14 Reasons You Need Document Management Softwareposted by John Spacey, September 09, 2012
Document management software is a business essential tool for organizations big and small.
If your organization is still sending email attachments and storing documents on network file shares — it's time to make the change. Alternatively, if your organization is considering moving documents to cloud storage, document management functionality should be an important consideration.
The benefits of document management software include:
1. Document searchDocument management systems (should ideally) allow users to quickly search your organization's document repository. Document search should leverage business metadata such as author, department, business priority, etc.
2. Secure your documents and reduce risk exposureMost document management products include role based security controls. This allows you to define finely grained permissions on documents. For example, you can set up roles that reflect your organizational structure or project stakeholders.
3. Foster a culture of sharing and collaborationA well designed information governance policy (leveraging the power of document management software) encourages users to share information — opening up new avenues of collaboration.
4. Drive document approval processesMany document management tools support rules based workflow.
A common business problem that can be tackled with document workflow is approvals. For example, a project manager can use a document management tool to manage approvals of project deliverables.
5. Manage document publishing processesDocument management tools are often used to manage publishing processes. For example, marketing materials can be reviewed by a proofreader and then approved by management before being publishing.
6. Improve Business Continuity Planning (BCP) processesMost document management tools lend themselves well to typical BCP requirements such as collocation and backup of data.
7. Manage storage capacityDocument management tools (should ideally) make it easy to implement retention policies to minimize storage and information management costs.
8. Seamless integration with unified communicationsIntegration of your document management tool with your unified communication infrastructure can streamline business processes. For example, automatically store your incoming email attachments in your document management system.
9. Drive business efficiencyReduce document capture and management costs. For example, many document management tools can automatically extract metadata from documents (e.g. author, business priority).
10. Reduce document lossDocument management tends to reduce document loss due to employee turnover.
11. Reduce document errorsDocument management version control allows users to access the most recent version of a document. Alternatively, users can look through a version history to find the version they need.
This reduces common document handling errors (such as updating the wrong version of a document).
12. Reduce redundant workPromote document visibility and accessibility (e.g. via the company intranet) to ensure that employees don't duplicate documents that already exist.
13. Legal ComplianceDocument management software will help you to manage legal requirements to retain documentation and communications such as financial information and emails.
14. Audit ComplianceMany business standards and best practices require document control. Document management tools will help you comply with these requirements by providing out-of-the-box controls.
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