The Future Of ECM Is In Hybrid Cloud

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CIOs today are not only responsible for ensuring the smooth functioning of IT assets, but have evolved to business managers entrusted with revenue growth and operational efficiency through the adoption of technology. They have started embracing cloud-based solutions for the advantages of lower pay-as-you-go operating costs without upfront capital expenditure on infrastructure and maintenance, besides the features of on-demand scalability and multisite availability.

Most on-premise core business applications already have respective cloud avatars and it would be unusual to find an organization that does not employ a form of cloud-based solution for some of its business processes. However, despite the cloud’s benefits, concerns in adopting cloud-based enterprise content management (ECM) solutions are still harbored by enterprises — citing data security and governance as reasons.

The next level of ECM in the cloud

As organizations handle and track various types of content and unstructured information, processing and storing information is becoming a key reason for bottlenecks across business functions. It has become imperative for having an enterprise content management strategy in place to meet the needs of business functions and their processes well. With ECM solutions, the organizations maintain and manage the life cycle of content and information from capture to processing and storage—enabling access and delivery to correct information for respective business functions. By automating tedious manual processes for information capture, business processes have become faster and more efficient. For example, the account opening process—where customer details are captured through lengthy forms—can be automated by scanning the documents to capture and sort the information through optical character recognition (OCR).

However, the increased proliferation of mobile devices in the enterprise environment has altered the business paradigm. Mobility has spurred employee demands for access to corporate information anywhere, anytime, and on any device. Catering to this demand is not possible through traditional on-premise ECM solutions. Cloud technology however can enable ECM to cater to the needs of a growing mobile workforce.

Bridging the gap

At a time when cloud-based solutions such as Dropbox and Google Drive are readily leveraged by employees for information exchange, it is important for organizations to evaluate the gaps their ECM solution is unable to bridge. Consumer oriented cloud-based solutions provide employees an easier way to share and collaborate, compared to the traditional means of exchanging information through e-mail attachments. However, employees seldom consider the risks associated with data security and compliance.

The onus rests on the enterprise to ensure that all organizational data remains secure, governed by the necessary compliance regulations in its entire life cycle within the organization. CIOs, therefore, prefer on-premise legacy ECM solutions despite the non-availability of remote access when compared to newer cloud-based ECM offerings.

Need of the hour

Adopting a hybrid cloud model for ECM is the answer—providing remote access while complying with the stringent data security needs. Hybrid cloud solutions enable remote access without compromising on regular ECM features such as version control and file sync. For data security and compliance to regulatory requirements, a hybrid solution allows the maintenance of sensitive data behind enterprise firewalls in traditional on-premise systems—keeping things in-house—while keeping other data on the cloud.

Employing an ECM solution on a hybrid cloud model would enable seamless orchestration of information between the public cloud and the on-premise systems—offering the best of both worlds for data security as well as remote accessibility.