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    9 Reasons Your ECM Belongs in the Cloud

    Information, the lifeblood of every organization. Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is the toolset companies use to manage that information. But as companies generate massive volumes of content, some struggle to manage their legacy ECM systems. 

    Enterprises that store their content inside their own data centers are turning to the cloud for flexibility and ease of use. This movement, driven in part by the COVID-enforced need for remote work, is causing a surge in demand for cloud-based ECM systems.

    But not everyone is there yet. If your organization is still deciding whether to move your content management to the cloud, then you are in the right place. In this blog, we will guide you through the reasons your business information should be in the cloud. In our next blog, we share with you the four steps to actually making the transition to cloud-based ECM.

    The Current State of Cloud Adoption

    With Cloud Enterprise Content Management (Cloud ECM), organizations can manage content online. While this approach is not new, businesses have only recently embraced cloud solutions at the desktop level. And the ECM market has evolved in parallel. Industry analysts MarketsandMarkets project Cloud ECM to grow into a $34B industry by 2022. This is a clear indicator that the technology will continue on its current upward trajectory.

    Why Move Content to the Cloud?

    ECM provides a structured, efficient, and compliant way to manage data, content, and business processes. Both on-premises ECM and Cloud ECM enable this. But, while legacy systems store data on physical servers, Cloud ECM stores everything in the cloud where users can access it from anywhere.

    Microsoft Azure is one of the leading platforms to house ECM in the cloud. Azure offers a breadth of features such as compliance, security scanning, monitoring, alerting, and cost management to help organizations store content, optimize business processes and enforce security and governance. More than 95% of Fortune 500 companies have chosen Microsoft Azure for Cloud ECM. Here are the top nine benefits companies are reporting from their Cloud ECM solution:

    1. Remote Access & Productivity 

    Cloud ECM allows users to access documents and content anytime, anywhere, and from any device. There’s no need for a VPN or other access mechanisms. It offers a centralized repository for all enterprise content, where users can easily find information and more effectively edit and collaborate. This alone cuts down duplicative efforts around document processes.

    Solutions built on platforms like Microsoft Azure simplify secure sharing of content with third parties. They do so without having to provide network access or requiring an additional level of login security.

    2. Greater Security & Global Compliance

    Some organizations are still skeptical about storing corporate documents in the cloud. The reality is that Cloud ECM is more secure than most on-site document management systems. Microsoft alone has spent more than $1 billion on security research and development. Advanced cloud technology offers improved firewalls and advanced tools to help ensure security.

    3. Data Sovereignty

    Data sovereignty, the physical storage location of data, is managed with a Cloud ECM system that enforces rules based on geographical location. Many Cloud ECM vendors offer data centers across many geographies so that businesses can secure sensitive information in accordance with evolving local laws.

    An added benefit of the Microsoft Azure platform is that you own your data and can do anything you want with it as a result. This capability, combined with advanced data sovereignty coverage, means that organizations have absolute governance of their data.

    4. Implementation Agility 

    Cloud-based ECM deploys incredibly fast and without the burden of setting up internal servers. Organizations realize the benefits of no-code or low-code configurations of within just a few hours.

    5. Reduced Capital Expenditures 

    On-premises ECM is typically sold by annual license, deeming it a CAPEX expense. Cloud ECM sells as a SaaS solution by subscription, including annual maintenance and hosting fees. This allows companies to spread the cost equally over time. Additionally they avoid hefty upfront purchase costs that drain budgets.

    6. Automatic Updates & Reduced Maintenance Burdens 

    Maintaining an on-premises ECM solution can be very expensive. There are start-up hardware and software installation costs. Companies often need to staff specialized IT resources to maintain the equipment. Companies pay annual maintenance fees that place a significant burden on businesses. In direct contrast, Cloud ECM customers never have to worry about the physical hardware and software.

    Additionally, the updates, backups, or patches required to access and manage content simply vanish. All these services are included. This model eliminates costs and frees up IT for more productive and innovative tasks.

    7. On-Demand Scale and Scope 

    COVID-19 has forced the adoption of remote work for many of us. Users now demand fast access to shared content from anywhere and from any device. Managing remote accessibility and scalability is no small task for any IT department.

    Cloud solutions are naturally flexible. They don’t require human intervention, or 3-year capacity planning to adapt and scale (up or down) to the evolving needs of the business. The other benefit of this flexible scaling is that you only pay for what you use.

    8. Business Continuity

    Cloud ECM that is governed, backed up, and accessible creates better business continuity. The continual monitoring of a SaaS ECM solution reduces any impending risk of system failure or data loss. Furthermore, the cloud offers a resilient environment that can recover quickly from backups or switch to alternative data centers in an emergency. Microsoft Azure provides regional replication of data to provide additional layers of recovery.

    9. Easier Integration with Line of Business Applications

    Integration with line of business systems is an area where ECM has struggled over the years. Especially integration with Microsoft Outlook, Office, and Teams.

    The cloud offers integration (typically via REST-API) with cloud, or on-premises services. This includes other ECM solutions, identity management, automated security provisioning, CRM systems, and more.


    Cloud brings us accessibility, security and transparency like never before. And at a fraction of the cost of previous solutions.

    If you still need convincing, take a look at some of our other resources including our eBook, “Modernizing ECM for the Cloud,” or our webinar, “Turning Microsoft Azure Into a Document Management Powerhouse.” However, if like us, you are already convinced about the need to move to the cloud, then you need to head to the next blog in this mini-series that focuses on the four steps you need to take to move your content to the cloud.

    To the Cloud — And Beyond!


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