If you are one of the 88% of UK business that the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) reports have adopted the cloud, chances are that you are still using a hybrid approach. Many businesses have been quick to adopt cloud-based software that addresses specific business needs like accounting or claims management, but have held onto their existing, familiar on-premises document management system – and with it the frustrations that brings.
If you’re not sure whether to move from dipping your toe in the water to fully immersing yourself in the capabilities of a best-in-class cloud document management system, here are five signs it might be time to make the leap.
1. Limited (or zero) ability to work remotely
Time is money. If your employees are regularly out of the office or working long hours then remote working is a must if you wish to improve productivity and your bottom line (as well as benefit from reduced overheads and attracting the brightest millennials who favour flexible working).
So if your remote working capabilities only extend to email access or a long-winded and low-speed route to access your local drive – or if you are concerned about the security risks of workarounds and restrictions on your employees’ ability to view, send or collaborate on large files – then it may be time to consider a cloud document management system.
2. You’re lost in a sea of emails containing tracked changes
If you regularly have to negotiate or collaborate on the contents of contracts or documents, then your inbox probably pings regularly with the latest tracked changes from each party. All too often, amendments will cross without consideration of recent changes made by others. Hardly the most productive way to do business.
If this sounds all too familiar, then you need to consider a cloud document management system like Office 365 that not only enables you to view tracked changes in real time but can alert you to when someone has started working on a shared document.
3. Your security measures fail to protect data getting into the wrong hands
A valid security concern for many firms is how to ensure that documents are only viewed by those authorised to do so. With insider threats the fastest-growing cyber security risk and the top security breaches arising from data being sent to the wrong person, imposing written policies on the sharing of data is not enough – they need a fool-proof document management system that prevents unauthorised access altogether.
If this sounds like a familiar problem for your business, you should look for a cloud solution whereby you can specific who can view or edit a file, which can be accessed via a secure log-in.
4. Your employees are finding their own workarounds
If your cloud capabilities are less than ideal then it is all too common for employees to find their own workarounds, such as using consumer-grade apps like DropBox to store documents – a phenomenon known as shadow IT. Inefficiencies aside, this poses a real security risk in that you have no control over these applications or the way they are used.
It is no use banning shadow IT in the absence of your own viable solution – whilst also expecting your employees to work outside of office hours if required. Instead, you should look for a cloud solution that enables reading, sharing and editing of emails and documents on the go – and guards against all-to-common threats like the use of unsecured Wi-Fi networks and the loss or theft of devices.
5. Hours lost searching for documents
When faced with time pressures, workers often quickly and “temporarily” save a file in the wrong folder only to never return to place it in its proper home. Or they don’t quite understand – or agree with – the filing system suggested by their managers, and store their documents in a place they deem to be much more intuitive. Only it’s not to those looking for them.
If this sounds all too familiar then you need to regain control with a cloud document management system like SharePoint, which has powerful and intuitive search features so that documents can be found in a few seconds – not a few minutes or chargeable units later.
For SME businesses, we find that Office 365 addresses all of these document management concerns and more. It offers intuitive cloud document storage and search capabilities, secure remote working solutions (with the ability to remotely wipe data on lost devices), best-in-class security features and the ability to view, share and collaborate on documents in real time.
However, as with any software, realising the full benefits and return on investment of Office 365 requires the right approach to implementation. We show you how with: Planning a successful Office 365 migration: A small business checklist.