Scanning documents and using electronic document storage strategies like cloud storage or a DMS offer many advantages over traditional paper-based storage. Once you finish the process of scanning your documents and researching available electronic document storage solutions, most businesses will inevitably ask one question: “Which option is right for my business?”
Immediate benefits include ease of use and improved workflow. Transitioning to paperless storage also provides an opportunity for ROI over time by eliminating waste and conserving resources like storage space.
We break down the differences between cloud storage and DMS and the various ins and outs of both. Highlight how both options work, their benefits, and the types of businesses ideal for each.
Option 1: Cloud Storage Services
There are plenty of technical ins and outs to cloud storage. At their most basic, cloud services and software work and are priced based on a SaaS licensing model.
Software as a service (SaaS) is an electronic document management model which licenses and delivers software on a subscription basis.
Likewise, cloud storage also provides services as a subscription service—typically monthly or annual. This makes it an affordable and flexible option for small businesses seeking electronic document storage without making a significant up-front investment or losing the ability to easily change storage strategies if necessary.
Using a cloud storage platform offers businesses cost-effective scalability for growing companies. Since the hardware needed to operate the storage system is maintained by the service provider, no additional equipment is required.
Here are some of the benefits that can come with a cloud storage service:
- Access to data and documents anywhere with an internet connection.
- Easy collaboration and distribution of files for employees and other users.
- Cost-effective short-term and long-term storage based on a subscription model.
- Administrative controls to limit access to individual files to specific users.
- Frequent updates to storage software by vendor company—oftentimes on a weekly or monthly basis.
- Quick integration and access by removing physical distribution and any setup or installation required. Instead, being able to join the vendor’s pre-existing storage platform.
- Support, information, and assistance in selecting an appropriate cloud storage platform.
- Secure storage with standard security practices including encrypted HTTPS protocol to secure user connections, a valid digital certificate, and installed certificate authorities for only trusted websites.
Option 2: Electronic Document Management Systems (DMS)
An electronic document management system (DMS) is a software system designed to track, store, and manage digital files.
Many can maintain multiple document versions with history tracking, making them ideal for data backups.
A DMS functions essentially as an electronic filing cabinet. It can collect, store, secure, maintain, and retrieve digital documents. Below are some of the main types of files a DMS is ideal for:
- Office Documents
- Blueprints or Drawings
- Web Pages
DMS software is especially useful for large-scale companies and organizations like hospitals. Rather than being hosted and maintained by an external service vendor, a DMS is self-managed and doesn’t require an internet connection to a remote host service. As a result, it provides faster access and use.
While traditional hard-copy document storage is a longtime business strategy for document management, paper records are costly—both in terms of storage as well as the time wasted to manage and retrieve documents. Furthermore, paper documents and records are wasteful when multiple copies need to be made for meetings or collaborative projects only to be discarded soon after.
Compounded by the fact that wherever they’re stored, paper documents are more prone to environmental damage. A DMS not only saves resources but can also protects against the chaos and time lost from losing documents.
Implement the Best Electronic Document Storage System For Your Business Today!
Electronic document storage and management is a great way to amp up the ease of use and security of company information at an affordable cost.
For more information on our services or to start setting up a cloud storage service or DMS today, simply fill out the form, use the live chat, or just give us a call at (866) 385-3706. Our team can help you find the right paperless storage solution for you and can provide free, no-obligation quotes from providers in your area.