Why Document Management Services Still Matter

Electronic and paper documents alike are the key components of the document management processes of any organisation. But managing critical data can be a daunting task unless you have a document management solution (DMS).

DMS refers to the use of a document scanner to capture and convert paper-based information to an electronic form and the storage, tracking, retrieval and management of the electronic documents and images. Document management services provide a number of demonstrable benefits including

Central Document Repository

A cloud-based document management system acts as a central repository for an organisation’s critical documents in electronic form. As such, the DMS offers a user remote access to documents which he can view, change or share with colleagues.

Electronic Document Storage

The storage cost of paper documents includes not only the cost of file cabinets or other storage mechanisms but also the cost to purchase or rent the physical premises on which the documents are stored. In addition, paper document management is a labor intensive, which can greatly increase the costs of paper document storage. Software-based document management services eliminate these costs.

Electronic Access Control and Audit

A document management system can secure electronic documents using a variety of means, including role or group-level-based access control at the folder level. Consequently, to limit digital access, permissions can be granted to a particular role or group of employees. Only these authorised individuals are able to change or delete certain files or documents. Also, a DMS generates an audit log which documents the identification for anyone who views a document, as well as the date the file is accessed and changes that are made to the document.

Document Organisation

Document management services rely on an organisational hierarchy, as well as tags, categories, subcategories, and metadata, to identify files and documents to support the organisation, search and retrieval of documents. Thus DMS supports the user’s effort to readily organise, locate and retrieve needed assets.

Regulatory Compliance

Some documents must be managed according to fairly complex federal and state regulations. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in fines, criminal convictions and license revocations. For instance, Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA dictate very specific and stringent privacy and security guidelines. A DMS supports the compliance with such regulations using such mechanisms as records retention schedules.

Search Engine

Locating particular documents becomes more difficult as the content of a knowledge base grows. But it’s important that a thorough search of all content be performed when attempting to locate files and documents that are categorised using particular criteria. A user can rely on a search engine to locate a digital asset quickly and accurately, which increases employee productivity.

Document Storage and Retrieval

A document management services solution is a time- and cost-saver for those who must retrieve remotely stored files. Using a word or phrase, the DMS can locate and retrieve the appropriate file using a full-text search instantaneously. As an alternative, a document or folder can be indexed for ready retrieval.

Document Sharing

A DMS simplified document sharing facility allows the capture and distribution of documents from and to different sources at multiple locations. Using electronic imaging, this service allows documents to be directly accessed, shared and monitored electronically, each of which supports user collaboration. Files can also be shared via links, websites or email. An audit trail tracks file and document access or maintenance.

Version Control

Document Management Services enables the storage and recovery of multiple document versions. Version control imposes access control, which is beneficial when several individuals are making changes to a document or file. This characteristic ensures a prior or original version of a file is available as it exited when originally stored.

Backup and Disaster Recovery

A DMS that includes a data backup and disaster recovery plan enables the creation of a backup — a digital archive — at the point of entry to the system. The documents that are archived can be located using a wide range of criteria. In addition, cross-indexing ensures that documents that are misfiled can be located. With DMS, when fire, floods or other disasters strike, business-critical data is protected.

Integration with Third-party Software

Integration with third-party software eliminates the need for the creation and storage of redundant data and supports the flow of information between disparate platforms. The elimination of the need for duplicate data makes the integrity and accuracy of data more likely. A DMS that supports email integration enables the ability to transmit documents to business partners.

Electronic and paper documents are two central components of an organisation’s document management processes. An organisation can rely on DMS to capture and convertpaper-based information to an electronic form and the storage, tracking, retrieval and management of the electronic documents and images. Document management services provide a number of demonstrable benefits including document storage and retrieval, and backup and disaster recovery support.

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