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Electronic Document Storage: Is the Cloud Enough?

By Higher Information Group on August 12, 2019 | Document Solutions

There’s no doubt about it - our society depends on digital connections. Whether through email or another method of communication, saving files, paying invoices, and other important actions require technology. You interact with and depend on it for many tasks on a daily basis. When there’s a delay in the process - whether due to slow computer processes, manual sorting of files or more - time and money are wasted. When an electronic document storage system is put into place, some of these issues can be avoided. When that platform allows for extensive collaboration, it’s even better. But, is a cloud-based system enough? Consider the following questions and points before implementing a new electronic document storage system.

What kind of system are you looking for?

Before reaching out to vendors, make sure you know what kind of platform you’re looking for and what features are must-haves. Do you need to convert paper documents into electronic files? If so, look for an imaging system. Need to manage files electronically? Look for a software system. Need a combination of both imaging and software? Make sure your option provides them both. 

Questions to consider:

  • What kind of storage do you need? 
  • Does it matter if it is on-site or cloud-based? 

Free vs. Paid

Another consideration is to determine whether a free platform such as Dropbox or Google Drive is suitable or whether your team will require a paid platform. Most cloud storage platforms have a free account with limitations such as the amount of storage or file size limitations. It is important to determine whether a free account is sufficient or whether a paid account is needed. 

Questions to consider:

  • What is the difference between the free tier and the paid tiers? 
  • How easy is it to move up or down in tiers? 
  • What limitations does the free tier have? 

Collaboration

Regardless of the type of files that need to be stored, chances are that the documents will need to be shared with other internal or external team members. On top of the system supporting a wide variety of file types, find one that supports collaboration. Functionalities such as tagging and customizing fields, completing custom searches, and sharing links with appropriate parties are important in fostering business organization and productivity. After all, increasing productivity and efficiency is the ultimate goal. 

Questions to consider: 

  • Can groups of people collaborate within documents? Up to how many people? 
  • Are there limitations to the collaboration options available? 

Integrations

Realistically, a tool that is unidirectional, meaning you can only input information, is essentially useless. Teams collaborate and the technology they use must be reflective. Your document management system should make tasks easier and more streamlined. A collaborative platform that integrates with other systems and apps is especially useful when documents need to be linked to a certain project or customer. This can also eliminate double entry which, in turn, increases data integrity. 

Questions to consider: 

  • What platforms does it integrate with? 
  • Is there a mobile app?
  • Does this system allow for document editing and creation or only storage? 

Security

Do you need to control access and set permissions for your documents and files? Estimating how these files will be shared is important. Furthermore, securely protecting your data is of utmost importance. Assess how a vendor handles compliance and what security standards they have set for their business tools.

Questions to consider:

  • In the event of a security breach, which party is responsible? 
  • Are there advanced security features available?
  • Does security vary on mobile devices? 

Customer Service Support

Whether your team is 10 people, 100 people, or 1000 people, having a vendor that offers strong customer support is key. The best vendors offer help in a variety of ways. No one likes having to handle an unfamiliar problem on their own so there’s comfort in knowing a support team is available to help with a problem, no matter how large or small it may be. 

Questions to consider:

  • Do all tiers include customer support?
  • Are there limitations to what kind of support is accessible? 

Ready to find the right document storage system for your team? Don’t want to go at it alone? Contact our experts today. 

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