• July 8, 2021

Types of Document Management Systems

When choosing a document management system, you will have the choice between on-premises and cloud-based software. So, which should you choose?

On-premises document management systems
An on-premises solution requires you to use your own servers and storage, which means you need to perform your own maintenance. You’ll also be responsible for the security of all your data, so it’s important to back it up. This option typically makes sense for larger companies with dedicated IT resources because of its higher technical demands, but it also places you in direct control of your own system. Technical support and software updates from the vendor are usually contingent on whether you continuously renew an annual subscription package.

Pros: The biggest benefit of a self-hosted document management system is that you are always in control of your system and not relying on anyone else to keep it up and running. You’re not dependent on the internet either. If your online connection goes down, you still have access to all your documents.

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Cons: The downside comes in the large upfront costs, as well as the extra yearly expense of software updates. In addition, it’s up to you to make sure you have a proper backup system in place, since your files aren’t automatically saved in the cloud. Another possible negative is that not all self-hosted systems work with both Windows and Mac computers; many are compatible with only one or the other.

Cloud-based document management systems
Cloud-based software is hosted by your provider and made accessible to your organization online. Typically, cloud-based solutions charge a monthly or annual fee, which includes all maintenance and software updates. Depending on the system you choose and the features you require, pricing for cloud-based systems can range from a few dollars to more than $100 per user per month.

Pros: The biggest benefits are that you don’t need an IT team to install the software and keep it running properly, and there aren’t any large upfront costs. You also can tap into these systems from anywhere that has online access, and you don’t need to back up your files, since they automatically save in the cloud.

Cons: You are at the mercy of your provider to keep the system up and running. If your provider has a problem with its data center, it could prevent you from accessing your files until the situation is resolved. In addition, if your internet connection fails, you won’t be able to get to your files. Cloud solutions also typically have storage limits.

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