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Cloud Document Management: Benefits, Costs, Examples

Ivan Muts
December 30, 2021
10 mins to read

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    Though there have always been disputes over on-site infrastructure (on-premise) vs. cloud, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated the shift to digital transformation and the fast-growing adoption of cloud solutions, including document management systems. According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, two years of digital transformation happened only in 2 months. To maintain their businesses, arrange remote environments, and manage their files and documents, companies have had to switch to cloud computing solutions. And it’s not strange that the document management software market is significantly growing: it is expected to reach $10 billion by 2025, almost twice compared to 2019 with almost $5 billion.

    Among the reasons behind the demand for document automation are the following:

    Hence, we can outline the main advantages of document management systems and how your company can develop a custom DMS to meet your specific business needs.

    Cloud document management system. Key points to consider before building your own

    In this section, we will define the meaning of cloud DMSs, their value, and major benefits and determine the essential features you need to consider before getting started with cloud-based software development projects.

    What is a cloud document management system?

    A cloud-based document management system denotes a singular system or software responsible for storing, tracking, and managing electronic documents in different formats with the possibility to be modified by different users. With this system, users can optimize and streamline their document management workflows and enhance productivity. Functioning as a central repository, DMS can be integrated with other cloud-related management tools.

    What are the benefits of cloud document management systems?

    There are a set of benefits DMS can bring to your business, including security, scalability, integration possibilities, etc.

    What are the key features of DMS?

    Your business processes determine the features you may want to be included in your DMS system. In the list below we’ve placed the most common features.

    Document Management System Key Features

    Is cloud document management safe?

    Cloud document management providers are extremely cautious about providing security measures and regulatory compliance. Such features as encryption, automatic backups, role-based control allow creating copies that can restore data and limit access to specific users or groups.

    Also, as mentioned above, version control is a required feature for your document system, especially when you want to eliminate your concern about documents safety. Incorporate version control to have a total view of the file history with the possibility to revert unwanted changes or document removal.

    It is obligatory to maintain regulatory compliance for each industry. Therefore, cloud-based providers pay significant attention to compliance adherence. However, there are highly-regulated industries possessing information, for instance, healthcare (a vendor has to comply with HIPAA and HITRUST CSF) and finance, that have strong privacy concerns about their records and transactions. In this case, there are private cloud, multi-cloud and hybrid environments available, ensuring a more profound security level.

    You, as an owner of the company, should take your users’ behavior under control in the cloud environment, and to keep documents safe, adhere to the following tips:

    Custom cloud document management system: Reasons to develop your own

    In order to understand whether your business needs a custom cloud document management system, we suggest you compare ready-made solutions vs. custom ones. As you can see above, each ready-made solution offers its own set of features and benefits and a fixed price for a particular package.

    While some businesses may benefit from off-the-shelf DMS solutions, others may find them unsuitable for their specific needs. With its universal functionalities, ready-made cloud document management systems can fit a variety of businesses, but when it comes to customization and highly specialized features, custom DMS maybe your best-fit alternative. Furthermore, those services included in the package may turn out to be excessive.

    Users interact with the system via the UI/UX and having it customly developed resolves many issues for users. Ready-made systems do not have such flexibility in interface customization which might influence how convenient the system is. Custom DMS allows users to benefit from unique UI/UX specifically tailored to your needs.

    One other huge plus for the development of a custom DMS is that it will easily integrate with any of your company’s adopted software. If you have CMS, CRM, or ERP systems that need to be seamlessly synchronized with your new cloud-based DMS, custom software can be integrated with it without constraints.

    How much does it cost to develop a cloud-based document management software?

    There are two ways to host a DMS – on-premises or in the cloud. In both cases, the DMS can be customly developed and the price for the development may vary depending on the complexity of the solution. In each of these cases, it has to be part of a legit cloud migration strategy for business.

