The shift of businesses to digital has the technology industry growing faster more than ever. Most organizations have already started migrating online: 48% of businesses choose to store their confidential and important data in the cloud.
This growth has demanded businesses to move more documents into digital formats, including contracts. While cloud-based documentation enables flexibility and security, businesses have underestimated that digital documents are hard to maintain.
This is why cloud-based document management systems (DMS) exist.
They ensure documents including legal ones have the consistency, structure, and transparency that growing businesses require to operate smoothly.
Let’s show you what cloud-based document management systems are and why they’re valuable. Later, we’ll help you choose the best cloud-based DMS based on the key features and pricing comparison.
Let’s get started.
Why do you need a cloud-based document management system?
You need a cloud-based document management system because it costs too much not to have one.
Here are some statistics that prove the inefficiency of on-premise paper documentation:
- Companies spend an average of $25,000 to fill their file cabinets, plus $2,100 a year to maintain them.
- 59% of more than 1000 managers surveyed say they miss important info daily because they can’t find it because it’s on paper.
- A staggering 80% of the information in paper documents is never used again.
- Using paper can cost anywhere from 13 to 31 times more than the paper itself ― $1,300 to $3,100 for a $100-paper.
- 70% of today’s businesses would go down in 3 weeks if they lost their paper records in a fire or flood.
More numbers that show why sloppy documentation (even when it’s online) can still be a cause of losses:
- Each lost document takes about 25 hours to recreate.
- Redoing documents has cost US companies $1.5 trillion.
- A copy-paste error cost a company 10% ($24 million) of its annual profits.
- Workers waste 20-30% (12 hours a week) of their time managing documents.
- According to the Data Warehouse Institute, businesses lose $600 billion every year because of inaccurate or missing data.
The numbers speak for themselves and they’re alarming. It’s time to make a change and shift to document management in the cloud.
What are the advantages of using cloud-based document management systems?
Here are some benefits that online document management system offers:
1. Cloud DMSs let you access documents from anywhere
Documents stored in the cloud can be accessed remotely for as long as there is an internet connection. This includes easy retrieval of documents since they are sorted by defined criteria, making searching for and retrieving them easy.
2. Cloud DMSs regulate your industry compliance
Most cloud-based document management solutions have greater server capabilities than their on-premises equivalents. State policies like tax laws and IT regulations mandate that you organize documents in a reliable host.
3. Cloud DMSs provide a higher level of security
Many cloud providers take security such as encryption seriously. Among them are digital archiving, automatic backups, role-based user permissions, and multifactor authentication.
4. Cloud DMSs are cost-effective
Monthly (or annual) fees for cloud-based DMSes usually cost less compared to maintenance expenses and upgrades like servers, new computers, disk space, paper, ink, that traditional DMSes require. This solution reduces overall expenses for document processing.
5. Cloud DMSs bring more environmental benefits
If you use less paper, you consume less energy. You help preserve the environment this way.
6. Cloud DMSs are flexible and easy to scale
As your documents increase in volume, the need to upgrade your infrastructure and storage also increases. With cloud-based solutions, you can upgrade the need for physical storage expansion.
7. Cloud DMSs let you work with others in real-time
Collaboration and document sharing is much easier and more accurate with cloud-based DMSes. You can control who to give access to, so negotiating with other team members becomes easy.
8. Cloud DMSs improve your company’s productivity
Automated workflows related to document management free up the time that is otherwise tasked to an employer. It means having more time to focus on decision-heavy tasks that directly impact your company’s growth.
9. Cloud DMSs integrate with other useful applications
A cloud-based solution is typically much more integrated and connected. Integrating your DMS with the daily apps you use makes you work faster and more efficient.
10. Cloud DMSs have better disaster recovery
On-premise systems use manual backups. This is very inefficient when unforeseen circumstances like lockdowns, fires, or system failures happen. A cloud-based disaster recovery solution provides continued operations despite disruptions.
Now that we have established the advantages of using the cloud for document management, are you ready to start using it?
We’re here to help you so we compiled some of the best tools to collaborate on documents online.
👉 Looking for a cloud-based solution for your legal documents? Take a look at the 12 benefits of contract management software you need to know!
