Blog Post

Cloud-First: The #1 Trend You Can’t Ignore

January 30, 2020

The tsunami of new technology promising positive transformation for government organizations shows no sign of losing strength. While the buzz can be loud, the challenge for administrative and technology leaders managing these organizations is to determine what is hot but fleeting, and what is truly transformative.

In the age of digital transformation, the question is which trends will deliver real and lasting benefits worthy of time and budget investments, and which ones should you ignore?

Going Digital Cloud-first

When it comes to documents and data, digitization has evolved from trend to imperative. In the move to working digitally, digitizing paper to eliminate risk and improve effectiveness is an obvious first step.  Deciding where and how that digital information will be managed and stored must be considered at the outset, and one option that cannot be ignored is the cloud.

According to Deloitte’s report, the foundation for emerging technologies in government is the cloud, and its role as ground zero for all areas of innovation will only become more important.

The report includes these compelling statistics to support its position:

  • Cloud spending in government has increased 500 percent in the last eight years.
  • The National Association of State CIOs named cloud their number one technology issue.
  • More than 50 percent of all software will be developed in or for the cloud by 2020.
  • 62 percent of government respondents to a Deloitte survey reported they had moved at least once application to the cloud.

According to research from, 90% of organizations expect to be using the cloud by the end of 2019, with data storage and analytics the areas leading cloud adoption.

What Does Cloud-first Mean for Your Organization?

So, what’s behind the rush to cloud-first adoption, and why is it critical for your organization to keep up? To answer the question, let’s begin by defining cloud-first.  “Cloud-first” is a mindset that aspires to employ cloud services as much as possible.

For most of the last decade, the efficiencies of storing data in the cloud have made cloud computing an integral part of digital transformation for both the public and private sectors. In 2010, the first-ever, Obama-appointed federal CIO, Vivek Kundra, mandated that federal agencies implement cloud-first strategies. Since then, cloud computing in government has become a priority, and adoption rates are growing.

In addition, the office of the federal CIO has evolved its cloud-first policy to what it refers to as cloud-smart. Cloud-smart takes the matter a step further by offering agencies direct and actionable information with recommendations gleaned from some of the country’s most impactful public and private sector use cases.

The Risk of Not Keeping Up

According to Deloitte’s research, while cloud adoption is growing, many public sector organizations struggle to realize its full potential. Much of the reason is because internally managed IT environments are often challenged by resource and budget limitations.

However, there is tremendous risk in delaying or altogether avoiding cloud adoption, including security and compliance risks, difficult and slow interactions with content, customers, and more.

3 Reasons On-Premises Alternatives Fall Short of Cloud-first Solutions

Document management and data storage is trending to the cloud for reasons that extend beyond federal mandates. Security and compliance, efficiency, and productivity are significantly improved for organizations that adopt cloud-based solutions for digitizing and managing their information.

1. Security

Managing personal and private data comes with the responsibility of protecting it. Moving toward digitization is an important step for improving data security because paper is inherently insecure. However, on-premises servers used to store and manage digital information also present risks.

Paper files kept in file cabinets and file rooms are high security risks due to factors ranging from theft to fire to natural disaster. However, on-site servers are vulnerable to the same physical loss.

In the cloud, information is protected with multiple levels of infrastructure and application security. When organizations partner with cloud-based solution providers, they can immediately leverage infrastructure and expert security teams and employ industry-leading controls, architecture, and technologies for information security and compliance.

2. Cloud-based Document Management

A dedicated and secure cloud-based solution is a smarter way to store, organize, and share digital files. A digital file room with cloud-based document management provides easy access, search and retrieval, sharing,  and protection.

Cloud-based document management also allows you to maintain control over your information with extensive and configurable permission settings. Digital documents can be safely stored in the cloud, and security authorizations can easily be set and enforced. Document management applications may also provide activity tracking so you know exactly who has accessed them (and when), which can be helpful when completing security and compliance audits.

3. Customer Protection and Experiences

With the rapid pace of innovation, a cloud solution means easy upgrades to the latest technology. These advances mean increasingly quicker and easier access to information for your staff and customers.  The cloud offers broad network access to a secure digital repository anytime, anywhere—from browsers, tablets, or mobile devices—for optimal convenience.

Cloud-based data protection and security benefits can also mean higher confidence in your organization and less strain on internal resources, which ultimately improves customer experiences and service.

Cloud-smart + Smart Partner = Success

The “cloud” is more than a buzzword or a fleeting trend, and is a critical tool in managing your digital documents and data. The quickest and best path to leveraging the power of the cloud is with the right technology partner as your guide.

The partner you choose has a direct effect on the success of your move to the cloud. Select a partner who is capable of meeting all your needs—from implementation and beyond—with cloud expertise. Full-service, cloud-based content services providers offer digitization services, document management solutions, technical expertise, and long-term partnership and support.

Image API provides technology and services that deliver measurable results and real value.  Our solutions fully integrate with systems, processes, and people, and simplify access to and management of information, strengthen compliance, and empower people to do their best work.  Our people are ready–we bring the knowledge and experience necessary to deliver the best results and add the most value.

We give documents a digital life, making information that is trapped on paper more accessible and usable in a digital workplace for task automation, improved searchability and shareability, and more. We deliver best-in-class document scanning, business process services, and a SaaS platform for managing digital information.  We are experts in cloud-based document management, and our digital platform makes it simple to use, access, and protect content.

If you’re ready to start experiencing all the benefits of the cloud, we’d love to share our experience, results and technology with you.

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