    The price for custom development of DMS depends on several criteria:

    The type of cooperation with the development team should also be considered. If you don’t have any tech expertise in-house, then end-to-end software development would be a viable option for you. We offer a result-oriented turnkey software development process that ensures predictable deliverables, fast project ramp-up, and a scalable solution from day one.

    Then there is also a price for hosting the solution which has to be taken into account. It depends on the amount of storage space needed, business size, security enhancements, number of features, and other special requirements.

    Depending on the complexity of your cloud-based DMS, the hosting can cost from 10$ to 200$ a month per user and can be paid on a subscription basis.

    To get an accurate estimation of the project costs, you can consult our specialists, who will develop a detailed strategy for your project with consideration of your current business goals and the desired features.

    What to consider before developing a document management system?

    As mentioned before, your unique business goals and requirements define the primary and secondary features required for the software. A well-elaborated project roadmap is a driver for successful project fulfillment. Check out our tips on how to build your DMS.

    How to build your DMS: a Checklist

    How we helped an enterprise to save £400k per year with a cloud DMS

    One of our clients, a large investment company based in London, required a solution that would solve their problem of manual document generation that was costly and extremely difficult. The enterprise has several projects from different domains – finance, property, healthcare, renewable energy, and charity. The law requires them to back up every operation with a contract, letter, or document, and this data is sensitive.

    The cloud-based document management system had to solve this problem and not only move their documentation to the cloud for safe storing but also help generate new documents automatically.

    We helped this client to tackle their legacy systems, utilize the power of the cloud and digitally transform their enterprise. Beginning with the development of highly scalable and maintainable server architecture, our team developed the back-end of a solution. The system collects data from various internal company services and then automatically generates documents of different types and formats.

    Following the implementation of an internal document management system, our client’s organization saves nearly £400k of its expenses per year.

    4 the most commonly used cloud DMS for business

    There are a variety of cloud document management systems available on the market. To select the best option for you, come up with the features explicitly required for your business and prioritize the main ones.

    Google Drive

    Overview: Google Drive is one of the most affordable and easy-to-use cloud-based DMS to create and store documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and upload files from the hard disc.

    Main features:

    Pricing: The first 15GB is free. There are three paid packages: Basic (100GB) for $1.99, Standard (200GB) for $2.9, Premium (2 TB) for $9.99.


    Overview: DocuWare is one of the earliest and leading document content management systems founded in 1988. It is aimed at businesses of all sizes and specifically designed across various industries.

    Main features:

    Pricing: Free trial. The basic plan is priced at $300 per month for four users with 20 GB of storage.


    Overview: M-files is an AI-based platform designed as a single access point allowing users to automatically connect different types of content no matter where they are saved without the need to migrate data from different sources.

    Main features:

    Pricing: Offers free trial. M-files has unique packages depending on the features your business may need. Therefore, the price varies with the consideration of the number of features and users that will be engaged in.


    Overview: Confluence is an upgraded version of Google Drive. It is an open team workspace built by Atlassian where users can profoundly collaborate on different types of documents, campaigns, and projects that are organized in pages and spaces.

    Main features:

    Pricing: It offers free storage for ten users. For growing teams, there are paid packages available: Standard ($55 per user/month), Premium ($105 per user/month), Enterprise (billed annually). The package depends on the features and admin controls.


    Nowadays, SaaS (software-as-a-service) tends to be a driving solution for companies of all sizes, mainly due to the pandemic impact. Document management systems allow companies to optimize their workflows, cut costs and easily scale up whenever needed. While some businesses prefer ready-made solutions, other companies opt for customizable systems that are at the company’s disposal.

    Developing your own DMS may require more investment initially, but in the long run, it will be cost-effective since you do not need to pay for additional features regularly (as in the case with off-the-shelf providers) that you will not use. Moreover, custom document management systems allow adding the features that will be specifically useful for your business.

    For businesses looking for simple, easy-to-use solutions that will be applicable for average users, there are various products on the market that offer free trials or free packages.

    If you need consultation or hesitate which option will best fit your business needs, contact us – we are happy to assist you.

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