A document management system is an automated business software solution used to organise, secure, store, capture, digitise, and tag business files.

Many document management systems extend beyond basic functionality to include document-related workflows. There are a ton of other add-ons, features and capabilities touted by some document management systems — which has led to other names and designations like enterprise content management (ECM), enterprise information management (EIM) and intelligent information management (IIM).

How to Choose a Document Management System

A document management system should at least do these three things well.

  • Capture Documents from any Source
  • Serve as a Central Repository
  • Facilitate Document Search and Retrieval

Once documents are loaded into the DMS from whichever source, the DMS should feature a way to index and classify those documents — often with metadata.

When choosing a document management system, you should keep an eye out for a few key features. Discuss your needs at length with any sales reps you contact, and be sure to get technical specifications and pricing in writing. We recommend ensuring that any document management system you consider has the following: Search, metadata, Integrations, Version control, Regulatory compliance support, Scalability, Security, Usability, Collaboration, Content intelligence, Workflows, Remote Work

What are the Benefits of Using a Document Management System?

There are several benefits to using a document management system. Overall, it should be simple and effective, allow you to run your business more efficiently, and make your life easier. Main benefits include the following:

  • Increased Productivity
  • Decreased Security Risk
  • Improved Compliance Measures
  • Fast and Easy Document Search
  • Enhanced Collaboration

Types of document management systems

When choosing a document management system, you will have the choice between on-premises vs cloud-based software. So, which should you choose?

An on-premises solution requires you to use your own servers and storage, which means you need to perform your own maintenance. You’ll also be responsible for the security of all your data, so it’s important to back it up. This option typically makes sense for larger companies with dedicated IT resources because of its higher technical demands, but it also places you in direct control of your own system. 

Cloud-based document management systems store your files in the cloud, making them accessible anywhere there’s an internet connection. The biggest benefits are that you don’t need an IT team to install the software and keep it running properly, and there aren’t any large upfront costs. You also can tap into these systems from anywhere that has online access, and you don’t need to back up your files, since they automatically save in the cloud.

Document management systems can be sprawling and complex. If you’re still not sure where to start, let us help you. You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers…