Benefits of a Cloud Document Management System
Cloud computing has been around for some time now and since sparked debates as to whether companies should continue using on-premise document management systems or make the switch to a Cloud EDMS. There are many advantages to using an on-premise document management system, however, Cloud systems offer some additional advantages.
The way users interact with their engineering document management systems has changed in the past few years, as expeditious innovations have fueled the demand for systems that can better handle the logistics of document management and produce needed information quickly from almost any location. In addition, companies are taking a more collaborative approach to engineering and design, as modern systems help them achieve new levels of efficiency and productivity while allowing them to maintain a reasonable return on investment.
In the age of rapid globalization and increasing telecommuting, it’s more important than ever that workers can connect remotely. On-premise solutions enable workers to connect by sharing files and documents directly within their corporate network but may require the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN). In contrast, a Cloud-based EDMS using HTML is accessible on any mobile device, regardless of a system user’s location. If an employee has access to the Internet, then they have access to a Cloud document management system.
Mobile accessibility is particularly useful when dealing with clients and downstream contractors. Especially those without the software needed to view and edit files with proprietary formats, such as CAD files. Since a Cloud system can be accessed on mobile devices (e.g., tablets, smartphones, and laptops) with just the device’s web browser, collaboration is easy, and users can communicate changes in real-time without needing to download software or mobile apps.
While there are certainly benefits to implementing an on-premise solution, one of the benefits of a cloud-based engineering document management system is the ability to reduce cost, while providing users with the same functionality. Cloud computing can reduce overall IT spend significantly, as it eliminates the need for servers, disk space, and new computers and for IT management of those assets. Unlike on-premise systems, Cloud systems use the EDMS provider’s resources, including high-powered servers and complex architectures.
Moving to a Cloud document management system doesn’t mean sacrificing the security of your files and documents. Conversely, it usually means a significant upgrading of security. Cloud document management systems like Engine-Box, eQuorum’s Cloud version of ImageSite, use commercial-grade security provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS). Amazon Web Services, provides companies with complete control over files and documents by automating valuable security tasks. It is one of the most flexible and secure Cloud computing environments available and has even been adopted by the U.S. Government and the Military.
A Cloud document management system uses its robust server and storage capabilities to ensure compliance with some of the most stringent regulations. Organizations such as The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) promote innovation and competitiveness by providing companies dealing with the government with standards for best security practices. (NIST security standards are considered the defacto standards for IT security for many industries.) Engine-Box meets standards such as all 14 Security Categories specified in NIST SP 800-171, so much in fact that NIST themselves trust eQuorum to handle their own files and documents.
NIST urges organizations to employ “least privilege” for specific duties, meaning that processes don’t operate at levels higher than necessary to complete an organization’s mission. Engine-Box provides enterprises with multi-level control over which employees can access files, the capabilities of each user has in relation to a file, and audit trails of actions taken. This functionality isn’t exclusive to Cloud systems; however, it is certainly good to know that they can secure files much in the same way on-premise solutions can.
As your business grows, your document management system must grow too. While on-premise solutions are capable of scaling, a Cloud system makes it incredibly easy to manage growth and the profusion of files that come with it. It is easily scalable in terms of servers, the number of processors, processor speed, and the amount of storage available within the system since Cloud system providers don’t require clients to manage their own servers.
Engine-Box is also available as a hybrid solution, using eSynch=Site software to synchronize the Cloud solution with an on-premise instance of ImageSite. This allows companies to manage their existing files within the on-premise system while providing them the ability to manage their files through the Cloud.
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