Documents and forms are a core aspect of today’s business life. However, the omnipresence and tendency towards an increase in the number of documents also results in increasing complexity. One’s overview can quickly get lost. Especially when some documents are available in physical and others in digital form, but not handled centralized.

With the advent of new technologies and ways to handle documents, most companies are faced with the challenge of how to process, organize and manage their documents as efficiently as possible. To make them available on all devices and accessible at all times, they must of course first be digitized, if they are not already.

Accordingly, scanning is one of the first steps necessary to digitize documents. Once they have been digitized, the question arises as to what is the optimal solution for storing the documents. Cloud File Sharing (services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.) is often used because it is a simple, fast and cheap if not free solution. But is this really the optimal solution?

In this article we compare the two options Cloud Document Management and Cloud File Sharing.

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What is Cloud File Sharing?

Cloud File Sharing can be defined as a service that allows multiple users to access files in the cloud simultaneously from any Internet-enabled device, regardless of location. Security for file sharing in the cloud is managed with user and group permissions that allow administrators to tightly control access to shared files.

What is Cloud Document Management?

Cloud Document Management has all the features of Cloud File Sharing, but offers much more. In addition to the digital storage and filing of information, indexing of important information within documents, for example, makes it easy to find. Thanks to integration options and definable rules, processes can also be designed and optimized.

Advantages of Cloud Document Management

Safety and traceability

With the free file sharing providers, it is not quite obvious, depending on the provider, who made changes when editing the files, since the files are usually released for all employees and the tagging of employees or their interactions is not necessarily supported. In addition to assignable roles, Cloud Document Management solutions also offer access to the complete processing history of the files. This allows you to clearly see who has done what and when.

Easy findability

On average, an employee spends 18 minutes searching for a document, which represents almost 50% of his or her total working time.

This is no wonder! After all, many folders are often rummaged through and possibly old file versions are retrieved until the file that one was looking for is finally found.

With a Cloud Document Management solution, documents can be indexed and given their metadata, making them much easier to find. In addition, an electronic signature can be applied to guarantee the authenticity of the document.

Process optimization

Cloud File Sharing is merely a rigid collection of files, while a Cloud Document Management system is much more dynamic and can be integrated into any process for the sake of streamlining it.

Documents can be shared with both work colleagues and customers, allowing employees to collaborate on, edit, and sign documents together. Once a person’s task is complete, the cloud document management system can automatically forward the documents to the next person.

This means that documents do not have to be copied into a drive folder after they have been edited for the first time and then possibly copied out again for further processing. This allows significant increases in efficiency. So, processing times and costs can be reduced.

As already mentioned, another major advantage over cloud file sharing solutions are the integration options. Cloud Document Management systems can be seamlessly connected to other software components, which can solve interface problems and make information flows more efficient.

The secure capture, indexing, forwarding and archiving of information is key to increasing efficiency and optimizing processes in your company. If companies still rely on manual steps for repetitive routine tasks such as entering data, searching for information or completing approval processes, you will waste time and increase your costs unnecessarily.