Today’s organizations have been using some form of document management for years, whether it be on paper, on a computer or online. While we at Laserfiche have encouraged customers to digitize documents for decades, many organizations are just starting to move their document management systems to the cloud. Read on to see why cloud-based document management systems are becoming so popular that they’re the norm rather than the exception.
What is a cloud-based document management system?
According to the Association for Intelligent Information Management (AIIM), document management is “the software that controls and organizes documents throughout an organization.” According to Merriam-Webster, cloud computing is “the practice of storing regularly used computer data on multiple servers that can be accessed through the Internet.”
In summary, cloud-based document management system is a platform that controls and organizes documents stored on multiple servers and accessed through the internet.
Why is cloud the future of document management?
Cloud is the future for document management because it is the easiest, most efficient way to access and organize your documents – no matter where your work takes you. In fact, the software as a service (SaaS) industry is expected to expand to a value of over $400 billion by 2025. Why is this the case?
The workplace is becoming remote. Like it or not, remote work is here to stay. According to the AP, Amazon, one of the world’s largest employers, announced in 2021 that it would allow many of its employees to work from home indefinitely. This new world of work means that employees need to access work-related content via the internet, and that’s where cloud document management becomes a necessity.
Cybersecurity is getting more complicated. Even the most robust IT teams face challenges creating in-house enterprise solutions for any and all cyberthreats. These threats are growing in number and complexity, which can strain IT teams that are also deploying solutions and answering helpdesk tickets. Cloud allows internal teams to offload security overhead to the vendor (or a firm dedicated to protecting cloud assets), enabling businesses to stay up-to-date with their security while distributing IT resources effectively.
The digital ecosystem is evolving. Changing trends are informing how we do our everyday work. Largely gone are the days where every line of business was managed within the same application or family of applications. Today’s modern enterprise links different platforms together with content services platforms and others like it. This concept of bringing applications together to form a unique experience, called composition, is essential as modern applications are becoming more specialized and connected.
What are the benefits of cloud-based document management?
Managing documents and content in the cloud offers a variety of benefits, including:
Robust backups of your data — Unlike an in-house solution, cloud content is backed up dozens or even thousands of times, ensuring that you don’t lose key information. This information can help you make informed decisions and keep business moving. Many cloud providers host backups in multiple data centers, which can support business continuity and help you recover from disaster quickly — if one of these facilities is down, your data and services generally aren’t.
Protect sensitive information — In addition to providing backups and multiple availability zones for your data, cloud services also often come with automatic updates and patches, and likely have more staff dedicated to securing information that is stored or moved to and from the cloud. Some cloud vendors may even offer specialized solutions based on the needs of heavily regulated industries, such as finance, that are either built into, or can be added onto, your existing cloud solution – with minimal setup on your organization’s end. This is great for organizations that can’t, or don’t want to, dedicate extensive staff or technological resources to cybersecurity.
Anywhere access — In the era of remote work, many professionals are moving out of established industry hubs and setting up home offices elsewhere. Cloud services make it easier for both remote and in-person teams to collaborate and communicate, making your organization more flexible in how it acquires and supports talent. In addition, anywhere access can simply help business processes move faster. Let’s say there’s a disruption to a time-sensitive process that needs a specific employee or role to get moving again — if this process is on the cloud, that employee or someone in that role can do what they need to do, even if they aren’t able to get to the office in a timely fashion. An ability to address these situations makes your business more efficient while giving it the ability to respond quickly to market forces and changes.
Low maintenance — A cloud solution often implies low to no hardware costs, as well as automatic updates that keep systems current for everyone. With your IT team free to offload some of these items, as well as security and data backups to another vendor or service, they can focus on new projects, procurements or respond to tickets faster. An agile IT team means a sturdier business, especially when it comes to business continuity.
How do I choose the right cloud document management system?
Ultimately, even when the decision to move to cloud is clear, it becomes even clearer that not all cloud document management systems are created equal. Although there are no hard and fast rules, here are some factors you may want to consider when shopping solutions:
Flexibility — in both capability and pricing, flexibility can be important dependent on your needs. Industries can change in an instant, so it’s important for your organization to be able to adapt as quickly as possible to disruptions and shifts in the market.
Robust capability — whether your cloud document management system can handle a task on its own, or integrate with a platform that does, you want to make sure it can handle your organization’s current needs, and potential future initiatives.
Compatibility — although these systems can be revolutionary, you want to have a new system to deploy seamlessly within most or all of the digital ecosystems you have already developed. Siloed systems should be avoided as much as possible in the age of content services, where different lines of business exchange information frequently.
The journey to find the right cloud document management system can be a daunting one — download our guide to learn more about why organizations need document management, and how you can procure the right solution for your organization.