Embracing the Cloud: Reinventing PDF for Collaboration, Efficiency and Mobility

Steven Li, Chief Technology Officer, Foxit
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Steven Li, Chief Technology Officer, Foxit

Steven Li, Chief Technology Officer, Foxit

One of the most significant innovations of the past decade has been cloud computing. Organizations worldwide continue to see a multitude of benefits by moving key business software and systems into the cloud—these include improved accessibility, availability and uptimes; faster rollout of innovative functionality; more mobile, collaborative and engaged employees; leaner and more productive IT staffs, and better cost efficiencies.  The growth in popularity of Box, Dropbox, Google G Suite, Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, and a multitude of other applications, packages and services, amply demonstrate the benefits of cloud computing.

Yet, when it comes to the cloud, organizations continue to ignore one of the most prevalent business areas—document management—as it remains largely stuck in the old client-server way of doing things. Some companies have integrated software that is hosted in the cloud, but those solutions require users to download the software to a device in order to use it. Despite the hype, therefore, handling documents in the prevalent PDF format largely remains the realm of computer applications, not cloud services. This reticence in embracing cloud computing is inhibiting the efforts of organizations to take advantage of the myriad benefits that are otherwise available to them.

  PDF is also now being armed with innovative new technology, turning the previously passive PDF into dynamic, protected and networked content  

As the goal of organizational wide cloud migration hangs over their head, it is time that CIOs and IT leaders take a hard look at the way their teams approach documents.  The good news is that there are innovative providers pioneering efforts to push the document, and its associated business processes, into the cloud. There are solutions that allow everything associated with documents—not just storage—to take advantage of the cloud. These new innovative PDF solutions are creating customized PDF-based applications that are being added to the cloud, enabling organizations to streamline processes and more easily collaborate.

One specific example of how these new technologies can help technology leaders create more efficient and collaborative organizations can be demonstrated in the massive move to Microsoft Office 365.  This tool set was rolled out to be an always-up-to-date cloud service for businesses. CIOs and IT departments have been under intense pressure at high costs to institute this software organization wide.  Up until now, one of the obstacles IT had in moving their organization over was PDF’s tardiness to embrace the cloud.  But new technology that enables the PDF to be brought into today’s cloud-based environments promises to make a big impact on organizations’ costs and productivity.

PDF is also now being armed with innovative new technology, turning the previously passive PDF into dynamic, protected and networked content. Organizations now have the ability to bring new levels of accountability, collaboration, and productivity to the creation, sharing, and tracking of PDF documents. Through its ability to be linked to the cloud, PDFs can now enable users to view and share documents from anywhere, even if they don't have their computer or mobile device with them. This breakthrough can provide organizations, including some of the largest companies in the world, with opportunities to transform the way their workforces operate. Of course, an organization can also opt for a completely hassle-free deployment of a total PDF solution for all users, with zero desktop footprint, and full capabilities. Such solutions have recently emerged in the market place.

Incorporating PDF into the cloud will also allow CIOs and IT leaders to use the cloud to access a rich and evolving set of metadata about their documents.  Collaboration, sharing, version control, security access grants and revocations, and document usage tracking can take place anywhere, at any time. And surprisingly, new PDF technology will act as the “glue” that enables document tools, applications and content to be seamlessly integrated within cloud environments.

If your team hasn’t turned their attention to moving document management to the cloud, 2018 should be the transformative year when your organizations finally takes advantage of the rich benefits that the cloud can bring to documents. By embracing this change, organizations can expect seamless document management experiences, resulting in better collaboration, efficiency and mobility.

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