The Cloud has been slowly gaining ground since the turn of the century. After 20 years, most everyone gets the gist of what it is Cloud solutions offer, and why they can be a smart option to choose regarding the benefits that come with the Cloud.
Even the doubt and uncertainty that arose in the wake of GDPR, which has long been widespread in the public sector, have vanished, and the transition to Cloud solutions is now a reality most places.
Cloud technology is predicted to grow
A press release from Gartner in late 2019 predicted market growth of up to 17% in 2020. Gartner points out that the Cloud is officially viewed as mainstream and there are therefore high expectations for the future.
However, what Gartner could not predict was the enormous demand for Cloud technology that arose from the significant amount of people who had to work from home in the spring of 2020.
In the spring of 2020, most experienced the benefits of a Cloud-driven company in their own work. Working from home has been a true eye-opener and has validated that Cloud solutions let you do all kinds of work from anywhere at all – as long as you have a device that can run the selected platform.
Office 365 – standard in any office
In recent years, Microsoft 365 has washed in over both private and public organisations and made many work processes simpler and more effective.
A large number of organisations have chosen Microsoft 365, because the Cloud solution offers some fantastic benefits. The need for local servers is reduced. You always have the latest version of the Office suite, and instead of using resources on IT, you can instead intensify your focus on optimising and streamlining your work processes.
Integration between EDRMS and Microsoft 365
Although Cloud and Microsoft 365 have been praised for their many benefits such as agility, document control and savings, some have yet to conquer problems with EDRMS integration. Many organisations have had persistent problems integrating EDRMS directly with Microsoft 365.
The problem especially occurs when editing in Office Online, which is otherwise an easy and safe way to avoid duplicate and random documents on local drives.
It is important to thoroughly research the different levels of integration that the different EDRM-systems offer. Just because a system integrates with the Microsoft 365 desktop client, it does not necessarily mean that it will integrate with Office Online.
This can quickly result in having to download files locally to edit them. That is where this part of Microsoft 365, which otherwise offers some excellent tools for operating an organisation in a Cloud format, loses its edge.
Only a few systems communicate directly with Microsoft 365
Integration between Microsoft 365 and EDRMS systems is one of the topics that Devoteam reviews and studies with great interest in its 2019 ESDH-ECM report. The numbers from the study showed that very few platforms integrated directly with Office 365, especially in the online clients.
The many benefits of Microsoft 365 and Cloud can therefore lose their edge when you end up having to download your documents anyway from Cloud Storage onto your local drive every time you need to use them.
“Very few solutions enable the user to find and open a document stored in the EDRMS system via, e.g. Word Online – that is, without having to find the document in the EDRMS system and open it there.”– Devoteam ESDH-ECM-report 2019
According to Devoteam’s report, fewer than one in three systems give users equal opportunity to record a document directly in Word Online. In fact, most required downloading the document to the desktop client.
In other words, it’s like hitting a speed bump when you first have to download your documents to your local drive and then transfer them to your EDRM-system. It’s hardly an optimal work procedure – especially if you are working with sensitive personal data.
When files are copied from the Cloud onto a local drive, they can easily end up places where they are not deleted again. Temporary files that may not be in an obvious place are created, furthermore after reuploading documents back to the Cloud, it does not take long to forget all about deleting the duplicate stored locally.
When it comes to the use of templates, standard content, and mail merge in Word Online, here, too, only about one in three systems offer full integration.
If you want to be free of local documents and ensure that your data does not end up in places it should not be, it can be a good idea to look for ways to create better integration between Microsoft 365 and your EDRMS.
Connecting with Connect 365
Luckily, there are ways to solve this problem without having to wait for the individual EDRMS developers themselves to develop stronger integration with Microsoft 365. One is to use an integration facilitating solution that can create a connection between Office Online and your EDRMS.
Connect 365 creates a direct connection between Office Online and your EDRMS, ensuring you can edit documents without them ever existing locally on your own drive.
This solution encrypts your documents and temporarily places them in Microsoft Azure behind secure access management, and data never leaves the EU. Connect 365 builds on the highest standards for best practice in authentication through Microsoft’s own security layer. This makes it easier to satisfy GDPR legislation and generally increase document control.
Through Connect 365, it is also possible to use mobile devices to access and edit documents securely and without local files. On mobile devices, too, documents are placed in a secure and isolated environment in Microsoft Azure. When editing is complete, the document is delivered back to the original system and temporary location in Connect 365 is completely deleted.
If the public sector is to keep up with technological developments in the Cloud, then purchasing officers will need to implement minimum requirements for secure integration between EDRMS and Office Online as fast as possible. They can do this with reference to standard solutions such as Connect 365 or by the supplier agreeing to develop and maintain the integration itself.