A Beginner’s Guide to Document Management Software for Small Businesses

If you are worried about your business documents spiraling out of control, and you are unable to find them when you need them most, you’re in dire need of a document management system (DMS) for your business. A DMS is a tool that can declutter your office, keep your files secure and enable accountability in the tracking papers. We’re here to help you understand what document management software can do for your business and can help transform your system in the right way.

What is a Document Management System?

A document management system is a cloud-based platform that allows you to store, edit, organize, manage and send documents as electronic files. It lets you track these electronic files, whether they are invoices or contracts in the HR records. DMS is the digital answer to paper storage. 

A document storage system should not be confused with other cloud storage like Dropbox, Google, or Apple because document management systems not only provide cloud storage but also workflow automation both externally and internally, continuity capabilities, security, productivity app integrations, and many more facilities that cloud storages cannot provide. 

Reasons for your business to use a document management system:

  • Efficient operations

Document management systems can tackle the content and information sprawl making your business much more efficient and creating synergy in everyday operations. It helps you find things when you need them, and enable sharing of data and documents with team members, customers, and third-party vendors. They help structure an efficient workflow that enhances the scalability of your small business. 

  • Digital transformation of your business 

It is important to keep up with the trending times. Thus it is necessary for your business to move to cloud-based technologies. Particularly after the Covid-19, every business should be equipped with a solid business continuity strategy. It can be accomplished with access to your files 24/7, and in any case of emergency, secure files should be made available. 

  • Reduction of IT expenses

Small businesses managing an on-premise server and remote VPN capabilities have to pay for IT staff as well as third-party service providers in order to maintain hardware, software as well as infrastructure expense, which is much greater in cost as compared to utilizing cloud-based document management software.

  • Cybersecurity and data protection 

Document management software provides enhanced security for sensitive files including financial and personnel records and provides greater control for users that have access to these files. Bank-level data encryption is provided for files when they are shared and stored using business document management software, and all the users can enjoy significant protection. 

Storage of data on the cloud also protects the business against potential cyber security threats as compared to the data stored on computers or cloud storage with less secure facilities. Business document management software provides valuable protection against any cyber threats.

  •  Remote work capabilities

A cloud-based document management software allows the employees to work remotely, stay connected and ensure that the workflow keeps automated. The business employees can now work off-site, having secure access to the company’s data and documents, while also staying in touch with the customers and third parties. All they have to do is log in from their phones and laptops, and they can be granted permission to the files they want to access. It is an extremely efficient method to work synchronously on files with the help of data in real-time, rather than having to worry about different version issues. 

In addition, a business document management software also has the following features that can aid in the growth of your business:

  • eSignature integrations
  • Automated workflow
  • Built-in folder templates
  • Automated productivity integrations 
  • Publishing 
  • Intuitive interface 
  • Compliance configurations 
  • In-solution chat 
  • Automated admin tasks
  • Archiving
  • Customer support 

Choosing the right platform for your business

The business document management software that you choose is generally cloud-based and has a secure environment rather than using an on-premise server or native computer hard drives. This is mainly due to cloud-based options providing significantly greater benefits as compared to on-premise solutions. Some of the major differences in cloud-based document management software, cloud storage accounts, and on-premise solutions are:

Cloud-based document management software 

Business document management software that is cloud-based offer a:

  • flat fee for online document storage
  • Built-in client portal that is password protected for security of files
  • Accommodation of guest logins 
  • Customizable folders 
  • Automated administration work
  • Customized workflow with a file management structure
  • Remote work
  • E-signature of documents
  • Collaboration opportunities 
  • Advanced cybersecurity and information control 
  • Better compliance with data protection regulations and consumer privacy 
  • Technical support with no requirement of in-house IT maintenance 
  • Synchronous work on data and file sharing 
  • Business continuation strategy allows companies to easily transition between different locations in case of emergencies. 

Cloud storage account

Cloud storage accounts like Google, Apple, or Dropbox provide:

  • Online storage on a monthly payment basis or pre-paid services
  • File sharing facilities and collaboration tools
  • Shared storage resources/multi-tenant environment 
  • Up-to-date software which is an essential component of an active subscription
  • Automatic updating of software
  • Reduced cost as operational expenditure 

On-Premise storage 

The facilities provided by on-premise storage are:

  • Storage and security by the enterprise
  • The complete cost of storage managed by the firm
  • Management of integrity and software updates
  • Company in charge of all storage resources
  • Capital expenditure which is generally considered a high cost

As mentioned, the facilities provided by a business document management storage are much greater than cloud-based accounts and on-premise storage systems. Small businesses will find it very hard to afford on-premise storage and the facilities that are provided by them are not nearly as robust as the cloud-based document management software. 

Ready your business for the digital age

As a small business owner, you should carefully weigh your options and then choose the eBay solution for your business. Once you choose the right cloud-based document management software, you will notice the increase in efficiency and you will also feel peace of mind knowing that your documents and data are secure from any cyber threats and your business will persevere through any emergencies and disasters.