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If you are looking around for a document management system in Kenya, you might be wondering which option is better for your system; to house the system inside your business, or have it hosted in the cloud. While both options provide you document storage and management, you need to look at your internet access, budget, organization capabilities and work preferences to decide which option best suits you.
The number one consideration for document management systems (DMS) that companies based in Kenya, should be internet access. With great improvement in Internet access in Kenya and Africa in general, some areas have unstable internet access with some companies experiencing major fluctuations in Internet speed.
If your company experiences these challenges, you definitely want to steer clear of cloud-based document management solutions and instead opt for a self-hosted one.
That said however, other issues come into play even with poor internet access such as employee access while working remotely. Some Document Management Systems will support a hybrid of the two options, solving the 2 document access challenges.
Either way, our advice is to look into a Document Management System that supports both self-hosted and cloud-based solutions to allow your the flexibility to switch from one to the other as your Company needs change with time.
The following are the pros and cons of both Self-Hosted Document Management Systems and those hosted on the cloud.
Self-Hosted
With this option, the Document Management Software as well as all your data and is stored inside your business on your company’s own servers and you would take responsibility for all maintenance either through an in-house IT team or Outsourced Technology Company.

You get complete control and autonomy of your document management system without relying on anyone else to manage it for you.
You can store as many documents as your server capacity allows, increase hard disk space as you go along.
For organisations with poor or sporadic internet connections as with most areas in Kenya, it is possible to still access documents from the system even when the Internet is down.
Self-Hosted Document Magement Systems require high CAPEX costs because you will need to cater for the server and sofware procurement as well as setup costs if you you do not have already have servers. Yearly licensing and in most cases per user will also apply for depending on the DMS you choose.
You will also have to implement your own backup solution to backup data and ensure it’s smooth running.
Some Self-Hosted Document Management Systems do not all self-hosted systems work with both Windows and Mac computers. You will sometimes find that they support only one system and not the other, locking out some users from accessing the document management system.

A cloud-based
A cloud-based DMS, stores all of the software and your Company’s data on your provider’s servers which means you do not need to worry about administration, back-ups, software licenses and upgrades or even buying and maintenance of storage servers.
Your company documents are easily accessible online regardless of where you are in the world via internet access for a monthly or yearly access fee.
With a cloud-based Document Management System, set up is much faster as there is no software to install and your upfront costs are much lower. If you need to be up and running quickly and reduce CAPEX, this is the solution for you.
Access to your documents is usually much easier as you can access your documents over the internet anywhere and everywhere.
Your staff accessing documents must have a good and stable internet connection whether they are at working remotely or in the office.
Backup is usually handled by the cloud, so you don’t need to implement your own data back-up solution.
If your data centre encounters problems, you may have difficulty accessing your files. It is important to use a reputable cloud company that can guarantee uptime.
If a good number of your staff work remotely or travel a lot with heavy requirements for document access, a cloud based document management system would be preferable to ensure easy access over the internet

Whether you are looking to host your Document Management System In-house or on the Cloud, TechEdge will deliver a superior DMS customized to suit your company needs. Contact our offices in Nairobi, Kenya to help you implement a Document Management System.