How to Choose a Document Management System for Your Company
Set your company up for success by implementing a document management system. Find out how to optimize document management at any enterprise with a general overview of the types of systems in light of best document management practices. Learn more about these systems' selling points and licensing costs and get tips on choosing the right system to manage documentation.
Document Management System
Most systems for managing documents combine organization, productivity, and management features. In addition to options for organizing digital documents or digitizing paper documents, these systems often enable administrators to define roles or set specific permissions for users, who can then edit or view documents or files.
Document systems may be run and stored on-premises or based in the cloud. The cost of these systems and the challenges that could arise during implementation depend on the type of system. Large companies with dedicated information technology departments may prefer the independence of on-premises systems. In contrast, small businesses may prefer cloud-based systems with lower upfront costs and remote capabilities.
Types of Systems
In addition to different approaches to implementation, document management systems can also differ in terms of functionality. Some systems are geared toward digitizing paper documents, while others are streamlined for digital files. These systems can enable authorized users to access files and may also offer built-in commenting or communication solutions. Companies can also integrate document systems with customer relationship management, signing or video calls, and conferencing platforms.
Document digitization platforms often prioritize scanning and optical character recognition functions. OCR technology enables a machine to read handwritten and printed text on forms or other documents. The goal of OCR is to convert paper documents into searchable digital text. Digital document systems typically enable authorized users to create new documents, edit existing documents, store documents, and load documents.
Benefits of Document Management Systems
A document management system can make it easier to store, retrieve and access a wide range of documents. The searchability of scanned paper documents and digital files is often a significant selling point for these systems. As a type of electronic management system, a document management solution requires computing power, a digital display, and input methods such as a keyboard and mouse.
On-premises systems have the benefit of being able to retrieve documents from local storage without an internet connection. Cloud-based systems require a connection. Regardless of deployment mode, document management solutions often include file permission controls and edit histories, versioning, and file monitoring tools. These features make it possible to manage access and track who has created, viewed, or altered documents.
Features & Costs of Document Management System
Some of the most desirable features of document management system software include organizing document storage to search for, find and access documents. Based on your company, you may prefer management software optimized for scanning and making digital files of paper documents or a system with workflow and automation features. Suppose you need to grant employees remote access or share files with authorized external users. In that case, IT professionals will need to set up procedures for securely connecting to systems hosted on-premises, or you can rely on the security features of cloud-based systems.
In general, on-premises systems have higher upfront costs. Your company would need to acquire and set up servers and storage for management software and document files. The leading on-premises document management solutions can cost hundreds of dollars per user. Companies also have to foot system maintenance costs and could be liable for security breaches. Cloud-based systems cost less upfront, but subscription costs continue over time and can range from a few dollars to over $100 per user monthly.
Things to Look For
Suppose you are a small business owner, data management, or IT professional at a larger enterprise. In that case, you should look for document systems that can be implemented on-premises or through an online setup. Make sure the features of a system justify up-front and ongoing costs. The right document management system can save time and effort on storage, access, and collaboration.
The right management system can streamline workflows involving document digitization, distribution, and storage. Some platforms offer trials to help your company determine whether a particular system meets your needs. During the trial or implementation period, stakeholders should identify uses for the features of any system for managing documents.
Zoom Virtual Office backgrounds can be helpful during training sessions on systems for managing documents or video conferences. Many management systems offer features for securely distributing company documentation to internal and external users. When you pair reliable and secure document distribution with a professional presentation on video calls and conferencing, any company can meet or exceed the expectations of clients, customers, and stakeholders.