12 best cloud-based document management systems for growing businesses
We have listed a few of our favorite picks for you below:
Avokaado is a cloud-based contract management software that streamlines simple to complex legal documents like contracts and their related workflows. Using Avokaado, businesses can create contracts, collaborate, store and manage all their legal documents on one central platform, enhancing efficiency and productivity.
- A central cloud-based contract repository to help team members draft standard and internal documents while always keeping them up-to-date
- Advanced collaboration tools including document sharing, in-document discussion, or external collaboration and negotiations via a public link
- Seamless integration with international electronic signatures such as Dokobit and SignNow
Avokaado offers a variety of pricing options to suit businesses of all sizes. You can choose from monthly or annual plans based on your number of users:
- Free 7-day trial for 1 user who gets access to 100+ free pre-lawyer templates
- Starter: €29/month/user; Works for solo users who draft, sign, and manage documents.
- Standard: €49/month/user; Team collaboration for dynamic workflows
- Premium: €60/month/user; Automation and personalization for teams with a legal department
- Customized plans for large teams or API users. Please contact Avokaado for a custom quote that features reduced rates as you scale.
OnlyOffice centralizes document management using a single system. You’ll have version control of any document you create, edit, or collaborate on in the cloud. The easy exporting of files to multiple formats is an advantage to running your entire business.
- Compatible with Microsoft document formats so you can work with one of the most widely used formats in your cloud office
- Two co-editing modes to share and collaborate seamlessly
- Version history to keep track of changes
OnlyOffice offers 3 plans for their cloud service. They can be in monthly, yearly, or 3-year instalments
- STARTUP plan is a freemium offer but is limited to 5 users
Paid plans on a yearly basis:
- BUSINESS — $5 user/month, starts from 3 users
- VIP — $8 user/month, starts from 100 users
DocuWare is a cloud-based solution that indexes and stores documents with advanced functionality. This online document management system helps replace manual, paper-based, and error-prone workflows, so you won’t need to send a document back and forth physically.
- AI-based technology transforms content into indexed, searchable terms
- Automatic document importing from Microsoft Office or any other program to remove manual data entry
- Access control to documents and metadata stored, retrieved, edited, exported, or modified
Docuware offers a free demo to discuss your unique business needs. If you’re interested, they can set up a free 30-day cloud trial for you.
LogicalDoc is a cloud document management system that provides a secure way to collaborate, create, and share knowledge with people in different locations. Clients and suppliers can access your documents securely from anywhere, without VPNs or complicated infrastructures.
- A complete view of a user’s document without area restriction
- Constantly upgraded security and backup systems
- Document search, retrieval, and sharing with familiar controls and navigation for traditional browsers without VPNs
You can book a demo for a pricing quote.
Dokmee is an online document management system that works on the go from anywhere, as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection. It’s easy-to-use and is designed for document capture and storage, search and retrieval, and file sharing.
- User-friendly workflow builder for visibility of business processes
- Check-In/Check-Out to enable optimal document searching and retrieval
- Easy viewing of documents in multiple file types like PDF, TIFF, JPG, PNG, BMP, GIF, DWG, DXF, MSG, and EML
Dokmee Capture doesn’t publish pricing for its product. Please contact them for their current pricing.
PandaDoc is a user-friendly cloud-based document management system that’s perfect for sending documents that you need to get signed. They make the process convenient for complex documents like contracts. It’s more efficient than the old way of manually generating documents and having them signed.
- Collaboration with internal and external reviewers for faster negotiations
- Built-in electronic signature capability to improve the speed of your document flow
- Customize templates with the built-in editor
PandaDoc offers 4 pricing plans based on your needs. Monthly or annual payments are available:
- Free plan to upload, send for eSignature, and collect payment on any number of documents
- Essentials: $19/month/user; make documents with templates or the editor built-in
- Business: $49/month/user; connect your CRM and automate your document workflows
- Enterprise: This option is for teams that also need Salesforce and API integrations. Please contact PandaDoc for more details.
Templafy allows you to create and manage all business documents with consistency. The software is a central place to update brand materials. It integrates essential business tools like Microsoft Office and Google workspace so that there is brand governance.
