When organizations are considering migrating to a paperless office they often ask, “why is a paid ECM solution better than the free ones I see online?” It’s a valid question, after all, there are plenty of free file sharing and storing solutions available with enticing features (and of course, an enticing price tag).
In order to understand why free storage solutions may not be an effective content management strategy for your organization, it’s important to understand the differences between free storage and ECM.
But it’s not a viable long-term solution for your organization, and what you may save in upfront costs you may wind up losing down the road in operating expenses, often without even realizing it. So, why should your organization utilize a robust ECM solution vs. a free storage one?
You get what you pay for
DropBox, Google Drive, Box, and a wealth of other storage solutions draw you in with their “free” price tag and seemingly limitless possibilities. These cloud-based solutions are excellent for storing simple text-based documents and collaborating and sharing. Unfortunately, you have a limit to how much you can store, and with little sorting and organization beyond basic filing, keeping track of multiple documents can get overwhelming.
You may not be able to organize and track the information from these documents in the way your organization requires. If you’re utilizing a free service to manage your AP/AR documentation, you won’t be able to search the document content itself for specific information such as date, purchase order number, or vendor attached to it. So while yes, this solution will eliminate paper from your PO workflow, it won’t alleviate any of the frustration associated with managing hundreds, if not thousands, unique files.
All of these solutions require you to store your documents in their cloud, which could be a security concern for organizations that need to keep everything on-premise or in a more secure cloud environment. These solutions offer little security for sharing these files as well, so when sharing confidential information you may put your organization at risk.
At the end of the day, these online storage solutions offer just that, storage. While many organizations certainly benefit from these products and features for certain documents, it’s often not the best solution for sensitive financial, employee, or other important business documents.
Why ECM is different
Where these solutions fall short, DocStar thrives. ECM provides more than simply a digital filing cabinet, it provides a more efficient workflow for your documents. Features such as Smart OCR capture can pull information from your scanned and uploaded documents, allowing you to search by the document’s content vs. just its name. This means you can quickly find the exact document you need just by searching for a specific field.
A smarter ECM solution means you can store your records on your terms, either on-premise at your location or in a secure cloud environment. Having options means that you can determine what would work best for your organization’s needs rather than simply be forced one way or another based on what the servicer requires.
While an ECM solution may require upfront and maintenance costs, you’ll quickly find yourself saving more than you spent. With proper implementation and maintenance, your organization will save money, time, and work.
The next step
Once you fully understand the scope of your organization’s needs, having a conversation with our team of experts to understand further how DocStar ECM can help your organization across all departments.