It is almost impossible to discuss Intelligent Information Management (IIM) today without mentioning the cloud. With not only vast amounts of data across the enterprise, but also data located in different places, it has become a challenge to foster organization-wide collaboration with traditional, on-premise IIM solutions. At the same time, the total cost of ownership (TCO) of on-premise IIM and storage solutions has increased, as has internal IT spending. Now, cloud-based storage and IIM hold the key to overcoming these challenges and much more—it is where enterprise technology is headed, and headed fast.

In a recent survey by the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), participants’ top reason for turning to cloud-based IIM is to reduce costs associated with IT resources. Indeed, the cost of ownership is much lower for a cloudbased IIM solution than an on-premise system. Cloud-based solutions are hosted in their providers’ secure data centers, where they are also managed and maintained. So, there is no need for additional IT infrastructure, and internal IT staff is free to focus on other more mission-critical tasks. Plus, the startup cost is lower, there is a faster time to value, and the flexibility of the cloud allows organizations to scale their solution up and down to meet the needs of changing work volumes.

AIIM also reports that the second-largest driver for IIM in the cloud is better availability of information across a multisite organization. Cloud technology breaks down data silos, housing all information in one place so that the appropriate people can access it. Moreover, cloud technology has extended the capabilities of IIM outside the four walls of the enterprise—many IIM and storage solutions are available via mobile devices, giving users “anytime, anywhere” access and collaborative opportunities.

What’s next for cloud-based IIM? Many organizations are already gravitating towards “hybrid” cloud deployments, which promise to grow significantly, especially among enterprises with sensitive data. While there are several variations of hybrid deployments, this model essentially combines the “best of both worlds” (cloud and on premise). A Hybrid IIM model offers the same benefits as a cloud-based solution, but allows organizations to manage sensitive information behind a firewall. This model is especially ideal for government and federal organizations that must maintain compliance with data storage regulations.

That’s the beauty of cloud-based storage and IIM – the possibilities are endless. If you haven’t already looked into a cloud, or hybrid solution, now is the time to find out how your enterprise can benefit in the long run.