The battle for the paperless office has never been as fierce as in post-COVID times. More and more businesses are turning to cloud document management in an attempt to reduce paper consumption.
According to recent research, a staggering 4 billion trees are cut down each year to produce paper. An average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper per year, with nearly half of that paper ending up in the trash. The numbers can go on and on, but the conclusion to draw from different research is this: going paperless would help our planet tremendously.
In recent years, cloud technology has become the backbone for many organizations digitizing their document operations. Research suggests that 92% of enterprises are developing a multi-cloud strategy, which means that they use two or more cloud services from different providers. At the same time, 80% of employees actively support and request cloud-based file sharing.
Of course, the positive outcomes of managing documents in the cloud are not limited to only reducing paper consumption and associated costs. It also helps increase team collaboration and productivity and improve the bottom line. As for the downsides — dependency on the cloud provider and limited customization options seem to be the biggest concerns.
This blog will explore the pros and cons of cloud document management for businesses. Let’s get started.
What is cloud document management?
Cloud document management is storing, organizing, sharing, and collaborating on digital documents and files in the cloud rather than on a local server or physical storage device. Cloud technology allows for storing electronic documents and files in a secure online repository that is easy to access from anywhere with an internet connection.
Cloud document management systems typically offer features such as file sharing, role-based access, search, and retrieval capabilities, as well as elements of workflow automation, making it easier for individuals and teams to manage and collaborate on documents.
Using cloud technology, organizations can streamline their document workflows, reduce paper consumption, improve productivity, and enhance collaboration among team members, especially those working remotely or across different locations. Some of the popular examples of cloud document management platforms are pdfFiller, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Box, etc.
What are the pros and cons of cloud document management?
The pros of cloud document management
Let’s look at the benefits organizations and their employees can reap from managing documents in the cloud:
- Flexibility. Accessing your documents in the cloud is easy from any location, as long as you have an internet connection.
- Scalability. Cloud-based document management platforms like pdfFiller can scale up or down to meet ever-changing business needs. It’s possible to upgrade a subscription plan to change the number of users or get more advanced features and add-ons without investing in expensive hardware or software.
- Cost savings. Migrating document workflows to the cloud reduces paper costs and eliminates expenses associated with physical storage devices, server maintenance, and hardware upgrades.
- Reducing paper consumption: When you do the math, managing documents in the cloud could contribute to reducing or eliminating about 12.1 trillion sheets of paper used in U.S. offices each year!
- Security. Cloud providers offer robust security features to protect documents from unauthorized access or data breaches. These measures include data encryption, access controls, and regular backups, not to mention compliance with international regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, CCPA, FERPA, and others.
The cons of cloud document management
While there are so many benefits to managing documents in the cloud, there are also some potential downsides to consider:
- Internet dependency. Cloud document management requires a stable internet connection. Slow internet or connection issues may result in delays or difficulties accessing your documents on time.
- Security concerns. Although cloud providers generally offer robust security features, there is always a risk of data breaches or cyber-attacks. Organizations must consider their security needs carefully and choose a reputable provider with solid security and compliance features.
- Dependency on the provider. Using a cloud document management service makes you dependent on their services and maintenance abilities. In other words, any technical difficulties on the provider’s side will disrupt your document management processes and impact your bottom line.
- Limited customization. Most cloud document management platforms have a standard set of features and workflows, which may not fit your organization’s specific needs. It’s worth discussing customization capabilities with Sales before making a purchase.
- Subscription fees. While using cloud platforms can help reduce upfront costs, it requires ongoing subscription fees to maintain access to the platform. Over time, these fees can add up and become a significant expense.
It’s important to carefully weigh the pros and cons of cloud document management and choose a solution that best fits the needs and priorities of your organization.
Level up your team collaboration with pdfFiller’s cloud document management solution
Team collaboration is an essential aspect of cloud document management that needs particular attention. Remote work has made online collaboration routine, allowing teams to work together seamlessly, regardless of their physical location. Platforms like pdfFiller help teams and businesses promote effective cloud document collaboration:
- Cloud-based PDF editor and creator: pdfFiller’s document management solution for business allows for editing and creating fillable PDFs. All changes are saved in real-time, and users can view each other’s edits as they happen.
- Customizable access permissions: Restrict access or password-protect documents for specific team members and customers, so only those who need to work on the document can view, edit, or eSign it.
- Organizations: pdfFiller allows you to collaborate with teammates and stakeholders within Organizations, share documents and folders with different access roles, and send documents for signature in a role-based order.
- Comments and annotations: Commenting and annotating tools allow team members to give feedback, ask questions, and make suggestions without altering the initial document.
- Audit Trail: Viewing who accessed and made changes to the document is possible using a court-admissible Audit Trail.
- Cloud document storage: pdfFiller for Business makes it easy to save and share PDF documents using cloud storage such as Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, etc.
pdfFiller for Business has proven to be the best cloud document management solution for users who work with PDFs on a daily basis and need advanced collaboration and eSignature features. Contact sales to learn how pdfFiller can help you streamline document operations in the cloud to power up your teamwork.