Before the internet, there once was a time when businesses were required to print out all their documents for safekeeping. This created a number of problems for organizations, as it created clutter in an office and made it difficult for individuals to find specific documents in a time-sensitive manner. Furthermore, an unorganized mountain of physical paperwork often didn't meet compliance regulations, as confidential records could easily be lost, accidentally thrown away or even stolen.
As the web landscape evolved, companies were given the opportunity to use electronic document imaging solutions to convert physical papers into digital formats. In doing so, businesses were able to declutter offices, make the retrieval process of mission-critical records more efficient and enhance overall operations.
In other words, online document management systems came to be.
What to look for in a document management solution
Document management systems have evolved during the past several years and have changed the way businesses operate. Many of these solutions enable more efficient day-to-day activities, as employees can upload, organize, share and retrieve confidential records from virtually anywhere at any time. This electronic workflow process also makes it so executives can sign off on operations electronically without requiring individuals to print out approval paperwork.
When selecting a document management system, however, decision-makers need to keep several considerations in mind, including security. Data protection is a significant part of an efficient document management solution. Businesses need to be sure the offerings they select encrypt confidential records, thereby minimizing the possibility of an unauthorized individual gaining access to the record and using it to their own advantage. The tools should also have robust firewalls and be monitored at all hours of the day, allowing IT departments to detect any anomalies in the network.
Decision-makers need to be specific about what they expect to get out of leveraging document management solutions. For example, a larger workforce may need more flexible solutions, while small and medium-sized businesses require a more cost-effective offering. SMBs may also benefit from outsourcing document management systems to a third party that can host files in off-site servers, as it reduces maintenance expenses associated with managing their own equipment.
There are a number of options available when it comes to selecting a document management system. While the technology can be beneficial to a number of organizations, each company has different requirements that may fit with specific solutions more than others.