Do you have a handle on all your business documents?
John M. Haddad
Document Management is a hot topic for many businesses.
Document Management has many definitions, from converting paper files to digital form, which makes all files searchable by type and keywords to letting you sync files when you make changes to a document and makes it easy for authorized employees to access documents at any time and on any device.
A document management system (DMS) can refer to any technologies needed to do any or all of these parts. The first step in document management is to decide which documents you need to manage. And, no, that doesn’t mean you should start by scanning all that paper bulging from your file cabinets or stacked to the ceiling of your storage container. Instead, proceed in manageable and less overwhelming chunks.
So, what would you look for in a Document Management System?
- Do you need mobile or cloud access to these documents?
- Consider your level of hardware/software expertise—do you have in-house capability or do you need a trusted IT vendor to handle it all?
- Do you want to spend money upfront for a total solution or would you prefer to pay over time?
- Do you need desktop tools such as scanning, PDF editing or publishing (PDF/A)?
- Do you have security protocols that you must follow—HIPAA, for example?
- Is full text search important or is simple folder or file browsing acceptable?
- Do you need to connect to another databases or applications?
- Is this an internal system for your company, or do you need this to be accessed by your customers and / or suppliers?
- Is collaboration (real time document sharing, collective editing, change tracking and management) an important component to the system?
- Do you require industry-specific capabilities—manufacturing, legal, healthcare, or insurance, for examples? Many specialty DMS system target specific industries.