In both the short-term and the long-term, scanning documents and using electronic document management strategies like cloud storage or a DMS offers many advantages over traditional paper-based storage.
Including immediate benefits like ease of use and improved workflow, transitioning to paperless storage also provides opportunity for ROI over time by eliminating waste and conserving resources like storage space.
Once you finish the process of scanning your documents and files and begin the selection between available electronic document management solutions though, most businesses will inevitably ask one question: “Which option is right for my business?”
To help clarify the question, as well as the various ins and outs of both cloud storage and a DMS, here we break down the comparison—highlighting how both options work, their benefits, and the types of businesses who are ideal for each document storage and management strategy.
Option 1: Storing and Managing Your Documents In the Cloud
Software as a service (SaaS) is an electronic document management model which licenses and delivers software on a subscription basis.
Hosted in a central location, the software or applications can be accessed via a web browser and internet connection—allowing them to be used remotely.
Likewise, cloud storage also provides services as a subscription service—typically on a monthly or annual basis—making it an affordable and flexible option for small businesses seeking electronic document management 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 and the number of files to store. Because the hardware needed to operate the storage system is maintained by the service provider, no additional equipment like storage servers and the space required to store them.
To break it out in an easy-to-digest list, here are 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 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 for 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)
A electronic document management system (DMS) is a software system designed to track, store, and manage digital files.
Many are able to maintain multiple document versions with history tracking, making them ideal for data backups.
A DMS functions essentially as an electronic filing cabinet—able to collect, store, secure, maintain, and retrieve digital documents. Below are some of the main types of files to store and use electronic document management for:
- Office Documents
- Blueprints or Drawings
- Web Pages
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 provides protection against the ensuing chaos and time lost from losing documents.
Electronic document management systems and software are 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 providing faster access and use.
Still Comparing and Considering Your Electronic Document Management Options?
Electronic document management and storage is a great way to amp-up the ease of use and security of company documents and information at an affordable cost. The flexibility of pricing for cloud services and the long-term value of creating a time saving and a more efficient workflow with a DMS offers a range of storage services for businesses both large and small.
At Record Nations, we partner with a nationwide network of cloud storage and DMS providers, specializing in connecting businesses in need of electronic document management and storage with the right services to suit your individual needs.
For more information on our services or to get started setting up a cloud storage service or DMS today, simply fill out the form at your right, or just give us a call at (866) 385-3706. Our team can help you to find the right paperless storage solution for you and can provide free, no-obligation quotes from providers in your area.