The cloud keeps getting bigger. And that’s a good thing because premise-based solutions for document management are not necessarily what every enterprise needs. The logistics of capturing, storing, retrieving, indexing, and sharing documents are complex and can entail considerable capital outlays. Small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) cannot always afford such large investments.
Fortunately, cloud-based document management systems (DMS) offer significant advantages over the traditional on-premise model. Microsoft, Google, and Treeno Software offer suitable cloud-based document management tools.
Regardless of your choice of cloud-based DMS, there are distinct advantages to the SaaS cloud-hosted model versus on-premise.
1. Increase Cost Savings
Servers, new computers, and disk space are costly. A cloud document management system uses an enterprise’s existing equipment eliminating the need for high-powered servers or complex onsite architectures. Additionally, the monthly fee for cloud-based DMS is usually far less than the costs associated with traditional premise-based solutions such as server upgrades, operating system upgrades, server maintenance, security infrastructure, and uninterruptable power supplies.
2. Enable Rapid Deployment
Cloud-based SaaS is available through a simple Web browser Internet connection. Minimal IT input is required on the client’s end. There's little or no software to install, no firewalls to configure, and no backups to set up; all provide for a turnkey DMS deployment. And yet, a cloud-based DMS gives an enterprise the flexibility to customize and/or upgrade as needed. Businesses will always have access to the latest version of the DMS because upgrades and updates are made available automatically.
3. Improve Accessibility
Cloud software is available anytime, anywhere. All the client needs is an Internet-accessible device for virtually ubiquitous document management. Document sharing and collaboration are much easier and more accurate with cloud-based DMS.
The more advanced solutions allow for metadata tagging to help organize and retrieve documents faster. Check-in procedures prevent simultaneous editing while allowing group access to single documents. Also, multiple versions of documents and their histories are easily shared and accessed via cloud-based DMS.
4. Meet Compliance Requirements
Many industries have strict document and record-keeping compliance requirements. The server and storage capabilities of cloud-based document management solutions usually exceed those of premise-based solutions. This lowers the cost and risk of failing to comply with regulatory compliance mandates such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, SEC regulations, or HIPAA.
5. Enhance Document Security
An intelligent cloud-based platform has certain features that bolster document security and prevent the exposure of critical business information. These features include:
- Virus protection
- Access rights management
6. Lower IT Support Dependency
Cloud document management systems lower IT support dependency by eliminating in-house server maintenance, upgrades, licensing, backups, and monitoring. In-house IT teams can focus on other tasks and pursue the enterprise’s core mission since SaaS applications are hosted and managed by the provider.
7. Reduce Carbon Footprint
Cloud-based document management is more environmentally friendly than traditional premise-based solutions. When businesses use the cloud, they share resources with other companies instead of running independent servers and cooling mechanisms that are typically underused for long stretches each day and consume vast amounts of energy.
Streamline Office Tasks with Cloud-Based Document Management
Cloud-based document management platforms play a vital role in every organization's success. They allow for faster access to information, simplified workflows, and reduced storage costs. Businesses interested in cloud-based DMS implementation should request a document management assessment from a qualified managed IT services provider. Highly-trained technicians will analyze your existing technology, provide data-driven opportunities for improvement, and determine the most suitable solution for your enterprise.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on August 12, 2014, and has been updated for accuracy and current best practices.