It is almost impossible for one organization to function well without a good enterprise content management (ECM) system. Organizations are generating sensitive and valuable content on a daily basis, so setting up a robust enterprise content management system is crucial to organization’s success.
Implementing and managing the deployment of an ECM system is a significant process for any enterprise. The traditional method of managing in-house (locally hosted) solution has always been a difficult act, one considered as essential as organizations attempt to improve resource productivity, reduce costs, and advance information security. But, in the era of cloud, there must be a better way to achieve all of these and ensure future agility and scalability while avoiding deployment models used for decades.
Locally Hosted ECM
ECM is used to define how one organization’s content and data are stored and organized. This term covers various strategies, host of technologies, and methods, including digital asset management and web content management.
In-house ECM system is the system where you store data and content on your own corporate network and servers. When implementing in-house ECM system, you will need to install hardware and software. It is possible to customize the system and operate as desired; however, you will also bear the hassle and cost of managing the ECM system yourself.
In-house ECM systems are often considered as second-class citizens. While other business systems are being replaced or upgraded with new technologies, enterprise content management systems are left to operate on inadequate hardware, outdated software, and inattentive IT support.
User frustration with in-house ECM systems is understandable. They may have clunky interfaces, poor support for collaboration with external partners, difficult to set up shared areas, no mobile device support, and limited remote access.
Understanding the significance of information sharing, many organizations have to implement ECM systems. Unstructured data and content continue to grow exponentially, and enterprise content management system helps organizations to capture, store, manage, integrate, and retain all forms of content across the organization. Instead of developing, managing and running enterprise content management system itself, your organization can access the system through the web with the help of cloud computing.
Armedia has helped many commercial and public sector customers migrate their legacy ECM platform to a cloud-based solution. If you have compliance concerns with FedRAMP or Section 508, we have the answers.
What Is Cloud ECM (SaaS)
Cloud ECM provides an alternative way to maintain your business. Rather than developing and running your ECM apps by yourself, with cloud computing you can access everything you want through the web. It is simple – you log in, customize the system and start using it to access your files and documents.
The “cloud” part is the actual set of networks, hardware, software, services, storage and interfaces that combine to deliver computing as a service. Cloud services are including the delivery of infrastructure, software, and storage over the web, based on user demand.
Like locally hosted ECM, cloud ECM is a way to store your data and content in an electronic format. However, with cloud ECM you access data and content by a secure internet connection on your cloud provider’s server, while in-house ECM stores data on your server, in your office. In addition, cloud-based ECM solutions can be configured to comply with your branding and style guides so your users experience a consistent brand.
Benefits of Cloud-Based ECM
Cloud computing helps organizations to ease the burdens of network management, capacity planning, software installation, server and storage configuration, and application management. Organizations benefit from lower start-up costs, faster deployment, reduced capital investment, lower total cost of ownership, and predictable costs.
Unlike in-house ECM, cloud providers often offer better SLAs about security, availability, and performance. Moving to a cloud-based ECM offer higher level of security for confidential and security information. Armedia is accustom to implementing controls and procedures like FedRAMP, FISMA, HITECH and/or HIPAA to protect our customer’s information.
Cloud ECM offers various benefits including:
- Fast configuration. With cloud-based ECM, organizations are released from procuring, configuring and governing networks, servers, software, and storage. Additionally, new enterprise content management instances can be deployed in just a few hours. This way, organizations will achieve their business objectives faster.
- Improved user experience and access. Cloud-based ECM makes organization information accessible to users anytime, anywhere, and on any device without having to put a VPN or other access restrictions. Cloud-based ECM solutions are optimized to provide rapid response time when accessing data and content through the web.
- Reduced capital expense. Cloud-based ECM is typically offered for sale by subscription where annual maintenance and hosting fees are usually included in the fee. With this, the initial capital expenses are reduced and more predictable. Also, organizations might achieve a return on investment in the same fiscal year as the deployment.
- Data location. Cloud-based ECM vendors are offering data centers in many geographies. In other words, organizations can run sensitive information in compliance with local laws. This is important for organizations with business processes located in Europe since they must comply with different jurisdiction laws that are applying provisions of European General Data Protection Regulation.
- Better SLAs. Cloud providers usually offer better service level agreements around performance, security, availability, and recovery that an in-house ECM system can guarantee. Since cloud-based ECM runs on a shared infrastructure, storage and compute resources are allocated dynamically as usage grows.
- Automatic upgrades & reduced costs and efforts. Cloud ECM vendor operates the entire software and hardware upgrades, backups, patches, and other tasks. Organizations are benefiting from regularly updates with the newest versions with well-planned updates.
Even if cloud-based ECM offers multiple benefits, organizations have to be careful when selecting a cloud provider. Before moving to a cloud-based ECM, you should see if the cloud provider offers all the ECM components that your organization requires.
As organizations endeavor to deal with a regularly developing volume of unstructured business information, they need to build up a strategy for effective enterprise content management applications. A cloud-based ECM platform makes it possible for organizations to overcome the barriers to adoption of traditional ECM software solutions, high maintenance and development costs, and administrative complexity.
The evolution of cloud platforms as stable, secure, enterprise-class solution means that organizations can now deploy many ECM apps cost-effectively throughout the organization without adding new software, hardware, or services.