The Paperless Office in the Cloud: The Future of Business? - Part 8: Why Greater Simplicity is Driving Cloud Computing and Digital Document Management

Why Greater Simplicity is Driving Cloud Computing and Digital Document Management

(#8 in a series.)

Last time we looked beyond the top three business drivers of digital document management systems and cloud computing, Cost, Speed and Security, to three additional key drivers:  Simplicity, Mobility and Green.  Let’s take a closer look at Simplicity.

Complexity is one of the greatest inhibitors of business process automation.  Corporate data centers have become increasing complex as multi-platform integration and multi-channel communication proliferates.  The backlog of IT projects grows longer every day.  IBM reports that 70% of IT resources are expended managing infrastructure and maintaining existing systems.  We have created a ceiling of complexity which we must break through in order to make significant forward progress.  They key to breaking through the ceiling of complexity is to simplify things.  That's one of the reasons that the adoption rates of paperless business process workflows and cloud computing are accelerating so rapidly.

Simplicity of Paperless Business Processes

Business today demands real-time response to customers, employees and other stakeholders, and now to market events as well.  Today we have the composite knowledge of mankind at our fingertips.  The world has come to expect that almost any information can be found instantly via a Web search - anything, that is, except the business documents and records that we need to do our jobs efficiently and productively every day at work.  As Generation Z, or the "Net Generation", begins to infiltrate the workforce, the expectation of instant search results for all work-related data and documents will be fundamental.  Digital document systems are essential in order to be able to move necessary information at the light speed of business.  They make handling, storing, retrieving and securing information infinitely simpler than paper-based systems, and they make it easier to enforce business policies and achieve regulatory compliance.

The Simplicity of the Cloud

The cloud computing revolution is often compared to the electrification of America.  It was as recent as the turn of the 20th century that the power grid began to be built out bring electric power to factories and electric lighting and appliances into individual homes.  Prior to centralized power generation each manufacturing enterprise had to generate its own power - through either a complex mechanical system of belts and pulleys driven by steam or a water wheel, or later with their own electric power generation facility.  Lighting in homes and businesses was by gas or candle light.  The development of power utilities made the industrial revolution possible, and now utility computing is beginning to transform the way we access the power we need to automate business processes in the same way.  Why build your own infrastructure and necessarily have to overbuild to be able to accommodate peak demands when you can access and pay only for what you need from a utility.  It’s a much simpler and more economical approach.   

One of our customers, a major casino group, had this to say about implementing a cloud based digital document management solution:  "One of the easiest and simplest (solutions) that I have ever seen.  A very easy project to manage."   After such a positive experience they are now shifting the plans for other document management solutions they had on the table to move them into the cloud.

We can expect to see the increasing demand for simplicity fuel the acceleration of the adoption of digital document management in the cloud.  Next time we'll take a look at how increasing mobility among the global workforce is influencing the rapid adoption of digital document solutions and cloud computing.

Until then,

John Queen