A generation ago, businesses operated in world of paper-file chaos. Today, after many technological advances, businesses operate in a world of paper/digital file fusion chaos. While digital files improved efficiencies in some areas, and cloud document management holds much promise to fix this, businesses are drowning in paper and digital redundancies and time-consuming manual, paper-to-digital file conversions. For many, it’s all too common for finding a specific document in the proverbial paper/digital haystack to take hours and result in maddening frustration.
Fortunately, cloud document management came riding in on a white horse in the last decade, promising extraordinary improvements to virtually every aspect of file management. Businesses of all sizes – from sole proprietorships to the 10,000+-person mega corporations – are relying on cloud-based project management software to improve internal collaboration and store and track their files with far greater efficiency.
By simple definition, document management software gives businesses a central home in the cloud for all of their files. It also serves as cloud based project management software with an organized and easy-to-access hub for project collaboration and management for staff and outside partners.
- Businesses use cloud document management for:
- Storage of all files, including all common types including emails
- Archiving of inactive or historical files
- Document version control, eliminating redundant editing and providing insight into who has done what and when
- Retrieval of previous edited or unedited versions
- Project communication and collaboration
- Workflow tracking
- File access restrictions and permissions
- Big-picture view of business operations
- General file retrieval
In recent years, new cloud storage providers have introduced new platforms, each with their own bells and whistles to set themselves apart from the others. With the abundance of options today, you may be wondering how to choose the right document management software. And you’re not alone. Roughly 20,000 people a month are trying to figure out if Dropbox or Google Drive is better for their business.
Where to start when searching for a cloud document management solution
1. Define what you need from cloud document management
Make a list of what features are must-haves for your business. If the primary purpose is to be your cloud based project management software, you’ll have special requirements related to user friendliness, version control and permissions/security for collaboration with people outside of your organization.
2. Take a test drive
In a recent roundup, PCMag compared the key features of the 10 leading cloud document management software providers. PCMag notes that most options offer a free trial period of at least 14 days. A test drive with each cloud document management option may provide you with the info you need to make a sound decision about which one is best for your business.
Business News Daily studied many leading companies in the cloud document management space and reported on features of importance to businesses with specific needs such as small businesses, budget-driven businesses, businesses with remote-based staff, etc. This will help you pinpoint which cloud based project management software options to look at first.
Factors to consider when selecting cloud document management for your business
You and your staff will spend a substantial amount of time with this tool. Don’t be wooed by a pretty face. The leading cloud document management solutions are all white-space-abundant and aesthetically attractive. Dive below the surface and consider ease of use. Think about the actions you and your staff will complete daily within the program. For example, how does file transfer work? At this point, cloud based project management software should have user-experience favorites in place. Does it offer file drag-and-drop transfer? Thumbs up, if it does. There are dozens of small features like this that done well, can make the day-to-day user experience more enjoyable and your staff members more productive.
Document management software accessibility across multiple devices is now standard for cloud document management solutions but the experience on mobile may fall flat compared to the web version. During demos, be sure to take a look at how well the platform functions on all devices.
Permissions and security
Some cloud based project management software options differ greatly from other document management software in the way that secure access is managed at the file, folder or project level. You’ll want confidence that files will be accessible only to those who’ve been granted access but you also should avoid cumbersome permission-setting processes. This is because some cloud document management solutions are designed as cloud based project management software and are heavily collaboration focused. Others are not.
An inability to locate files swiftly will cost you plenty in the long run. It absorbs valuable time from your staff’s day and causes frustration. Cloud document management search functionality is fairly sophisticated across the board, but some tools perform better than others. During your trial periods with document management software, run various search tests to fully understand how well they work.
Fortunately, there is Cloudfind, too, which will arrive, draped in a superhero cloak, to dramatically enhance your cloud document management solution’s existing search functionality and provide faster access to files. Cloudfind improves the search process with user-defined keyword tagging, automatic keyword tagging and universal searching across multiple document management software tools.
As is true for all tools designed to improve business efficiency, your cloud document management software will be as organized and valuable as you and your staff make it. Prior to implementing your new document management software, have a game plan in place. Rather than presenting the software as another new tool to learn, foster excitement about it among your staff. Highlight the fact that the goal is simple: to reduce the amount of manual and administrative work that prevents them from focusing on the work they enjoy more. With a full understanding of the why and the how, your team may offer instrumental suggestions about the new platform’s effective company-wide roll out.
If you’ve recently implemented a new cloud document management system for your business, how’s it going so far?
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