The Benefits of Moving Enterprise Content Management to the Cloud
Approximately 60% of the average employee’s day is spent working on an organization’s records and documents. How much of that time is truly productive and how much of it is wasted? When dealing with content creation, storage, archiving, distribution, and transfer throughout an enterprise, there are often significant areas for improvement. A cloud-based consolidation and distribution center can vastly reduce the amount of time that employees need to spend on document management while also improving business outcomes and customer service.
Boosting Productivity and Reducing Time to Market
With the majority of employee time being spent on document management, there are many opportunities to boost productivity and efficiency. Moving to the cloud allows an organization to take advantage of superior resources and an always accessible platform, both of which drive innovation and make it faster and easier for employees to process their documents effectively. Employees will be able to connect and collaborate from anywhere in the world, and thus they can quickly complete products and reduce the organization’s time to market. The enterprise content management (ECM) market is growing faster than the overall software market, as more organizations find that improving their ECM is one of the fastest ways to reduce project time and boost productivity. Time to market can be extraordinarily important for many organizations, especially those with close competition. Through cloud ECM, organizations can remain competitive with other businesses as they, too, invest in newer technologies.
Increased Reliability, Scalability, and Elasticity
Reliability is a key component of success. Up to 27% of businesses have suffered a loss of reputation due to poor document management. This affects customer retention, customer acquisition, and word-of-mouth advertising. Cloud-based ECM gains all of the traditional benefits of the cloud. Cloud ECM can offer greater uptime than on-premises solutions, it can scale upwards through the deployment of additional resources, and has the elasticity to deploy resources on-the-fly to compensate for sudden or unexpected intervals of increased usage. All of this amounts to better service for customers and a far more productive and efficient environment for employees. Elasticity has the additional benefit of ensuring that the service is reliable and that organizations don’t need to pay for resources when they don’t need them. Scalability prevents an organization from being forced to invest too much in their infrastructure before they truly need it.
Lower Cost of Deployment and Ownership
By far the biggest driver of cloud-based ECM is cost. When polling organizations, 38% reported that they were interested in cloud-based ECM for the purposes of cost reduction, compared to running their ECM solutions from on-premises servers. Deploying an ECM system on-premises means investing heavily in network infrastructure and physical assets, whereas a cloud-based ECM platform can be quickly deployed and scaled to suit the organization’s budget and needs. ECM deployments may contain as little or as much of an organization’s documents as desired and the costs are fluid; they can be reduced if the organization’s need is reduced. On-premises servers and infrastructure often need to be upgraded to compensate for company growth and older equipment. This isn’t necessary with cloud-based ECM deployments, which simply requisition and provision resources as needed.
Integration With Business Process Management
Business process management (BPM) and ECM need to work together for the best business outcomes. For most businesses, their documents are their processes. Integrating BPM and ECM allows for fewer bottlenecks, improved overall efficiency, increased visibility, improved responsiveness, and fewer human errors.
Cloud-based solutions can be easily and quickly integrated with each other for full support and consolidation. Many modern organizations are moving their entire infrastructure to the cloud, including BPM, ERP and CRM systems, and, of course, ECM. By managing and maintaining all of these components through the cloud, an organization can create an always-on completely connected and consolidated network. BPM and ECM solutions can also be used to reduce liability and improve regulatory compliance, as they create a complete audit trail for documents and procedures, ensuring that the organization always has records for the work completed and the details of that work.
Universal Accessibility and Improved Collaboration
Cloud platforms can be used to effectively connect offices from city to city or nation to nation. Not only can organizations leverage the power of a global office, but they can also empower employees with the flexibility to set their own hours or work from home. Flexible work schedules aid in courting top talent, sourcing affordable talent, and keeping employees happy and productive. Cloud-based systems can be accessed from anywhere in the world and are “always on,” allowing for improved collaboration and the support of multiple time zones and regions. Through a cloud-based ECM, an organization can freely grow throughout the globe. And, by integrating a cloud-based ECM with other cloud-based solutions, better collaboration can be achieved throughout business processes. Cloud-based solutions can work on virtually any platform and generally only need a browser to connect to, freeing up employees to work from anywhere and to work on multiple devices.
On-premises ECM applications can cost $1 million or more, with $200,000 or more being invested in hardware alone. Not only do cloud-based solutions have a lower cost of deployment and maintenance, but they can significantly improve productivity and efficiency by creating an always-on solution through which employees can effectively collaborate and share. Document management is a core business process that has to be effectively streamlined and managed for the overall productivity of a business. Through cloud-based ECM solutions, an organization can improve the efficiency of every level of their business operations, accelerating speed to market and their customer happiness.
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