- Integrate with your workplace applications to streamline your content management process
- On-brand materials to make staying on your identity easier
- Library containing all company document assets and templates in one place
The best possible experience with Templafy requires them to understand your particular needs. You’ll need to get in touch with them to request a quote.
ContractWorks is a cloud-based contract management software for executing, storing, and tracking corporate agreements easier. Its document management functionality makes it easier for organizations to search and find documents. You also gain control over the signature and storage process of documents.
- Monitoring revenue, expenses, and obligations of all your contracts in one centralized location with customized reporting and alerts is possible
- Built-in electronic signature makes contract execution convenient
- Centralized contract repository so you know where all of your agreements are
ContractWorks offers three different pricing levels for businesses of every size. All plans include unlimited users:
- ContractWorks offers a free trial
- Standard: $600/month, billed annually; 2,500 documents and 5 electronic signature licenses
- Professional: $800/month, billed annually; 10,000 documents and 10 electronic signature licenses
- Enterprise: $600/month, billed annually; unlimited documents and 20 electronic signature licenses
Concord is a cloud-based legal software that manages contracts. The real-time editing makes collaboration with the team and external parties easy. With its automatic renewal and/or due date reminder feature, you’ll never miss an important deadline again.
- Real-time editing & redlining to approve or reject any suggestions instantly
- Dedicated library for pre-approved approval workflows that update automatically by updating the library
- Email alerts help you manage terminations and renewals, including early notices, so you know when to act
Each of Concord’s 4 pricing options can be billed monthly or annually. All of them include onboarding within 3 weeks. Below prices are for annual billing:
- The free account lets you create, edit, design, and store unlimited documents for up to 3 users
- Standard: $17/user/month; centrally control user access and bulk send documents for eSignature
- Pro: $49/user/month; integrates Salesforce and other applications, automates arrivals, and reports
- Enterprise: Increase your efficiency with a clause library, subsidiary management, and Single Sign-On. A customized quote is available from Concord Sales.
Contract Logix is a data-driven online contract management solution for automating and streamlining contract drafting, negotiation, approval, execution, and management. The new cloud-based version is easier to navigate, faster, and has better features. You’ll also enjoy simply dragging and dropping documents.
- Reports and dashboards provide real-time business insights on any level of contract-related information
- Centralize your contracts and information in a secure, easy-to-use cloud repository
- Faster contract creation with clause and template libraries
You can get quotes for both of Contract Logix’s data-driven contract lifecycle management products, Premium CLM and Express CMS, by requesting a demo.
Onit is a cloud-based contract management software that automates the entire contract management process for legal and business teams. Its automated functionality lets you control the whole contract lifecycle, from capturing and creating a deal to negotiating and approvals, to executing and managing it after it’s been signed.
- Easy and simple check-in and check-out for automatic version control
- Remote access for users to update each document status
- Track compliance tasks and milestones for obligation management
To obtain current pricing, please contact Onit Contract Lifecycle Management.
ContractSafe is an online contract management platform that’s suited for you if you have many contracts with key dates you don’t want to miss. Internal and external collaborators both get notifications about the contracts’ statuses. You can also tighten access to a contract to restrict unauthorized views.
- Intelligent alerts for auto-renewing contracts as well as other important contract dates
- Google-like search for all your contracts to help you find what you’re looking for quickly
- Full control of sharing and role permission to prevent unauthorized access
All plans include a free trial and are available based on your business size.
- Basic: $299/month for up to 500 contracts
- Standard: $499/month for up to 1000 contracts
- Professional: $699/month for up to 2500 contracts
- Enterprise: $899/month for up to 2500 contracts
Switch to a cloud-based document management system
Cloud-based document management systems help growing businesses cope with their day-to-day operations so they can scale even faster.
Apart from being the best way to collaborate on documents online, DMS lets you take control over your complex, legal documents without spending hours going through them. They also eliminate the need to worry about not finding the right document when you need it. The best part is that it’s easy to get set up with one of these platforms.
With so many cloud-based contract management systems out there, it’s difficult to choose the best one for your business. We hope our overview of the features and pricing options can help you make an informed decision.
If you want an affordable cloud-based DMS that can manage complex business documents like contracts, try modern Avokaado CLM for free for 7 days