The idea of running enterprise applications in the cloud is no longer revolutionary. SalesForce.com single-handedly managed to slip cloud-based CRM into many high-profile organizations, without anyone seeming to bat an eye. And Office 365 is now boasting some great success stories. It’s safe to say that people are distinctly warming up to the idea of running their important applications in the cloud.
So, what about enterprise content management (ECM)? Is it time to put your content in the cloud? Here are three good reasons as to why you should seriously consider cloud-based ECM:
1. Take advantage of infrastructure you may not be able to afford or don’t want to put the effort into
Common components in an ECM deployment are: Web servers, application servers, database servers and storage servers. Beyond the cost of this basic equipment, the old “cost versus risk” discussion rears its ugly head as the “up-time” of your solution is discussed, and whether you can justify purchasing extra equipment for load-balancing, high-availability and back-ups.
When deploying cloud-based ECM, you won’t have to worry about any of this, because your provider supplies it all for you. OnBase Online, for example, utilizes six world-class data centers strategically located around the globe, filled with top-tier hardware and infrastructure equipment and using the very best in virtualization technologies. They provide N+1 redundancy, which means that there is no single-point of failure in your solution.
2. You can save on capital expenditure
The beauty of cloud ECM goes beyond the initial cost savings on hardware. Fundamentally this can be easier to finance. Purchasing all the aforementioned equipment usually means these are going to come from your cap-ex budget, which often requires lengthy justification and approvals.
By using flexible month-to-month, subscription-based licensing, these costs can typically come from your operating budget, which is often far easier to get approval for, meaning that your project can get up and running much faster, which means you can see value faster.
3. You can free up your IT resources
Rather than training and allocating individuals on your staff to support the infrastructure for your ECM solution, they can focus on other high-value projects. When you select a cloud offering, your solution is maintained by trained, dedicated ECM professionals who install and upgrade your solution for you.
Don’t take that last part lightly. When you choose cloud-based software, the very latest version of the software will always be available to you, without you having to allot significant resources for an upgrade project on off-hours.
These are just three reasons to consider, and are common across almost any cloud-based enterprise deployment. Actually SalesForce.com put it very succinctly when they describe it this way “No Hardware, No Software, No Problem”. That same holds true if you choose to cloud-based ECM.