Cloud Storage vs. Hard Drives: Which Helps Me Manage Documents Better?

Cloud Storage vs. Hard Drives: Which Helps Me Manage Documents Better?

For years, the venerable hard drive was the go-to solution for archiving data and making backups. Compared to moving paper documents into a storage shed somewhere, hard drives represented a huge value for effectively managing and archiving documents.

But anyone old enough to remember microfilm knows that there is a marked difference between storing data and retrieving data. It’s comforting to know that your data is safely stored on a hard drive, but when you actually need that data, the story might play out differently than the way you expected it to.

There are multiple reasons for this. Hard drive storage has come a long way, but it is quickly being replaced by cloud storage for business document management solutions. Cloud storage addresses some of the pain points hard drive users have experienced since the technology became widespread.

Hard Drive Drawbacks for Document Management

Hard drives come with some important limitations that prevent them from being an effective document management system on their own. These limitations conflict with the modern, mobile-first lifestyle that dominates workplace culture:

  • Physical Access. You can’t get data from a hard drive unless you have physical access to it. This can present a problem in situations where traveling employees need an updated version of a document after their plane lands. If nobody back at the office has access to the file system, access becomes a difficult problem.
  • Security Concerns. At first, the need for physical access makes it seem like hard drives are more secure than cloud storage options. But that’s only true if you take time to implement a multi-layered security system that includes encryption, dual-factor authentication, endpoint protection, and physical access control the way cloud storage providers do.
  • Synchronization and Bandwidth. Synchronization is a major problem for hard drive-based document management systems. Synchronizing your hard drives with one another while keeping updated versions of all your documents in their respective backup folders and being able to use them at a moment’s notice is beyond most organizations’ on-site network infrastructure budget.
  • Cost and Risk. On the surface, external hard drives seem more cost-effective than cloud data storage solutions that typically charge monthly subscription rates. But since cloud-based document management software also offers disaster recovery and versioning capabilities, it can quickly outpace the cost benefits that hard drives offer. Recovering data from a damaged hard drive is often costly.

The only area where hard drives can represent a clear value over cloud-based storage is long-term archival of very large documents. Hard drives offer a lower price per gigabyte than cloud storage, especially over very long periods of time. If you don’t need to access documents often, this may be an attractive option.

How Cloud Storage Solutions Manage Documents

Although hard drives can be useful for long-term document archival, they don’t offer any of the features that businesses need in an efficient, fast-paced document management system.

Cloud storage allows employees to quickly and reliably access their documents from any Internet-enabled device.

Some of the individual benefits cloud storage services offer depend on the specific service in question. Kelley Imaging is partnered with several reputable cloud storage providers whose services are key to the value our team generates for customers:

  • ABBYY cloud solutions simplifies document capture and enables instant digital conversion through optical character recognition and industry-leading intelligent text analytics. The company provides numerous APIs and software development kits to allow their partners to create complex integrations easily.
  • DocuWare cloud solutions are a comprehensive platform for document capture, storage, and retrieval. It allows employees to use mobile devices to capture documents effortlessly and even initiative business-critical processes from the comfort of their mobile phone. It lets employees search for documents by visible content and metadata.
  • Hyland OnBase cloud solutions provide comprehensive lifecycle solutions for document management. This technology gives businesses the ability to capture, analyze, and archive contracts with ease. It offers on-demand compliance that keeps the scope of business processes well within regulators’ established rules.

All of these solutions include services that hard drive-based document management solutions cannot match. They combine some of the latest technology in the field to create value for businesses that need fast, reliable access to important documents at any time, from any Internet-connected desktop or mobile device.

Deploy Cloud Storage with Company-Wide Integration

Executives are often hesitant to switch to cloud storage solutions due to potential migration bottlenecks. Seamless company-wide integration performed by a reputable managed service vendor can make the pivotal difference – allowing organizations to immediately capitalize on the benefits of cloud storage.

Make the jump to cloud storage and improve accessibility and security throughout your organization. Talk to an expert about your options for cloud storage integration.

Document Management, Cloud Storage

Author: Kelley Imaging

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