Mention the word office and you automatically think computers, cubicles and loads and loads of files. No business can do without the humongous records of contracts, purchase orders, employee files and the likes. Electronic document management systems are a solution to the problem; it’s a step towards a clutter-free, organized and paperless office.
But, what makes a good document management system? Here are 6 features.
Businesses handle sensitive and confidential information which if placed in the wrong hands has the potential to be misused. Hence, the security features on a document management system are an important consideration. Security involves not only restricting access to unauthorized users, but also tracking who is viewing the stored files and the edits made to the documents. Encrypted password protection is one way to protect data. A few document management systems also have the “read-only” feature that allows users to view the documents but disallows them from making edits.
A computer system is after all a machine. There are chances of a mechanical break down or data corruption in case of malware attacks. To add, important company records might be destroyed by a natural disaster. A document management system that offers disaster recovery plans is a good investment as it ensures all your records remain safe in event of any untoward incident. This could include back up files or storing your company records on a remote server.
The object of using a document management system is to increase productivity by making data accessible anywhere and anytime from a central location. However, if you are unable to do because it requires a particular device, it defeats the purpose. Today, with the world going increasingly mobile, the latest document management systems enable access, shares and edits via mobile devices. If you can get your hands on a system that’s designed for multiple platform functionality, including desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones, it would be great.
Document management systems differ in the manner they let you store and access files. There are some you can access via the cloud and others that you need to install and run on your PC. The cloud-based option is a must-have for a business with multiple branches and employees working remotely. Some systems store only those files that are in electronic format while others covert hard copies of documents into electronic files before storing them. The more features, the better the functionality of the system and the less work you will end up doing.
The document management software you choose should give you an easy framework to within. Sorting, distributing and editing documents should be a cakewalk. You should also not have any difficulty sharing files across departments and with clients or searching for any file using a keyword. In our opinion, it should mimic the physical filing structure.
Businesses grow over time and so does the paperwork. It is not practical to keep changing your document management software every time you go from 5 to 15 employees. Make sure the one you choose can easily scale to fit the needs of an expanding business and keep bringing value.