The digital world is constantly evolving, which is one of the main reasons for the changing landscape in data storage software. The options are forever increasing and systems that enable storage of business data are continually transformed and enhanced to meet the demands of a growing number of enterprises for which management of data and documents is becoming an elaborate and difficult task. After all, businesses now have to face the important challenge of managing their enormous amounts of documents.
The figures speak for themselves. IDC, an important research and advisory company, estimates that the amount of created or multiplied data reached a staggering 1.8 zettabytes in 2011. The current numbers even reflect an upward trend, since the amount of data is expected to multiply the equivalent of 57,500 millions of 32 GB iPads or 200,000 millions of high definition movies. In fact, excess of information is one of the major problems in any company, because the available storage capacity is limited and the amount of data is increasing day after day. This constant expansion makes it very difficult for any organization to manage the storage and retrieval of its data and documents in an orderly manner.
To respond to this chaos, IT departments are continually making efforts to maintain some order while end-users ask for instant and on demand access to the required information and documents. For this reason, businesses inevitably need to invest in specific document management software to efficiently manage, store and retrieve their data.
In this regard, companies should not be concerned about security or data loss and take advantage of the opportunity to better manage and optimize their information processes with data management software. Moreover, the majority of document technology software manufacturers offer solutions that are compatible with other software and systems, and, as such, can be easily integrated with existing business applications.
However, enterprises do not only need a document manager to control their technological infrastructure or to account for the availability of their data. Governments around the globe are also paying more attention to the growing amount of business data and are creating laws to regulate its management. To that effect, investing in appropriate data management and retrieval technologies is an efficient way to avoid corresponding sanctions imposed by the government.
At this point, companies should consider different factors, such as the amount and complexity of the data and documents that are being processed, the time invested by personnel in document-related tasks, the costs related to data administration and the employees involved, etc. Figures demonstrate that, in the medium and long term, the cost of purchasing a document management tool becomes an investment, and it optimizes the tasks performed by all employees.
Compatibility of document management software with current applications
Document management software manufacturers are fully aware of the challenges their clients are facing when it comes to correct document management. Consequently, the market is flooded with powerful tools that adapt to specific document-related needs. The majority of document management systems on the market consist of modular applications that can be modified to suit the needs of any type of enterprise and allow organizations to rapidly optimize their information management processes.
High-quality document management tool should offer some basic features, such as an efficient search engine to restrict access to certain information, the possibility to perform different document operations, such as printing, consulting or send documents by email, and significant cost savings in document printing, distribution, storage space and time spent on data searches.
Among the main characteristics of document management systems are: efficient document generation in real time, controlled distribution of data that can be tracked at any time, and data capture for high-volume document digitization.
Typically, the business data storage strategies proposed by document management software manufacturers focus on data storage according to importance levels. This method allows organizations to reduce the costs related to overall operation, improve ROI and enhance the general performance of their applications. The process consists in setting and assigning levels in accordance with the cost per storage unit and the importance of the data. In other words, data of minor importance should be assigned to units with large storage capacity that generate fewer costs.
Cloud storage: a promising option for data and document storage
Another solution for the problem caused by the soaring volume of data and documents, further accentuated by the latest mobile devices, is storing business data in the cloud. Hence, more and more companies will opt for cloud storage in the future. According to Gartner, cloud computing is one of the 10 technological strategies that will be applied between 2012 and 2015.
One of the great benefits of storing valuable data online is that companies only pay for the storage space they actually use. Another important advantage is ease of access. Rather than being locked down to a local storage unit, users can access the required data and documents from any location. Then there is also the fact that companies, and IT administrators in particular, need to dedicate less time on routine tasks related to data retrieval and security, which mean they can focus on other projects that generate real value to their business.