3 questions to ask before moving your organization’s content to the cloud

In the past five years that I’ve worked on Google Drive, I’ve seen the content collaboration market evolve dramatically. What was once dismissed as too risky—in this case, managing corporate content in the cloud—has now become commonplace. In fact, the market for cloud content management is estimated to grow 28.6% year over year through 2022. 

Yet, despite the opportunity in front of business leaders, many still choose to stick with legacy on-prem storage and enterprise content management (ECM) systems. These legacy systems can hamper employee productivity (just look at user adoption rates for solutions like Microsoft Sharepoint), demand expensive maintenance and create unnecessary security vulnerabilities

If you’re ready to modernize your business, here are three questions I encourage you to consider for your ECM solution.

1. Will it transform how my employees work and help them be more productive?

This one is the most important. 

Let’s think critically about how companies get things done. Does emailing attachments back and forth count as collaboration? Does time spent managing outdated files, version control, and conflicting edits count toward productivity? Is a shared repository useful if it’s filled with only “final” (likely outdated!) documents? If you’re working this way, and many companies are, your systems are not unlocking the potential of your people.

With Google Drive and Docs, we solve these problems at a fundamental level because we believe that collaboration is a habit that technology can encourage, not just something to be marketed. We deliberately built our apps to leapfrog legacy inefficiencies so teams can stay connected and productive. Seemingly small features can have a major impact in behavior—for example, something as simple as eliminating version conflicts with a single, canonical document stored in the cloud prevents the spread of outdated information within an organization and saves users time.

“Collaboration” may seem like an amorphous benefit, but it’s actually measurable. Companies that work with our tools are out-innovating and out-executing their competition and saving upwards of $1.8 million, according to a recent report commissioned with Forrester.  

2. How painful is the migration and change management?

We understand that you have many competing priorities and your organization can only take so much risk and change. 

But change doesn’t have to be painful. We intentionally designed Drive Enterprise to co-exist and operate seamlessly with tools like Microsoft Office, Outlook and Slack, so you get the collaborative magic of G Suite without the pain of changing your email and calendaring solutions.

Introducing new tools to your users can be daunting enough on its own—you shouldn’t have to worry about migration on top of that, or pay extra for it. So we made migration services a core part of Drive when we acquired and re-launched the industry’s leading migration tool (AppBridge, now G Suite Migrate). With G Suite Migrate, you can move your content, hierarchy, meta-data and permissions, at no additional cost. When you come in on Monday morning after a migration, all your content still shows up at H: (or whatever you want), but now backed by Drive so that you can work wherever you want.

3. Will it create security vulnerabilities or be hard for users to adopt?

When it comes to practical applications, legacy ECM systems often fall short on security because they’re cumbersome to use. So users find their own insecure workarounds—e.g. files get sent from personal email accounts or uploaded to unapproved storage systems. 

To effectively protect your content, you need a system that: 1. meets the highest level of enterprise standards for security, privacy, compliance and transparency and 2. is something your users will want to use and not tempted to work around. Drive is both of these things.

On #1: Drive includes advanced security controls like machine learning-powered data loss prevention (DLP), mobile device management, and Vault for eDiscovery and retention rules. These benefits are why organizations like Airbus and the State of Arizona have entrusted G Suite with their data. More importantly, we’ve made sure these controls are practical and easy to use. Admins can get insight into external file sharing within the organization or metrics to demonstrate security effectiveness in a single, comprehensive dashboard within the Security Center. They can also get security-related notifications and actions within the Alert Center. These security tools help an organization prevent, detect and remediate threats quickly and effectively.

On #2: Having the best security is irrelevant if your end users decide to work around the systems you put in place. More likely than not, your employees already know how to use Drive (it currently has over 1 billion active users), and if they don’t, we’ve intentionally built the product to be easy to learn. Why wouldn’t you encourage your users to work within a secure environment that you’ve endorsed?

Bringing it all together 

The most competitive companies are focusing directly on making their workforce more collaborative so that they can innovate. Talk to someone who has used Drive and Docs extensively, and you’ll get a sense for how these tools have fundamentally changed the way people and teams work together. It’s possible to upgrade your ECM systems in a low-risk way, without disrupting existing investments like Exchange or Outlook. When you’re ready, contact us.