A decade ago, no one could have foreseen the huge impact cloud computing would be making on business overall. The fast-rising amount of IT spending in the cloud during the past five years alone proves this statement. Demand for improved operational efficiency to combat shrinking profit margins, the exponential growth of data and globalization of the enterprise all contribute to the need for a better way to complete back-office processes. Cloud app deployments have been the answer for many an enterprise.
In Predictions 2019: Cloud Computing, Forrester asserts the only feasible approach enterprises can take to modernize their core business applications and retain a competitive edge is to employ a cloud strategy or to augment on-premise systems with cloud computing. In addition, it is reported that digital transformation initiatives now account for 63 percent of all instances of enterprise public cloud adoption.
There are lots of functions currently being conducted in the cloud. One of them that doesn't get a lot of attention is document capture, something every businesses has to handle. This eWEEK Data Points article examines five relevant reasons why organizations should take a good look at moving to cloud-based document capture tools. Industry information for this article is provided by Brandyn Campbell, Director of Business Development, Global Consultancies and System Integrators, at Ephesoft.
Data Point No. 1: Implementation Timeline
An obvious first step is installation. When IT considers taking on a new digital transformation project, a major blocker is often the timeline for application implementation. Before even introducing a new solution to the end-user community, there are several steps involved in bringing an application on board – including server acquisition and configuration, software installation and project customization. Choosing a vendor that offers hosted capture services on the cloud means eliminating a significant step of a typical solution implementation. Bypassing all that technology support time, countless planning meetings, server requisition and hardware updates can kickstart any digital transformation project. Ultimately, adopting a cloud-based capture solution will minimize your time-to-start and time-to-value.
Data Point No. 2: Scalability and Cost
Serverless architecture signifies easy scalability at a lower cost. Imagine you’re with an organization that is subject to the spikes and lulls of seasonal business, such as tax consultancies or companies in the retail industry. One month, your Accounts Receivable (AR) team could process 2 million purchase orders, while the next month the AR team only manages 10,000 purchase orders. With an on-premise capture solution, the server architecture would need to support that higher volume; in low-volume months, you still have that same large server configuration. It is inefficient and wasteful.
Cloud and hybrid cloud capture solutions provide an attractive option for organizations with cyclical business. In addition to eliminating the financial investment in hardware and its associated maintenance, cloud-based solutions can scale to accommodate peaks and valleys of document processing volume.
Data Point No. 3: Microservices
It will rarely be the case that content capture is the only element of a digital transformation initiative. More often, a handful of products are needed to achieve automation within an organization: rules engines and process flow solutions, document management systems, ERP applications, and more. Because of this, including document capture as a component of microservices allows for that plug-and-play modular approach to larger digital transformation projects.
In lay terms, microservices are individual applications in the cloud that can be combined with other applications to create one large, integrated solution through simple web calls. Like the facial accessories of the timeless childhood toy Mr. Potato Head, unique services may be selected or swapped out for specific features or processes quickly to achieve the desired outcome. Cloud-based capture minimizes implementation timelines with easy scalability and future-proofs your digital transformation project because of the nature of microservices.
Data Point No. 4: Infinite Compute
When considering the merits of running an application in the cloud versus software installed on a box, there are two major pros in the cloud column: infinite compute and infinite storage. In a traditional capture process workflow, up to 95% of an application’s server processing power is spent on page processing and image-to-text conversion, or OCR. This means an application’s running speed is only as great as the capacity of the servers on which it’s installed. With cloud computing-powered document capture, your image conversion processing power isn’t limited to the number of server cores you purchased. Infinite compute and infinite storage mean you can stop having those pre-project preparation calls during which you ask some variation of “What’s your recommended server configuration?”
Data Point No. 5: Upgrades and Updates
With content capture and document intelligence products, as is the case for any type of software, platform updates, version upgrades and regular maintenance hot fixes are ongoing – and often overlooked – product costs. A major benefit of electing a hosted cloud-based capture tool is the fact that your solution will always be current. There are no downtime and delay-causing updates or upgrades, such as when an application is installed on a box or even in a private cloud.