A good digital document management system can play a central role in assisting an organisation to improve the way information is kept, retrieved and distributed.
However, investing in a digital document management system may not be a subject that routinely tops the list of priorities of many companies, but this is changing.
In today’s digitally connected world, the expectancy that data will be available on demand and accessible on any device is expected to be the norm for many people. Nevertheless, it is still not uncommon to find companies in which individuals may have to spend time digging through filing cabinets for a specific document, or searching their emails in search of a precise piece of information.
A digital document management system tackles these issues head on, helping to create more effective and dependable solutions to improve document workflows.
The document management process starts with the conversion of paper documents, forms and records to electronic files. Electronic conversion removes the need for manual paper procedures which may be prone to mistakes. It also does away with the need for the retrieval of material files from filing cabinets or off-site storage.
What to look for in a document management system
An effective document management system should have the following five basic components:
- Capture tools to bring information into the system
- Desktop, web and mobile apps that make documents easy to locate on the go
- Folder structures to organise, store and archive documents
- Workflow functionality that automates manual processes like filing and approval
- Security and audit trail functionality to protect documents from unauthorised access or modification
Document management software can transform the management and flow of information, making it possible to do the following:
- Turn cluttered and sometimes confusing filing into structured, easy-to-access systems
- Automate time-consuming manual processes
- Improve security when sharing sensitive documents to authorised personnel
- Support mobile working by enabling employees to access documents from smartphones and tablets
- Back up files and records as part of a disaster recovery programme