Whether you are working for a small business, an ambitious startup, or a large corporation, there is one thing that you will need to deal with on a regular basis: the storage of the large amounts of data and electronic documentation that every business accumulates in the information age. Disseminating, filing and then finding all of this data and documentation can take up huge amounts of manpower and consume work hours throughout your business day, lowering productivity and eating into your bottom line. In general, Cloud document management and cloud storage for business is a faster and cheaper alternative to onsite paper. Implementing a cloud document management solution or cloud document storage can go a long way toward mitigating these problems as well as freeing up your resources for more profitable tasks.
Determine your Data Needs
Whether it is legal documentation, employee data forms, or electronic contracts, your business is bound to generate a substantial amount of documentation. Keeping track of all the data and documents that your business generates seems like a daunting task at first, but if you take a few weeks to monitor output and determine how much data you will need to store on a weekly basis, you can determine your annual requirement with a high degree of accuracy. Once this is quantified, you will be ready to research what cloud document management or storage solutions will be most appropriate to your situation.
Define your Expenses
Once you understand the scope of your data generation and access requirements, it will be clear that time and money is being exhausted by your current document and data storage process. After this expense is quantified you will have a better idea of your required storage capacity and the budget required to convert to a cloud storage solution. While it might seem an unsettling expense at first, comparing it to your current expenditures should give you a better idea of the increased profit that you will realize after the conversion is complete.
Cloud Storage vs Cloud Document Management
While cloud storage of documents can solve a lot of the challenges associated with storing paper, it can have some of the same challenges. Documents in cloud storage solutions can be deleted or misfiled. It can take a long time to find the specific document you are searching for as volume grows. Providing proper security and monitoring access may also be an issue. In addition, pure document storage does not have productivity tools found in document management solutions such as keyword filtering, e-forms and workflow automation. We recommend that you consider these factors when deciding whether you need additional electronic storage or a new document access and management productivity tool in addition to offsite data storage.
Research Potential Partners
One essential step of converting to Cloud storage or a cloud document management system is evaluating potential service providers, or vendors, and finding the right one for your organization. Choosing the wrong business to partner with could exacerbate existing problems with your data storage or even cause new ones. The internet will provide you with a wide variety of reviews of every provider, but it is in your best interest to branch out to other businesses in your field and ask them about their experiences with their companies. Online reviews may not be the most reliable method for a variety of reasons and going into a business relationship of this caliber is a big step for the development of your company. If the business you are researching provides authentic testimonials from existing clients, this may be a sign that you are on the right track.
Prepare Your Workforce
Do not wait for the installation of the new cloud solution to begin training on the new system. While it may not have drastic differences to how your data was stored previously, ensuring that everyone is on the same page before the change will make for a much smoother transition. Ask your provider for any available training materials and put aside some time to have productive training sessions.
Take it Step by Step
Take it easy at first, realize that this conversion will be a process, not an overnight change. You may need to account for an initial duplication of effort until cloud storage of existing documentation and new documentation are both achieved. Once these initial growing pains are overcome, you will be surprised at how much quicker and effortless the process of storage and retrieval becomes. To learn more about Cloud-based storage solutions and digital document management, contact CASNET today.