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Cloud Document Management vs. On-Premise: 8 Factors You Must Consider

Cloud vs. On-Premise Document Management

In the spirit of cloud vs on-premise engagements, here is a starting point for deciding your best route for harnessing the power of a Document Management System.

Consider documents as the building blocks of everyday business workflow. Now imagine building a Lego set. Instead of having blocks packaged into groups and a list of instructions, you empty the bags and scatter the 500 or so pieces across your living room floor. Without a relevant Document Management System (DMS), your search for paper-based documents can feel a lot like crawling across the floor, looking under the couch, and reaching under the table for the right block.

We waste a lot of time looking for, or even recreating, documents. According to M-files, 83% of employees must recreate existing documents since they can’t find them in their company network. With that said, DMS adoption is on the rise: The worldwide market for document management software was valued at $4.89 billion USD in 2019. It is projected to reach $10.17 billion by 2025, according to ReportLinker.

For organizations aware that they need a better way to manage documents, the next challenge becomes choosing between a cloud vs an on-premise document management engagement.

  • Cloud Document Management: a  data storing and managing software that controls and organizes documents stored on multiple servers and accessed through the Internet.
  • On-Premise Document Management: A data storing and managing software with data servers installed on the premises of the organization.

Consultation with a document management specialist will thoroughly analyze your environment and help you choose the right fit for you. But in the spirit of cloud vs on-premise, here is a starting point for deciding your best route for harnessing the power of a Document Management System.

Document Management vs. Content Management: What's the difference? 

What's with the acronyms?  DMS (Document Management System) and CMS (Content Management System) are terms that often get used interchangeably — and although they perform similar functions, there are key differences. Most notably, a DMS works with structured documents (PDF, Word, PowerPoint, etc.), with a primary goal of workflow management. A CMS, meanwhile, manages a broader range of information, such as audio, video, and web content, and focuses on storing, retrieving, and publishing content.

For our purposes here, we'll be referring primarily to a DMS. 

4 Factors in an On-Premise Solution:

  • Complete control: The reality is, a large portion of today’s marketplace is simply not ready for the cloud – storing patient records or confidential employee information off-premise just makes some executives shutter. An on-premise solution can give these professionals peace of mind.
  • Up-front cost: Your organization is responsible for not only the software, but also server hardware, space, and power consumption, making your upfront cost considerably larger. Something to consider: If you are an organization with hundreds of users. With that upfront cost in mind, in many cases, with the absence of month-to-month subscription costs (In the case of a cloud-based model), organizations can see a return on investment by years two and three.
  • Infrastructure: In an on-premise scenario, you are responsible for maintaining and managing the solution and all storage upgrades, system updates, etc. The advantage? You’ve constructed your system, and you own it.
  • Security: Meeting security and compliance measures for your industry fall on you or your dedicated IT staff here. Some document management specialists will offer their expertise and guidance in helping maintain standards and best security practices. Don’t hesitate to ask.

4 Factors in a Cloud Solution: 

  • Fast deployment: Cloud solutions can be deployed in a few manners, either via public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud. Generally speaking, without heavy infrastructure baggage, cloud-based systems can be up and running much faster (and easier) than on-premise.
  • Anywhere/anytime access: All you need is a web browser. In the age of hybrid work, cloud services make it easier for remote workers to collaborate seamlessly with those in the office.
  • Predictable monthly costs: Organizations pays only for the user licenses it needs, without upkeep or maintenance costs. The idea of a predictable monthly charge can be seen as advantageous for many.
  • Security: Cloud services generally provide compliance peace of mind, reputable backup, and automatic updates and patches. While this is a plus for organizations that don’t dedicate IT staff to cyber security already, any cloud-based provider should be properly vetted.

Have questions about how your organization can organize your content and streamline the way you handle documents? Not sure if a cloud or on-premise solution is right for you? Click below to talk with a Datamax Document Management Specialist!


Topics: Document Management Document Workflow Document Security Cloud Content Management Cloud Technology