile phone/tablet version.|
Why Choose a Cloud Document Management System?
1. Cost Reduction: Cloud Document management systems have a relatively lower overall cost. This is especially so if you do not already have an IT infrastructure in place as you will need to purchase hardware components. Add to that the cost to maintain the server, which usually requires either a full time IT specialist or outsourced IT management services. However, if you use several applications that work on a client-server architecture then this cost may be spread out to lower the average cost.
2. Security: Cloud servers can host data for hundreds or thousands of users, and so can invest in the best security tools and practices, whereas the cost cannot be justified for smaller businesses so comparatively, the cloud server is more secure against most threats.
3. Accessibility: Cloud servers have more flexible options in terms of accessibility compared to on-premise server based document management systems. The cloud document management system only needs an internet connection to run and usually all that is needed is access to a website or a dedicated application for your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.
4. Scalability: When using a Cloud service provider, as your business grows all you may need is an upgrade in your storage plan, however, when using an on-premise server, you may need to upgrade your hardware to match your needs or a complete hardware replacement.
Making the choice between cloud or on-premise document management systems depends on your office scale and usability. Working from home or remotely however is a big driving factor in modern times. Be sure to discuss your needs and seek advice from specialist and trained document management software consultants before you leap one way or the other. Most providers may offer a free demo, or trial, or both so do take advantage of such offers.