The internet has brought about many changes in the way we conduct our business, but one thing that remains integral to information management in the modern tech-savvy environment is accessibility and security of accessible information.
Accessibility is a key driver for the efficient management of information, to make better use of the information accumulated by any business and ensuring all staff benefit from that information. Information is knowledge according to an old saying, “knowledge is power”. A web hosted solution makes information accessible to all, from anywhere, and it can be totally open for the ease of access to company marketing collateral or tightly secured with logins and access rights determined per user.
The cost of storing information in-house is also a key consideration when establishing a smart information management strategy. This applies to hard copy as well as digital records. It is obvious why hard copy storage is an issue, the space required to house it for a start, finding a document among many is another and it needs staff to record it and file it efficiently. Electronic storage is less obvious. When it applies to confidential documentation, security is the biggest issue and requires layers of software and specific hardware to achieve an adequate solution. Offsite storage in a purpose built storage facility will solve the security issue for both hard copy and digital records, as it is the business of the repository to have necessary, high-level security in place. For any business, putting appropriate security measures in place has a cost overhead and requires constant monitoring and regular maintenance.
Web hosted storage is also a safeguard in case of disaster. Your data is offsite where disaster recovery facilities are in place to ensure your business continuity.
Collaboration is made simpler with web based storage. Regardless of location or time zone, whether staff are in the office or on the road they can access documents at the same time, with access rights determining whether the sharing can be view only or allow editing. With a mobile device, a web browser and an internet connection many tasks can be performed, decisions made and action taken.
When all the hardware and software for your information management is outsourced, it is the responsibility of your provider to ensure the infrastructure and systems are up-to-date with service packs, patches and upgrades are all applied in a timely manner. You will always have the most current systems in place. Regular monitoring of the hardware by the provider will also ensure hard drives will not run with limited capacity, memory is sufficient for optimal response times and they take care of a raft of other issues associated with maintaining IT infrastructure. This also means your business is not having to plan for the future alone, this is done with your provider and with IT evolving at such a rapid rate, this is a significant benefit.
Maintaining your own hardware infrastructure can reduce your ability to install and implement new systems, hanging on to outdated hardware and software, which also inhibits the ability to be agile and innovate.
When new hardware and software is installed in-house there is the configuration and roll-out to consider before it is operational, this is also outsourced when web hosted. All anyone in your business needs is a web browser.
The result with web-based storage is a more responsive and agile business in a far better position to adapt to industry changes and changing client demands.