Enterprise Content Management and the Cloud: IDC White Paper

Cloud computing has revolutionized an organizations’ ability to improve service delivery. With additional technologies like mobile and enterprise content management (ECM) systems, agencies now have a powerful technology arsenal to innovate and excel in today’s growing digital economy. The recent increase in cloud computing adoption brings with it a shared interest in enterprise content management (ECM) in the cloud.

As cloud computing adoption increases, there has also been a shift to taking traditional paper-based processes, and move them to the cloud. However, ECM in the cloud is often misunderstood and many are wary of its uncertainties.

In a recent white paper, “Cloud Enterprise Content Management: Realizing the Benefits of Cloud While Protecting Enterprise Content,” IDC and Hyland present the benefits of ECM solutions in the cloud and demystify reservations that many public managers hold.

Technology systems are in the process of shifting to what IDC calls the 3rd platform: mobile, social, big data and cloud systems. Organizations across sectors are adopting cloud-computing solutions, and are doing so in a variety of ways. Many agencies begin with infrastructure as a service (IaaS) service models. Today, agencies are also exploring platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) solutions. Organizations are also rolling out private, public, hybrid or community deployment models, depending on their specific needs.

The spike in spending on cloud software – IDC predicts an increase from $29.4 billion in 2012 to $67.3 billion by 2016 – shows that public managers are jumping on board with the advantages cloud computing has to offer.

What are the benefits of transferring your organization’s enterprise applications to the cloud? IDC notes that ECM in the cloud solutions can lower start-up costs, increase flexibility, and improve IT system resilience. Often times, cloud providers can better manage security and performance than traditional “in-house” IT departments.

ECM in the cloud is relatively unchartered territory, and many are unsure if it’s a proper fit for their organization. One of the top concerns is security: public managers tend to believe that content is safer when kept behind the firewall. While managers are right to worry about the security of their information, IDC makes the case that content may actually be better protected when kept in the cloud.

“Content that is difficult to access usually finds its way from person to person via some less secure route,” IDC explains. “Proactively providing a formal ECM system of record in the cloud can help alleviate this concern.”

More so, it can be difficult to let go of the “old way” of doing things. Converting to ECM cloud solutions is a major shift in thinking for many public managers and IT professionals and requires them to reassess their vital IT needs. Then again, IDC finds more and more Chief Information Officers (CIOs) adapting and emerging as champions of cloud solutions, even describing themselves as “cloud CIOs.”

Another challenge public managers face is knowing when ECM in the cloud makes sense. In general, IDC recommends cloud ECM when an organization is considering implementation of any new ECM program. An organization should also consider ECM in the cloud when they want to test a new version of their current ECM system, update their ECM software or need to specify their data location centers.

Organizations should look for ECM vendors that offer full flexibility and maximum choice when deploying a new ECM cloud solution. “An ECM vendor that has experience delivering solutions for both on-premise and cloud will have a good perspective on the pros and cons of different deployment options,” IDC advises.

As one of the largest and fastest growing ECM venders worldwide, Hyland offers its flagship OnBase Cloud service. OnBase combines document management, workflow, and reporting features and is fully customizable based on organizational preferences.

The move to cloud-based solutions is steadily picking up speed. Organizations will continue to experiment with both on-site IT systems and cloud services as the cloud becomes a more comfortable and attractive solution. That said, more and more managers are choosing ECM in the cloud to manage their enterprise applications.

For further insights and information on Hyland’s OnBase solution, check out IDC’s full report here.

OnBase is a proven enterprise content management solution for each level of government, helping each meet today’s challenges of smaller budgets and staffs while laying the foundation for simplified, efficient and mobile government information technology. To learn more, visit Hyland’s resources page on GovLoop.

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