By, Bloomberg BNA
There are divergent reactions among managers and businesses over just how much business should be done in the cloud—and even whether the cloud is indeed the “must be” place for many firms and their operations.
While budgets for cloud-based services are on the rise, according to a 2018 State of IT survey by Spiceworks, the uses of those dollars in the cloud are many: online backup and recovery, productivity, email and web hosting, business support and industry specific apps, cloud storage and management, IT management and communications among others.
But when it comes to electronic document retention, the cloud provides a powerful draw.
Still, there’s plenty to consider before heading to the cloud to store and access your documents: do you need a cloud storage system? Do all of your documents need to be retained in the cloud or just a portion of your data? Is your data secure?
The cloud sounds ambiguous and far away, but it refers to the fact that businesses can move data and files, security, application, network and plenty of other things to offsite servers. The ability to make the cloud as large or small as you need – its scalability – is considered to be its defining strength for electronic document management, also known as EDM.
There is no doubt that the use of the cloud is growing and is only expected to continue. “The use of the cloud has increased from 24 percent of workloads to 44 percent over the past two years, and it’s expected to rise to 65 percent of workloads in the next two years,” according to an MIT Sloane Management Review survey published for Google in June 2017. The report from this survey found that 65 percent of business executives at midsize and large firms said they expect their applications, data and/or infrastructure to be in the cloud in the next three years. “Data analytics, data storage and collaboration are the top workloads currently implemented in the cloud or expected to be deployed within the next two years,” according to the report.
“Increased confidence in cloud security” was cited by 44 percent and cost savings by 34 percent of respondents as reasons why use of the cloud had increased. Whether a company is considering a move to the cloud to realize a “paperless future,” or to add security or ease of access, there are many EDM solutions and even more providers.
A firm’s cloud strategy depends on its industry space and specific needs. In most case, the right EDM move to the cloud hardly requires a full-on leap. Companies can move in bits and pieces as needed, in what is known as a hybrid model.
“[A] good rule of thumb is that if data is being used internally, it’s typically best to host it internally,” Phil Ayton, Director of Sysero, which helps law firms manage information and transactions, wrote in an Oct. 27 post. “If data is being shared externally, it’s typically best to host it externally. And if data is being used in-house and with clients, as is typical with most organisations, it’s best to find a hybrid hosting solution to offer maximum security and collaboration.”