The Right ECM Software Fit: Cloud, On-Premise or Hybrid?

May 19th, 2017 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Document Management | Information Management

Cloud enterprise content management (ECM) is one of the biggest trends in business software today and it’s easy to get excited about the flexibility and savings the cloud offers. You may have even seen the various surveys and analyses that claim small business that adopt cloud ECM save more money and give their employees better access to information. But is the cloud really superior to on-premise ECM in all cases, and are both options mutually exclusive?

Image One offers organizations both cloud and on-site enterprise content management software, as well as hybrid solutions that takes advantage of the strengths of each service. Which one is right for you? Let’s take a look at the various pros and cons of each option.


One of the most popular options is cloud ECM. Using the cloud has a lot of benefits. It’s easily accessible from anywhere on any device that has an internet connection, unlike the sometimes-erratic remote VPN access for software content management. There are no maintenance costs and it updates automatically, removing the need to periodically upgrade your software. It’s also more cost-effective than software if you have to enable a large number of users to access files. You’ll also save money on IT expenses since help desk and level 2+ support is provided by the cloud ECM vendor. Finally, the cloud is often more user-friendly than on-premise ECM.


On-premise ECM works best with companies that require access for a small number of employees. Also, if your business deals with an inordinately large number of documents, or especially lengthy documents (i.e., law firms, law enforcement agencies), on-premise management may be the way to go. As the volume of stored information increases, the monthly cloud expense can keep increasing and eventually eclipse the cost of on-premise software. Large capacity file shares, typically 50GB or more, can be bandwidth-prohibitive for cloud ECM. Lastly, buyer beware: some so-called “cloud” ECM is really software that the company buys a license for, runs it on their server and then “rents” it to you.


The best solution for your organization may be a mix of both cloud and on-premise software. The cloud works best when initially processing new documents since many employees may need access to files at the same time. However, the 80/20 rule, applies to content management as well. Our experience shows that, once processed, only around 20% of documents will need to be accessed again, and by fewer people. That means only a few licenses need to be purchased, and that 80% of rarely-accessed files can stay on the cloud.

Finding the Right Fit

Image One will help you appraise your organization’s needs and to select the right ECM software for your needs. Contact us today to regain control of your vital information.

Contact us to learn more about cloud, on-premise and hybrid enterprise content management

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