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How to defeat software sprawl with efficient document management tech

By Nick Forrester
Mon 7 Dec 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

An abundance of technology can be both a blessing and a curse.

The pros of having more than enough software solutions are obvious, but the cons are no less significant. And one of the most prominent drawbacks is software sprawl.

Software sprawl can happen when licenses for certain software overlap or are underused, often throughout departments within the same enterprise - meaning these companies can end up spending more money than they need to. 

This is also the case with free, open source solutions spread across departments, which can be downloaded without approval from above.

Such an inefficient system is all too common within large organisations, and much of it can be blamed on decision-makers settling on a solution after identifying a feature which solves a current challenge, without looking at the bigger picture. 

This can lead to a lack of awareness of the values which differentiate solutions - one of the antidotes to software sprawl. 

Three departments, in particular, can testify to the horror of this kind of short-sightedness: 

The IT department prefers to keep the number of different software vendors as low as possible. Whenever update, bugs, internal support, security, or other problems arise, it’s much easier for them to contain and react swiftly to issues if they have a single point of contact for mission-critical software within the organisation. 

The development department shivers when there’s yet another library or API they have to communicate with or learn to implement. It’s better to have fewer software vendors or PDF libraries to track concerning new features, bug fixes, or other issues which might impact software developed in-house.

Finance/procurement may often have little understanding regarding which licensed software does what, the demand and need for it, or how much overlap there is with other software also in use within the organisation.

To avoid inefficiency to the greatest extent, organisations must seek out solutions which offer the broadest possible coverage of tasks that need to be done across departments. And document management is a perfect example of a versatile tool that will inevitably be used throughout departments.

The document management solution 

If a company wants to convert HTML to PDF, they should research the software’s utility for other tasks that the company may ask of the tool in the future. That could include OCR functionality or data extraction. If the company buys a license to software that excels only in document conversion, an opportunity has been missed.

In addition, this type of software sprawl causes an avoidable complexity in architecture for projects within the company and across departments. 

When it comes to document editing, iText’s 7 Suite software solves this problem by offering in-depth tools which grant the power to achieve both simple and complex PDF generation and manipulation tasks - covering all bases for current and future usage. 

The solution achieves this via its iText 7 Core PDF library, a comprehensive, modular architecture, as well as a slew of add-ons providing additional functionality, like secure content redaction, complex writing system support, and more.

iText’s suite versatility doesn’t stop there: it can be leveraged by both experienced and amateur developers, as well as by the average business user.

Tools such as iText DITO and iText pdf2Data can both be utilised by the latter, allowing anyone to create, manage and manipulate PDFs easily. 

This ease of access and feature richness can potentially solve hundreds of problems a day for an organisation, including within the three departments suffering from software sprawl:

The IT department now has a single point of contact for software support. 

The development department has a unified implementation methodology across projects within their organisation. 

The finance department can leverage easily accessible add-ons to help follow up on payments. 

In 2020, it’s never been more imperative that enterprises think ahead and consider every possible use case that can be spread across the greatest scope of the organisation. In the case of iText, this is software that has been thoroughly tested over the last 20 years by a large, worldwide open source community.  

High-volume PDF document manipulation requires a performant software solution with wide-ranging coverage of PDF processing tasks. A scalable PDF solution like iText 7 Suite or iText DITO can grow with your organisation’s requirements, thanks to iText 7’s modularity, extensibility, and add-on architecture, and iText DITO’s low-code design and generation capabilities.

Request a demo or contact iText here.

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