As your MSP works to help clients, chances are that many companies are moving to cloud file management and collaboration tools like Box, Dropbox and Egnyte. These platforms not only provide a way to store, manage and collaborate on documents in the cloud, they also offer various levels of governance and lifecycle management tooling.

Each of the platforms has its own set of features, and it varies by vendor, but the idea is to make it easier for companies to manage the life of documents as they come through the platform. The fact is, most documents are used for a short period of time, then generally don’t need to be accessed again after a particular event is over.

There are exceptions of course, and there may be times when you want to copy a document, and use it as a kind of template, but overall, you can often move documents that don’t require regular access to cheaper longer-term or cold storage.

Any document management tool worth its salt is going to provide you with some basic lifecycle management tools, and maybe even provide some more advanced features like finding and isolating a set of documents for a legal discovery request.

Let the platforms do the work

One of the key benefits of these platforms is that they use machine learning to auto-classify or tag documents into different categories. Each category can have a set of policies about retention, who can access the document and so forth (although it can vary by vendor).

As the volume of documents increases, it becomes virtually impossible for an administrator to keep up with classifying documents manually. It makes much more sense to let the machine do what it does best and take care of the classification for you.

What’s more, if you use a document management service like these, they can even pull in documents from email attachments and classify them. And this can work in conjunction with an email security and file backup system to help you prevent phishing attacks and plan for disaster recovery efforts.

While these cloud file management platforms used to be about simple synching and sharing, they are much more sophisticated at this point. You can help your clients manage the entire document lifecycle and enable employees easily stay in compliance, while at the same time becoming more secure and ready should disaster strike, by finding the right mix of tools.

Photo: Koshiro K / Shutterstock

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Posted by Ron Miller

Ron Miller is a freelance technology reporter and blogger. He is contributing editor at EContent Magazine and enterprise reporter at TechCrunch.

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