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Cloud Storage and On Premise: Which is Best for Your Signed Documents?

By: Steve Stormoen / Thursday, June 18, 2015


The great debate on data storage continues to burn hot, with no signs of letting up. On one side are proponents of the cloud, and on the other are supporters of local “on-premise” storage. While there are good reasons to support either position, many experts agree that the final decision should be made on a case-by-case basis, depending on the type of data being stored.

For your most sensitive and secure contracts — the type of documents you use RightSignature to get signed — cloud storage is best. Here are three reasons why.

You want to focus on your core competency.

Does your business specialize in data security against cyberthreats? Or server maintenance and top-of-the-line IT support? If you’re betting on your business offering better security and uptime than top cloud providers, you’re making an incredible investment in information security that’s far outside the mission of what your business actually does.

Cloud storage lets storage experts handle your data storage, so your business can focus more on what you do best. It’s telling that even the CIA puts its trust in Amazon Web Services technology. RightSignature, for our commitment to data security, was recently named “Enterprise Ready”, the highest security rating by the Skyhigh CloudTrust program.

Even if you did manage to build the perfect on-premise machine, it might not matter because…

Access should not compromise security.

On-premise storage proponents argue that local storage makes your data more secure by limiting access — and potential vulnerabilities — coming from outside sources. But according to laws such as the E-SIGN Act that govern electronic signatures, a valid agreement signed with an e-signature must be provided to the signing party after the contract is signed.

For organizations using on-premise storage, this introduces a whole new area of risk. Either you allow your signer to access the document on your own storage solution and open up your own servers to access from outside your organization, or you trust the signers of every single document you send to maintain their own equally robust and secure data storage solutions to store your document, completely outside your control.

RightSignature keeps your documents in a permanent record in our robust cloud storage. Each document is accessible to both its sender and signer behind a secure, password-protected login and can be downloaded by either party as a PDF with a full signing certificate and audit log attached. This also protects your documents from cases where you and your signer might argue that two different versions of your document are valid: RightSignature cloud storage ensures there is only one master copy of any document.

The full data storage cost is large.

It’s tempting to look at at the monthly cost of a cloud storage solution and imagine that, with a significant investment in money upfront for local servers, you could save money over the life of your hardware. But have you factored in additional costs for bandwidth, replacement hardware, increased IT staff and even electricity?

This article from Beta News tallies the full costs of cloud and on-premise storage and finds a compelling advantage for cloud storage. While the author recommends that each business calculate its own True Cost of Ownership according to its storage needs and resources, the figures cited in the article are impressive.

Indeed, each business should do its own research and make its own determination. But at RightSignature, we offer cloud storage because we believe it is the best solution for your most sensitive signed documents.

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