Storage of documents with easy access has always remained a major goal for enterprises. An increased rate of growth in technology has brought with it several options that use different approaches to accomplish the task of document management. With so many document management systems (DMS) on the horizon, it is a challenge to find the one that suits your requirements perfectly.
Functions of Document Management Systems
Document management systems offer a framework for organising digital documents. These systems become repository for your digital files as well as physical documents that have been scanned. To make searching files fast and simple, a DMS uses functionality that finds the metadata and even searches the full-text to considerably reduce the time it takes to retrieve the relevant asset (file or document).
Each document management system is different. However, there are some essential functionalities every DMS should have for proper management of files:
- Accessing, editing and sharing documents using the web browser of your desktop and smart devices or even via mobile apps
- Storing different document types like word files, PDFs, images and spreadsheets
- Restricting access to files so only authorised users can view the assets
- Monitoring the access of documents and the number of views
- Organising, tracking and tagging documents
- Retrieving older versions of edited documents (version control)
- Deciding when old documents can be archived or even removed from the system
How to Identify Features That Make a Difference?
A search for the most suitable document management system is more than likely to take you to the realm of slangs and tech words. It could be a chore to sift through the list of software solutions and learn every single attribute, which is why, it is important to know the features that really matter in the process of selecting a document management system:
- Cloud Storage: Cloud storage is probably the most important requirement for any online business. The prevalence of cloud in the IT industry makes it a must-have for any document management system. Weigh the document management system on its outreach to different platforms like web, IOS, Android and other smart devices. Pertaining to the requirements of the business, you can make a worthwhile procurement. We obviously assume that the DMS can be deployed on-premises.
- OCR Feature: Conversion of typed paper documents into a searchable digital format can be a major headache, if not for Optical Character Recognition (OCR). OCR helps in the conversion of printed character into digital text. It is a must-have for organisations that already have large heaps of paper documents, which they want to convert into digital format.
- File Encryption: An unsecured document is as good as compromised. Encrypting digital documents using appropriate obfuscation techniques is essential for safeguarding your data against hackers, malware and bots. Before deciding on a document management system, it is essential to check if the encryption is sufficient for the platforms that you would be supporting.
- Support for Users and Groups: It is best to use a software that has support for users and groups. By allowing users complete or partial access to the files stored, it becomes easier to co-ordinate work without the fear of unauthorised access.
- Workflows with notifications: Most content goes from one user to the next before being finalised for use. Allowing a workflow to be setup with notifications is important in a DMS to streamline communication between stakeholders so they know when their involvement is required.
Benefits of a Document Management System
Once you have selected the document management system that is right for your organization, you will realise the benefits:
- Storage Space Requirements are Reduced: A switch over from paper to paperless environment instantly cuts down the cost of infrastructure for storage. Instead of spending on real-estate for storing files, you will have to spend on relatively cheaper computers. If there is a mandate to store physical files, that can be done in a remote location while you get immediate digital access.
- Enhanced Regulatory Compliance: Almost all industries are governed by regulatory bodies, which lay down the list of compliances that need to be followed. Any mismanagement in paperwork or laxity in furnishing the details to the governing bodies can result in a fine. With efficient document management, you will always be ready with the right documents and cut down the risk of non-compliance.
- Improved Collaboration: One of the biggest advantages of a document management system is its ability to enhance collaboration between different individuals or departments. Multiple users being able to access the central repository, work on projects together, have easy access to files, get notification, improve communication and share information that makes for better co-ordination between departments and helps remove silos.
- Better Security and Data Recovery: As the files stored in the computer or cloud are encrypted, there is no need to worry about their security. Everything is monitored by the DMS and any unauthorised access sends a notification to the administrator. Even when the files are lost due to a local hardware failure, the cloud storage ensures convenient recovery of documents from the back-up server.
Stay Ahead with a Document Management System
In this age of high competition, you need to stay ahead of your competition for better returns. Employing a suitable document management system that meets your requirements can be your first step towards business success. At Clavis technologies, we build custom document management systems for different businesses. These software solutions can be used for secure and better management of documents.