There comes a point where every business looks at their document organization and says, “something has to change”. If you’re reading this then you may have found yourself saying that very recently. Maybe you’ve just spent several frustrating minutes trying to find where an important document was saved and have come up empty.  But what is the right solution when you finally decide to make a change in how you store and organize documents?


The conclusion that many businesses are coming to lately is that the cloud is the way of the future. In fact, 68% of businesses are already using some form of cloud infrastructure. Cloud storage offers cost-efficiency, ease-of-use, scalability, and much more. As one of the biggest names in cloud storage, Dropbox is often a name that comes up when businesses are considering moving their document storage.


But is Dropbox the right solution for your business? While Dropbox has become a household name, it may not be the answer you’re looking for. Understanding the differences between Dropbox and a dedicated document management platform can provide you the necessary insight that you need to make the right decision for your business.

Why You Need Cloud-Based Document Management

First, it’s important to understand why cloud-based document management is the solution you need for your business.

Above all, businesses that move to cloud storage are looking for a better way to access and organize their files. The way we work is changing just as fast as technology does. It’s not uncommon to find businesses that offer employees the flexibility of working from their laptop at home or wherever may be most convenient for them. Fast access to documents and the ability to share documents is perhaps the most important piece to that puzzle. The right document management platform doesn’t just make these files available, they give you and your staff advanced search options to quickly find the file you need.

Easy access to documents also makes important tasks like audits easier to manage. Not only can you quickly sort and locate the files you need, but you can also even search for files that may need to be updated or revised due to changing laws or regulations in your industry. Instead of being caught off guard, you can be ahead of the curve with exceptional document management.

There is also a significant cost savings that your business can realize as a result of moving document storage to the cloud. With many IT departments spending 75% of their budget on maintaining current infrastructure, there is a clear cost-benefit of moving some infrastructure to the cloud. With these savings, your business can invest in other important areas of IT like security that often goes neglected or underfunded.

Where Dropbox Falls Short

As you were reading through some of those previous points, you may have noticed that Dropbox seems to check off a lot of the important boxes. Let’s be clear, this is not a Dropbox takedown piece. However, it is important to understand where Dropbox falls short of meeting the unique needs of your businesses when you’re looking to move to cloud storage for your document management.

First of all, Dropbox’s free solution doesn’t come ready to go right out of the box. There is some setup and effort required on your part to get Dropbox working how you want it to. Even if you do pay for an advanced setup, there is no guarantee that Dropbox will work with all of your existing platforms that you use in your day-to-day work. In other words, even after setting up Dropbox for your document management, there is still a lot of leg work required on your part to sort and organize documents. These additional costs and unexpected delays can actually make the total cost of Dropbox a lot less competitive when compared with a complete, advanced, and customized solution.

In reality, Dropbox should be treated more like a network drive. You can only search for specific file names but not more details within the file. Unless you have organized your Dropbox folders effectively and everyone with rights to those folders has excellent file management discipline, there is no way to find documents based on advanced search terms. Of course, the whole reason you want cloud storage is to improve organization; not do the same thing you already do on a different, more costly network drive.

Speaking of audits, Dropbox doesn’t maintain the version history as documents are edited and uploaded. This can make it challenging to provide updates on how documents have changed over time and may make your documents non-compliant. All of this can turn into a major headache during an audit. Essentially, you are trying to put out fires instead of actively preventing them.

Security is one of the most important areas where Dropbox falls short. It’s not HIPAA compliant, so forget about Dropbox right now if you’re handling sensitive data. There’s also no way to customize or improve Dropbox security to make it compliant with your own internal security practices like offering permission for specific users to access specific folders. Dropbox is used more as a document sharing platform and isn’t designed for secure data. Everything is open to everyone on the Dropbox account.

Choosing the Right Document Management Platform

Dropbox is an excellent cloud-based storage platform with the consumer market in mind. However, its features fall short of satisfying the unique needs of the business market and the costs can add up quickly both in monetary expense and time expense as your IT team scrambles to remain compliant and secure. You need a document management platform that offers law enforcement-grade security with the advanced search filters to find, identify, and fix errors that could prove to be an issue during an audit.

Most importantly, you need a platform that works with your existing services to give you control over your documents in an easy-to-use solution that comes ready to use right out of the box. Intellinetics Document Management platform is the enterprise solution you’re looking for. To learn more about this platform and how it can change the way you do business, contact us today.