Last Updated April 4, 2023
If your organization’s documents are out of control and you can’t find what you need when you need it, you may have heard the word “document management system” (DMS) referenced by business gurus and thought if it would be a good idea. However, you may not be sure how it would assist, and neither can your team. As a small business owner, keeping track of important documents can be a daunting task. Document management is essential for maintaining a well-organized business, and it can save you time, money, and stress in the long run.
Let’s start with the management system guide.
What is a document management system and why does your company need one?
A platform for managing, organizing, and storing documents as electronic files is known as a document management system. A document management system, on the other hand, shouldn’t be mistaken for simple “cloud storage,” like what you may use with your Google, Apple, or even Dropbox account.
This is due to the fact that, in contrast to cloud storage, which does precisely what it says it will—a tool for storing documents, organizing them, and making them accessible from various devices. However, as we’ll see below, a document management system may offer your company much more in terms of security, compliance, workflow automation, productivity app integrations, and continuity possibilities, and that’s only the beginning.
In fact, as we’ll also look at in this article, even employing cloud storage might give your company an advantage over maintaining all of your data on an on-site server or in paper-based file systems. While a document management system offers an automated way to share, securely store, and create a synergistic workflow for the data contained in your documents both internally and externally to your organization, think of a cloud-based storage application as being analogous to still managing all of your file folders manually.
Your small business should choose a cloud-based document management system rather than a cloud storage solution for a number of reasons, some of which are as follows:
Addressing content and information sprawl to improve productivity and cohesion throughout your daily activities
Document management systems allow for quicker and easier access to important documents. With a well-organized system, you can easily locate and retrieve files, reducing the time it takes to find and use important documents.
This boils down to being able to establish an effective workflow in addition to being able to find things when you need them and communicate crucial papers and data with others, whether they be team members, clients, or outside vendors.
The structure, efficiency, and scalability that a true document management system creates are difficult to match in a basic cloud storage solution, which is where it lifts your operations above a cloud-based storage system.
Maximizing the advantages of your company’s digital transition
Modern organizations must migrate to the cloud because, if the Covid-19 outbreak taught us anything, it is that we must have a sound plan for business continuity. This can only be done if your company has safe access to files 24 hours a day, seven days a week, wherever we may be required to relocate in the event of an emergency.
A competent DMS can also dramatically enhance your company’s workflow operations. How do we interpret that? You can save a lot of administrative time by using features like built-in folder templates, eSignature integrations, and business and productivity application integrations instead of manually creating folder structures for each client or customer or downloading documents from emails to your desktop folders hundreds of times. You may immediately drastically minimize the quantity of tiresome and repetitive admin duties by integrating a DMS into your corporate operations.
A significant decrease in IT costs
When compared to a small firm operating on-premise server and remote VPN capabilities for their personnel, cloud-based document management has a lower IT cost. When you do the math, using a secure, cloud-based document management system will be much less expensive than having to maintain on-premise servers, pay for IT staff or outside service providers to maintain software and hardware, as well as the infrastructure expense associated with non-cloud-based solutions.
Paper-based document storage can take up a lot of physical space in an office. Document management systems allow for the electronic storage of documents, freeing up valuable space for other uses.
Improved cybersecurity and data protection
Storing sensitive documents in a secure document management system with access controls can help prevent unauthorized access and protect your business from potential security breaches.
The security that a cloud-based document management system offers for sensitive data, such as personnel and financial records, as well as access control for those who have access to your files, are two of its most significant advantages. With bank-level data encryption for files when they are stored or in transit over the internet, using a secure, cloud-based document management solution can provide significant protection for your organization and the individuals and entities whose data you keep and share.
In comparison to local computer storage or other less safe solutions like a basic cloud-based storage application, keeping your data in the cloud also offers a higher level of protection against potential cyber security risks. This benefit provides more significant security for your company to reduce risks as cyber threats increase.
Enabling remote work options to maintain staff connectivity and workflow vitality
Document management systems can enable collaboration between team members. Team members can work on the same document simultaneously, reducing the need for multiple versions of the same document.
Having off-site, secure access to your company’s data by employees and other third parties, such as vendors or contractors, is crucial given that remote work has become necessary as a result of the coronavirus public health crisis. This is exactly what a cloud-based DMS provides; depending on the option you select, your staff can quickly and securely join in from their phone or laptop, obtaining access to only the files for which they have been given permission. With the ability to work synchronously on files with data in real-time and prevent version concerns, this offers a simple option for distant teams.
How do you pick the best platform for your small business?
The DMS you select should ideally operate in a safe cloud environment rather than on a local server or hard drive. Because a cloud-based solution will have several advantages over an on-premises solution. Here are some differences you should know about:
Cloud-based document management system:
- Provides flat-rate online document storage
- Frequently includes a built-in client portal that allows visitor logins for password-protected secure file sharing
- Enables configurable folder and file management that supports a company’s unique workflow and automates tedious administrative tasks.
- Provides advanced levels of information security and improved adherence to consumer privacy and data protection standards.
- Supports remote working and collaboration capabilities as well as document e-signatures.
- Does not require internal IT maintenance because technical support is included in the service.
- Supports business continuity by enabling organizations to relocate to alternative locations in the event of a business-impacting calamity.
- Provides higher standards of information security and better adherence to laws governing consumer privacy and data protection.
Cloud storage account
- Offers pay-as-you-go or pre-paid online storage
- Comes with file sharing and collaboration options.
- In a multi-tenant system, storage resources may be shared.
- Software is updated as long as a subscription is ongoing.
- The investment is seen as an operational expense, which is a cheaper monthly cost
- IT does not need to deploy software updates and patches.
- The enterprise purchases own and manage storage resources.
- The enterprise is in charge of protecting the data and storage resources.
- The company is in charge of covering all expenses associated with on-site storage.
- The small business is in charge of handling software updates and the server environment’s integrity.
- The corporation continues to dedicate storage resources.
- The investment is seen as a capital expense, which is usually expensive.
As you can see, choosing an on-premise document management system over a DMS results in a substantially heavier workload for small businesses. Furthermore, the features offered by straightforward cloud storage are not nearly as powerful.
Take action right away to adapt and safeguard your company for the digital age. Once you implement the proper cloud-based document storage system in your company, you will discover that it is truly transformative in terms of boosting operational and staff productivity, simplifying remote capabilities, and enhancing your own sense of security regarding the ability of your company to endure through virtually any business conditions and mitigate its security risks. This management system guide was to help you understand what a DMS is and the many advantages it offers. You can now look at the various solutions for your small business document management.