Many organizations are moving their business applications to the cloud, and Laserfiche is no exception. Over the past year, our group has had many client conversations with clients about the advantages and disadvantages of cloud, hybrid, and on-premise, which is as it should be, especially for agencies who save big IT projects for the summer months.
In the past, organizations preferred to host their own Laserfiche systems, and Laserfiche still provides an enterprise-class on-premise solution. However, some organizations found themselves challenged with in-house maintenance, business continuity, server space, staffing, and hardware costs. Subsequently, Laserfiche engineered hybrid and cloud products. Rich with features and functionality, Laserfiche in the cloud can automate updates, make application management less of a burden on staff, and integrate with other cloud-based systems. If you are seriously thinking about the move to the cloud, here are some other benefits you will realize:
Lessen the load on in-house IT- When new tech is introduced to any IT organization, it increases the resource need. One of the purposes of the cloud is that it provides immediate extensibility hence scaling processing power and disc space based on demand without spinning up another server. The flexibility inherent in the cloud ecosystem lessens management and costs compared to on-premise.
Uptime- Cloud services should offer expended operational capability meeting an almost 24/7/365 uptime rather than on-premise, which requires downtime for upgrades, updates, and other services. Generally, these projects include employee overnights or weekend overtime, which can be expensive for highly skilled IT staff.
Speaking of updates, Laserfiche cloud services are routinely updated with bug fixes and feature enhancements- On-premise versions require the IT team or Laserfiche Partner to maintain updates, and sometimes there is an unfortunate lag between update release because of other projects or scheduling. Also, occasionally the cloud product receives priority for updates.
Mobility and anytime, anywhere access- Many agencies need to share information assets with residents, developers, or construction companies. This access granting is simplified using LF cloud as it only requires internet access rather than a limited license or web portal access.
Compliance- Heavily regulated industries require programmatic controls, not just software. The entire people, process, and technology ecosystem is needed for regulatory compliance. Mandates introduce complexity whether their Laserfiche system is on-premise or in the cloud. In contrast, using cloud data centers in specific geographies can be appealing. It's a more complex problem to ensure the documents with a particular country's regulation are located in those data centers.
Integrations- Many business-critical systems that were once on-premise, such as ERP or CRM, have migrated to the cloud. This will allow seamless integration across all the organization's cloud tech.
DR and business continuity- Over the past two years, we've all experienced possibly the best example of the need for Laserfiche Cloud, the COVID-19 pandemic. In an emergency or with little notice, Laserfiche can be accessed in the cloud for as long as the organization deems necessary.
Part two of this article will explore best practices for migrating your Laserfiche on-premise to Laserfiche Cloud.