What’s Ideal? In-Premise DMS or Cloud-based DMS?


Many customers who see potential in using document management solutions often find themselves puzzled while making the choice between cloud-based or in-premises installation. While making this crucial choice, you need to familiarize yourself with the differences between the two, along with their pros and cons. Once you acquaint yourself with your options for installation, you can make a choice that suits your organization best. Here are 7 important factors for consideration that will help you decide between cloud-based or in-premise document management solution.

1. Type Of Organization

You might want to review your organization’s structure and its needs in your decision-making process. If your organization needs its documents available outside its main facility, the cloud model is what you’re looking for. Think: field work, remote access, work from home, and out-stationed employees. On the other hand, if you need your documents centralized and docked at a specific location only, that being your workplace or organization, you should opt for an in-premise installation.

2. Volume of Documents

A key point to remember while picking between Cloud and In-Premise solutions is that Cloud-based DMS is quite preferable for organizations that have:
a) a large number of files to be uploaded and indexed and
b) have estimated a future increase in documentation.

In-Premises model is not suitable for organizations that foresee an accelerated or unexpected growth in terms of document volume and storage.

3. Budget

When choosing between Cloud and In-Premise options, one should keep in mind that in-premise DMS requires significant expenses in the form of one-time hardware and licensing, and routine upkeep. If you expect your DMS to be used by  hundreds of users, this might be your ideal choice. On the other hand, Cloud-based solutions require a much lighter monthly fee for information backup and storage, with optional expenses for better functionality, additional features and extra storage.

4. Infrastructure

If your organization currently holds the potential infrastructure to host an in-premise document management system, it is highly advised to set up the ‘In-Premise’ model, while regularly upgrading and checking up systems as needed. If your organization is rather niche, it is suggested to go for a Cloud-based model as it does not require any major infrastructural changes.

5. Network Bandwidth

The data migration process requires good bandwidth. The potential of Cloud-based systems can range from satisfactory to excellent, based on the plan you choose, as processing takes place remotely. In-Premise models use your organization’s current network, making the most of what is available in terms of power consumption and processing speed (even if its bandwidth is less than the cloud model). It is advised to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of using Cloud services in comparison to In-Premise solutions, taking into consideration your company’s technological services.

6. Accessibility

As mentioned before, In-Premise and Cloud-based solutions are largely dependent on the organization’s document access needs. In-Premise DMS can only render files at their source, the workplace. It provides centralization of all your firm’s documents. Although, you can make the local IP live, the risk of untoward access still remains. However, Cloud-based solutions allow an organization’s files to be available globally, through internet access, for any employee to obtain with a proper secure login. Cloud solutions offer remote access to all stored files.

7. Security Standards

Put simply, opting for an In-Premise solution will definitely require the company to set up infrastructure according to their IT security standards. However, choosing a Cloud-based option does not compromise security grade in any way. Cloud systems stick to high standard security protocols that aim for high level protection of uploaded data. While choosing a Cloud-based DMS, make sure to research on the security policies and filters that the provider offers, for the safety of your firm’s DMS.

ShareDocs Enterpriser offers both In-Premise and Cloud-based model for its document management. The following minimum system requirements need to be met, however, for an in-premise installation:
1. A dedicated server
2. A modern Intel Quad Core Xeon (multiple processors are always welcome)
3. A server memory of at least 8 GB RAM
4. A minimum of 500GB HDD (hard drive) space

In terms of network requirements, a Gigabit LAN port with a connection to organisation’s internal network is required. A static IP should be assigned to the system for remote access.

With regard to software, following are the requirements:
1. Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition (64 bit) or higher
2. MySQL (for database management)
3. An updated web browser like the latest versions Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox

Remember to make a wise choice when choosing between a Cloud-based and an In-Premises DMS. Along with careful consideration, proper introspection, and technical advice, you can find a suitable, pertinent solution. Knowing the difference between the two can prove to be your firm’s true, defining moment and take you closer to finalizing on the perfect document management solution.


5 ways to calculate ROI for your ECM investment

Step 1
Estimate current document handling and storage costs. To find out how much is currently spent on a monthly basis to handle paper documents, list down the following: number of employees who handle paper documents, their average hourly salary, and time spent by each employee retrieving documents, making copies, recreating existing information, and faxing documents each day.

Estimate also the number of paper copies generated each day (pages), cost per copy (paper, toner, ink); amount spent on physical offsite storage per month, hours spent accessing this offsite storage and amount spent on filing supplies; as well as the amount spent on overnight delivery services and postage per month, or the number of faxes sent per day.

This exercise would give you a rough estimate of the labor, copying, storage and distribution cost of a paper-based office. You would be surprised at the staggering cost this exercise on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Step 2
Estimate the impact of a document management system on your operations. For each cost item you identified in Step 1, estimate how much of a reduction can be expected as a result of implementing ECM. It would be helpful to forecast a best-case and a worst-case scenario. For example, reducing time spent filing documents by 75 percent could be the best-case scenario, while a 50 reduction may be a worst-case scenario.

Step 3
Multiply the savings (percentages) by your initial cost factors. This provides a best- and worst-case scenario of the monthly savings that your unit will realize as a result of more efficient content management.

Step 4
Estimate the costs associated with ECM. The costs of software, licensing, hardware (and maybe employee training) must be factored in. However, they will vary significantly from department to department or from organization to organization, especially in the area of conversion expenses (i.e. document imaging required to convert paper documents into digital files).

Step 5
Calculate ROI. The return on investment should be the net annualized document handling savings divided by the total ECM costs, as a percentage. Using best- and worst-case scenarios should enable you to arrive at a high and low estimate for the ROI.