Document Management Systems are changing the way businesses manage daily paperwork and workflow by allowing them to store virtually all of their paperwork and electronic files in one central location. As more and more businesses pursue the efficiency and cost-savings associated with a “paperless office”, it’s no wonder that the demand for these powerful systems is increasing so drastically.
When evaluating a new Document Management System, you’ll be faced with several different options from several different service providers. One of the first questions to address when researching a new Document Management System for your business is whether you should use a cloud-based system or a self-hosted system. To help with this, Universal Business Solutions, NA (UBSNA) has compiled some of the most important differences between these two systems.
Self-Hosted Document Management Systems
Overview: With a self-hosted Document Management System all of the system software and hardware will be located at your business location on your company’s servers.
Supports Large Amounts of Data – For large enterprise companies who need to house extremely large amounts of data, a self-hosted Document Management System can be more efficient and cost-effective than a cloud-based solution.
Doesn’t Rely on an Internet Connection – Since self-hosted Document Management Systems are hosted on your company’s own server, you won’t lose access to your data in the event of an internet outage.
Better Data Security – A self-hosted solution will not transmit data over an internet connection, which makes them inherently more secure than a cloud-based solution (although most cloud-based solutions offer encryption services to protect against data loss).
Large Upfront Cost – Since self-hosted solutions require the system’s software and hardware to be installed in your office, the cost associated with setting up these systems can be prohibitive for many businesses.
Cannot be Accessed Remotely – Unlike a cloud-based solution, your self-hosted Document Management System can only be accessed from within your office. You will not be able to remotely access your documents on the go.
Maintenance and Upgrades – Setting up your own self-hosted Document Management System means that you will be solely responsible for the costs associated with system upgrades and maintenance.
Cloud-Based Document Management Systems
Overview: With a cloud-hosted Document Management System all of the system software and hardware is managed by a service provider and is accessed online from any location with an internet connection.
Low Upfront Costs – One of the biggest advantages to a cloud-based Document Management System is the low upfront cost. Since the software and hardware associated with the system will be managed by your service provider, you only pay a small fee per user.
Remote Access – A cloud-based solution allows your documents to be accessed from anywhere via an internet connection. Being able to access documents on the go is one of the largest benefits of cloud-based Document Management Systems.
No Hassle Maintenance and System Updates – Since your cloud-based Document Management System is managed by your service provider, you won’t be responsible for ongoing system maintenance and upgrades. You’ll always have access to the latest software and system upgrades.
Relies on an Internet Connection – While a cloud-based system can allow access to your documents from anywhere, it also makes it vulnerable to internet outages. If your business has an internet connectivity issue, you could temporarily lose access to your documents until internet connectivity is restored.
Storage Limits – While most small and medium-sized businesses won’t have an issue with storage limits, larger enterprise companies may find that the storage limits associated with cloud-based Document Management Systems are not sufficient.