A Cloud DMS carries a host of benefits for your business. If you don’t have a DMS Solution currently, or if you are managing documents using a simple file / folder structure on your existing file server, it may be worthwhile making the big switch to the Cloud. Before you do, however, here are a few vital things to keep in mind.
The cost of a Cloud DMS is influenced by a variety of complex features and performance, and needs to be scanned closely before-hand. Storage with low latency tends to cost more than one with high latency. Secondly, while archival storage comes at an affordable price-point, functions such as interactive and batch processing tend to command a mark-up. Data egress, copying data between data centres, frequent large transfers and automatic versioning will also attract a higher cost. Cost will perhaps not be a big deterrent when it comes to switching to the Cloud, not least because of the substantial savings it will deliver in the long run. You must nevertheless factor-in the full lifecycle of data to calculate the approximate costs, before taking that final decision.
Do a thorough risk assessment, touching upon aspects like security, backups & recovery, hardware failure, power disruptions and vendor disputes, to name some. On the topic of security, make sure you evaluate your potential Cloud DMS provider around server, encryptions, authentication & authorization controls, password policies, card building access, video monitoring, virus response, ‘intrusion/mal-function’ alerts and industry compliances. It is a sensible idea to minimize risks by choosing a Cloud DMS provider that has their infrastructure hosted on a High Availability, Redundant virtual cloud system with multiple network connectivity to mitigate against server or network failures.
Check for speed and ease of core functions like document creation, storage, editing & retrieval, bandwidth for large files, versatility with all types of documents such as paper, electronic, fax, audio & video, compatibility with operating systems, frequently used applications, storage devices & emerging technologies, whether it integrates well with your business software (ERP and CRM, for instance) and whether it is accessible across devices including mobile.
Other questions to consider are whether the Cloud DMS provider will allow you to use the ‘free trial offer’ before signing on the dotted line, is prompt & regular with upgrades (including sufficient testing time before implementation), has a well-developed training program to support your teams, possesses the infrastructure (bandwidth, servers, load balancers, servers, data warehouses, et all) to scale with you as your business grows and comes with both a robust financial base and positive references.
Go through the service contract with a fine toothed comb. Make sure it outlines every contingency and condition clearly. In particular, watch out for penalty clauses in case of unmet expectations, legal ownership of data (who ‘owns’ it), how quickly requests for data changes can be implemented and the process of getting your data back, when the service period expires.
A Cloud DMS can take your performance to the next level. Just make sure you get the basics in place, before subscribing to the services of your Cloud DMS provider.