In the past, on-premise software handled the task of processing large amounts of documents; but times have changed. Many document centers are reassessing their procedures, making a transition to cloud-based applications their primary focus.


    The shift to cloud-based systems is simple to understand. Cloud computing offers remarkable document processing benefits, a reality that has not escaped the notice of software vendors serving the CCM industry. These companies are now focusing their resources and efforts on the creation of cloud-based workflow solutions. Though improvements and updates continue to be made to on-premise packages, the newest features are likely to debut on the cloud platforms first. Document operations still reliant on on-premise applications may have to wait. Delayed implementation of new capabilities may affect their efforts to attract new business and retain current customers.


    Understanding Cloud Computing

    Professionals in print and mail operations boost their companies' profits by refining procedures and implementing effective document management practices. Today, cloud technology can easily be a key to boosting efficiency and staying competitive. Rather than depending on on-site processors and file storage, cloud applications use external servers to keep a company's data safe and accessible for both remote and on-site employees.


    Cloud technology is shaping the future of business, with everyone from small companies to global corporations embracing cloud migration strategies. For print/mail providers, moving CCM operations to the cloud enhances workflows. With secure and universal access to data and CCM applications, companies can make agile decisions and keep up with business challenges and customer demands.


    The Power of SaaS in CCM Operations

    Traditional software installed on-premise often involves expenses, including hardware acquisition, installation, training, and maintenance. Conversely, cloud solutions require just an affordable subscription fee, determined by usage. This is significantly more cost-effective.


    IT staffing comes into play as well. With less need for onsite technicians to install, upgrade, and troubleshoot on-premise applications, companies may reduce their reliance on IT resources. When technical people are in short supply, switching from on-premise to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) system can save organizations the work of finding, interviewing, and hiring new IT employees.


    For organizational scalability, cloud-based software presents a flexible option, allowing companies to tailor resources according to their needs. This adaptability proves helpful, particularly as the workload evolves and expands. When I worked in the service provider business, we had to size our operations to match the demand that came at peak periods like quarter-end or year-end. Some of those resources sat idle the rest of the time. Processing work in the cloud reduces the need to spend money on excess processing power or storage space.


    Initial apprehensions about data security and cloud processing have diminished. Software vendors now ensure robust protection for customer data, equivalent to that of a high security bank vault, enabling peace of mind and safeguarding data.


    The cloud aids management of CCM operations in a flexible, cost-effective, secure, and innovative manner. It presents an appealing alternative to traditional on-premise software systems.


    Navigating Traditional CCM Software
    Historically, print and mail providers relied on on-premise CCM systems for everything. This was largely because of the absence of highly secure and affordable options for online data storage and high-speed internet connectivity.

    The responsibility for data security and access management lay on the shoulders of IT managers, as secure cloud storage from reputable companies was not available.


    CCM software maintenance also proved to be a challenging aspect of on-premise systems. IT departments took on this significant responsibility, diverting resources from other critical projects. Maintaining on-premise CCM systems was disruptive and costly, including backup and security costs.


    Companies using on-premise CCM software came face-to-face with its limitations during the global pandemic. Sudden workforce displacement and the restriction of CCM access stalled workflows. Software updates awaited attention in unopened emails. We don't know that another business-disrupting event like COVID will happen, but it could. For many businesses, the impact of the global crisis expedited the transition to cloud-based CCM software. They are now better prepared for future unforeseen disturbances.


    More Benefits of a Cloud-Based CCM Solution
    In the cloud-based paradigm for CCM, businesses pay-as-they-go, transforming what was once a large capital expenditure into a manageable operational expense. Subscriptions to cloud-based software are typically annual and may offer tax advantages as operational costs.


    This subscription-based model allows companies to customize their software package, selecting the number of users, support level, and updates that best suit their needs. This offers a high level of flexibility and assures companies they always operate with the most advanced version of the software.


    Understanding that security is a paramount concern for businesses, cloud-based CCM solution developers employ stringent standards when designing their processes and protocols. Robust security measures are in place, adhering to standards such as HIPAA, SOX, GDPR, SOC 1 and 2, HiTRUST, PCI DSS, and more. Software vendors host these platforms in highly secure and redundant cloud environments, ensuring client data protection.


    Some print/mail operations will still prefer to manage processing with on-premise software, either purchased from a supplier or developed in-house. Many times, however, the advantage of switching to cloud-based solutions outweighs the perceived benefits derived from on-premise solutions.


    Mike Porter at Print/Mail Consultants creates content that helps attract and retain customers for companies in the document industry and assists companies as they integrate new technology. Learn more about his services at www.pmccontentservices.com. Follow @PMCmike on Twitter, or send him a connection request on LinkedIn.

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