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Managing your documents in the cloud


Work as we know it is being transformed by the technological shift to the cloud. As of 2015 over 15% of companies in the 1-1000 employee size have moved their entire IT infrastructure to remote servers to be consumed as a service.* 

This is expected to double by 2017* and so on. A familiar story we get used to, when considering the adoption rate of technology, but this technology shift seems as profound a change to our working life as the launch of Microsoft Office and the internet itself.

While out and about talking with clients, there is often the response, “ cloud will never happen here, the Directors just don't like it”. We expect that attitude will change swiftly as  according to Gartner “By 2020, a corporate ‘no-cloud’ policy will be as rare as a ‘no-internet policy is today.”

One common business barrier is managing documents in the clouds’ anywhere, anytime, any device, access to the corporate content repository. While it sounds great to be able to access your company documents on your smartphone, if the user experience is hampered because finding what you want is difficult or security concerns arise around the granularity of users document access or maybe you have document workflow needs, then you may want to consider beefing up your environment with cloud based document and record management solutions.

You will be spoilt for choice. Most of the major electronic document and records management system (EDRMS) vendors have a cloud version of their product available now or under development. This provides a great entry point for SMEs to utilise enterprise level solutions with  pay as you use convenience. There is also a swag of new  solutions being constantly released by start ups, some which offer the core functionality of enterprise solutions, as usual, at a fraction of the price.

Which one is right for your company? 

The starting point is always to define the scope of your document management requirement. Starting with the statutory requirements for document management which should be aligned within the business direction, strategies and overall goals and objectives of the company.
Next consider the functional requirements, how will you classify documents with the aim of supporting navigation,search and retention management. Examine all aspects of how you expect users to interact with the system. Do you need workflow tools to automate document review and approval? Does the solution need to integrate with other applications?
Security of the content is a key consideration. For my money, the big decider is usability. Past experience shows that if any system is hard to use, people just don't use it. Pick something that is non obtrusive, easy to use and if possible sits in the background doing the work without the user even knowing.

So there you go, if you're just starting your cloud journey or already on your way and document management is on your wish list, it's out there for the taking.

by Andrew James


 * David Polltls - 2016 State of Cloud IT