Are You Living in the Cloud Yet?
In a recent survey conducted by Elon University, researchers found that out of about 900 social analysts and Internet and tech experts, 71% of them predict we will be working mainly in the cloud by 2020.
Experts agree that in the near future, we will not be relying on installed computer software, but instead using Internet-based and mobile applications. Not only is this more convenient, but the switch to the cloud provides numerous other security, electronic document processing and costs saving benefits. Additionally, any employee can have instant access to information where there is an Internet connection. They can access the cloud from home, from work, from almost anywhere. No longer is the worker tied solely to the office.
The cloud is predicted to become more dominant than the desktop in the next decade or so. However, many experts do not foresee the desktop dying out totally, yet. But they do suggest a future hybrid between the desktop and the cloud.
On the opposing side, some disagree that the cloud will dominate installed software because of information security concerns. Another reason may be the perception that the user is not solely in control of information as he or she would be when information is saved on a personal computer. Using cloud applications raises trust issues as well. Can the cloud-application vendor be trusted with your information? Pew Research indicates that a concern expressed is “that people are giving up some degree of choice and control in exchange for streamlined simplicity.”
Yes, these may be valid security concerns. But the risks of using installed software may very well outweigh the risks of the cloud.
For example, a drink has been spilled on your keyboard, you accidentally drop the laptop, or maybe your hard drive has been corrupted. More than likely the documents you spent hours working on were stored on your desktop or network hard drive. What do you do while you wait for another computer? What do you do about the work you had been doing? You start over, and then spend time recreating the documents.
Or even worse, what if your computer is stolen from your home or from the office. Your documents, software and programs are gone yet visible to the thief. With Internet-based applications, in either of these circumstances, your information is safe in the cloud, and you can access and continue working from anywhere that has an Internet connection.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can capture, store, manage and automate your documents more securely with an online application, please visit the DocuVantage website.
Pew Internet Research - http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/The-future-of-cloud-computing.aspx?r=1
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Using Document Version Control in Marketing
The marketing department of any organization, large or small, creates numerous marketing documents from day to day, week to week. These documents may include press releases, articles for the website, tutorials or testimonials, blog articles and newsletter articles (just to name a few). Your department most likely has a standard process of reviewing and editing these materials. One person may be responsible for the initial draft creation, and then the document is passed to a series of individuals for proofing.
For most, the challenge here is keeping the document up-to-date as the most recent version is pushed from person to person for review. We’ve all seen it happen, you’ve spent all morning writing a compelling press release, and then you accidentally attach the wrong draft as you forward it on to your boss. He’s angry because it’s not what he wanted; he spends more time than necessary making corrections, and then it comes back to you completely different than you had intended it to look in the first place. Let’s look at a similar scenario:
You have created a case study describing a new customer’s solution and need to get feedback from other associates on your team. You send the case study to your marketing manager and to another team member for their opinions using your email program. Both take a look at the document, make their recommendations and edits, then reattach the new version and email it back to you. Now, you have three different versions; your original, your manager’s version, and your fellow associate’s version. This is an unnecessary hassle. You have to open all the documents and make all the changes on one of these versions, delete the others, replace and resave. Are you sure you saved the correct version? What if everyone had one place where all the documents lived, and everyone would work with the one and only correct version and never had to email again?
These scenarios can be avoided with an electronic document management system with automatic version control capabilities.
So what exactly is version control? Version control is the management of changes to documents, programs and other information, stored as computer files, or in this case, these files are saved within an electronic document management application.
One of the most important features of an online document management application is the ability for multiple users to view and edit documents while maintaining version control. In order for the system to maintain control of multiple versions of a document, the document management platform should include a Check In and Check Out feature. If you would like to modify a document, you must check it out first before changes can be made. This will prevent anyone from modifying the file at the same time and potentially losing their edits. Two people cannot check out the same file simultaneously. The file must be checked in, in order for it to be checked out, and you never have to wonder who has that document.
Once the necessary changes have been completed to the checked out document, you check the edited version back into the system. The ideal document management solution can be set up to automatically delete the file from your local system after checking it back in to avoid duplication and confusion. The document is now in the system – no need to keep a saved copy on your desktop!
If you’d like to learn more on how your Marketing department can automate its document review and approval process, or if you’d like to learn more about version control, please visit the DocuVantage website or give us a call at (866) 367-3467 ext 1.
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