According to Foundry’s 2022 Cloud Computing research, companies are expected to increase the percentage of their IT infrastructure in the cloud from 41% to 63% within the next 18 months. Moreover, the cloud offers additional advantages such as improved security, reliability, accessibility, integration, and more. This article comprehensively explores these benefits.
1. Collaboration and Sharing in the Cloud
To effectively manage hybrid teams, it is crucial to offer tools that facilitate collaboration. For instance, cloud-based ERP and document management tools often include real-time collaboration features. This enables teams to communicate and collaborate, regardless of whether they are in the office or working remotely.
Certain software utilizes check-in/check-out functionality to prevent the creation of duplicate document versions. Conversely, some platforms allow multiple users to edit a document simultaneously. This seamless collaboration capability empowers distributed teams to work together. With just a click, you can easily share documents and track changes as they occur.
2. Secure Cloud Storage
Cloud-based document management software provides advanced security features that offer you greater control over your files and data. For instance, Cloud Remote Monitoring allows real-time tracking of data access, preventing unauthorized entry.
Good cloud document systems offer various authentication features and encryption. Dropbox even enables remote wiping of accounts to remove sensitive data in case of device loss or theft. They also provide automatic backups and recovery options, allowing quick restoration of documents with minimal data loss in the event of system downtime.
At the same time, the issue of security remains open. You still need to follow basic cloud document security best practices: avoid public Wi-Fi networks, manage accounts wisely, use 2FA, and use fax to transfer documents securely. Now is the best time to figure out how to send a fax with iPhone and maintain security in your organization. The fax from the iPhone app allows you to get the same level of security as a fax machine, but unlike it, it is always in your pocket.
3. Lower Total Cost
Cloud document management software costs 25-40% less (TCO) to own and operate compared to on-premises alternatives. However, this may not be immediately apparent. When comparing on-prem software licensing fees to cloud subscription costs, the difference is often minimal. In fact, on-prem may be more cost-effective in the long run. However, this is an unfair comparison.
To make an informed decision, it is essential to consider all the additional ongoing costs associated with on-prem. These costs include:
- Hardware: You are responsible for purchasing and maintaining your hardware infrastructure, including servers, storage devices, and networking equipment.
- IT staff: You may need to compensate IT personnel to manage the hardware infrastructure, perform updates, and perform software upgrades.
- Security: Ensuring data safety is your responsibility, which includes implementing security protocols, monitoring for breaches, and creating disaster recovery plans.
4. Accessibility in Cloud Documents
Workflow automation tools are commonly found in cloud-based software, enhancing productivity and saving time. These tools include:
- Auto-indexing features that automatically tag and sort files upon upload.
- Automatic file routing, ensuring files are sent to the correct recipients.
- Advanced search options for fast file retrieval.
Users have the option to utilize pre-set workflows or create customized ones. As an example, a document approval workflow can be established to shorten the process from hours to minutes. Instead of manual handoffs, the system can automatically send documents for approval.
5. Compliance and Disaster Recovery
Cloud-based document management systems are widely considered to be highly secure compared to local servers, settling the ongoing debate. Here are some reasons why choosing a cloud-based document management system offers enhanced security:
- Disaster Recovery: In the event of data loss, cloud service providers can quickly restore documents, minimizing any potential downtime.
- Compliance: Cloud providers adhere strictly to regulatory requirements, ensuring that your organization meets global security and compliance standards. Outsourcing compliance alleviates a substantial burden from your organization.
6. Unlimited Document Storage Capacity
Modern businesses are rapidly amassing documents and other supporting data. A large portion of these documents need to be stored in a digital archive to comply with regulations and ensure a seamless customer experience.
Cloud-based document management eliminates concerns about storage capacity and enables easy access and sharing of documents from anywhere. In the cloud, you only pay for what you use. In contrast, on-premises storage incurs indefinite costs for unused space.
Cloud reliability is lauded due to the presence of multiple data centers in various locations and the ability to store multiple copies of data across the infrastructure. The risk of downtime is significantly reduced as there is no single point of failure. Cloud vendors usually offer a guarantee for uptime rates as part of their service-level agreement (SLA), ensuring utmost reliability.
Cloud document management provides several valuable benefits for companies. This concerns accessibility, flexibility, scalability, and other things that local document storage cannot offer. Of course, security is also at the highest level. It is difficult to find reasons why modern companies might choose their own servers for document management.