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Digital documents are growing in importance; with that, document management systems that store, manage, and track these documents. But how do you know what type of document management system to adopt? This blog post will look at the pros and cons of cloud-based and self-hosted document management systems.

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Scale_of_justice.png

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Scale_of_justice.png

Pros of cloud-based document management

With a cloud-based document management system, software is hosted by a provider and accessed online. The advantages of this approach include:

  • Low investment in hardware, IT infrastructure, and associated maintenance costs
  • Scalability to grow as well as reduce as company size shifts
  • Suitability for remote knowledge workers who might want access to documents 24/7 from anywhere in the world

Cons of cloud-based document management

The fears associated with cloud-based systems revolve around being dependant on others to keep the system up and running. If a cloud provider’s data center goes down, so do your business documents and ability to access them. The same occurs if your Internet connection fails.

Furthermore, some industries stipulate where information is allowed to reside for data protection reasons; this may exclude the cloud.

Pros of self-hosted document management

Self-hosted document management means that all software is stored inside your business on your company’s own servers. The advantages include:

  • Maximum control over your company data; no need to rely on a provider to keep data up and running
  • No need for an Internet connection for data access
  • Maximum security at a level the organization can determine itself

Cons of self-hosted document management

A self-hosted deployment is often chosen by companies that have a strong internal IT department, and the knowhow to support the demands of today’s business. It is, however, not without risk.

Adequate data backup must be in place; the financial investment for deployment and maintenance is considerable.

Conclusion

There any many considerations for and against both cloud-based and self-hosted document management.

While cloud-based document management has given us entry-level systems at a low cost, these are not suited to every business (e.g., businesses that need a relatively high degree of control over business documents and data).

Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends recommends that organizations thoroughly consider the pros and cons of cloud-based and self-hosted document management that are specific to their business. They can then supplement this information with insight from their document technology provider.

 

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