5 Hidden Costs of On-Premises DMS

February 25, 2015
Salt Lake City, UT

Do you know the five common 'invisible' costs when it comes to running an on-premises DMS? These can be hefty and it's vital to be aware of them and their impact on your operations and efficiency.

Guest blogger and IT consultant Tony Brooks explains these hidden costs and why it is important to be aware of them.

The cost of capacity

On-premises document management systems need capacity for growth, in data and licensing. This gets complex when you need to factor in middle tier, OS, SQL and other licensing – it's hard to plan for growth.

The cost of agility

Opening new offices overseas or in a new city takes a long time to procure hardware and build environments. Mergers and acquisitions are especially complex, with hard choices: either disrupt normal operations, fork out for expensive data integration experts, or delay commercially important timelines.

The cost of adoption

There's a cross section of users in every firm who resist complicated technology, keeping all their important documents on their C drive or worse.  Their colleagues cannot collaborate with them, data is not backed up or indexed and there is no record of history or any version control.

The cost of upgrades

Upgrading DMS is a hard, boring job which costs money for consultants, testing, hardware and sometimes new licensing or support subscriptions. These projects take IT and management focus away from other projects – lost opportunity to do better stuff.

The cost of missed things

Simple analysis of annual costs for on-premise DMS usually involves looking at maintenance fees alone. This is a common mistake as it misses out lots of extra costs that can be measured.

Here's a list of some commonly missed things.

  • External collaboration – secure link sharing, client portal
  • Mobile app server
  • "Commit save to DMS" software
  • Workspace management software
  • Indexer management – maintenance and monitoring
  • Retention policy management software (Records Management System)
  • App and SQL Server monitoring tools
  • Tiered support plans (offered as additional to maintenance)
  • Hardware/SAN – include refresh every 3-5 years
  • Cost of managing data – backup, storage, virus checking, restores
  • Disaster Recovery warm site – maintenance, regular testing
  • Server patching and maintenance

These costs are often reasonable when looked at in isolation, and easy to forget or discount; but they all add up to a significant, sprawling cost burden.

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About the author:

Tony Brooks is an Australian-based consultant who runs Feynbrook, an IT consultancy focused on improving law firm processes. His expertise in law firm technology has made him a premier channel partner with NetDocuments. To visit his page and learn more about Feynbrook, please visit www.feynbrook.com.