Home
>
Blogs
>
What is Document Management Software?
Category:
SaaS
Productivity Tools
This is some text inside of a div block.
min read

What is Document Management Software?

What is Document Management Software?
June 15, 2023

Document management software is a system for electronically capturing, indexing, organizing, securing, and retaining documents and paper files. It allows businesses to store documents in a centralized, searchable system and control who can access, edit and share those documents. Effective document management systems make it easy for employees to locate the information they need quickly. Documents can be tagged with metadata fields like author, date created, category, and keywords to facilitate search. Versions of documents are tracked to ensure the most current information is used.

The software provides tools for collaboration around documents, allowing multiple users to work on and comment on files simultaneously. Permissions and security settings help ensure sensitive documents are only viewable by authorized personnel. Documents are often stored in a central repository rather than on individual devices or local networks. This helps organizations enforce retention policies and comply with legal and regulatory requirements. Scanned paper documents and files from email and other sources can typically be imported into the system.

Once implemented, document management software can reduce paperwork, simplify information sharing, and streamline business processes that rely on documents. Storage and retrieval of documents become more efficient, fast, and accurate. The system helps maintain an organized archive of documents so important files are less likely to be misplaced. Overall, the software aims to make managing documents within an organization faster, easier, and more secure.

10 Benefits of Document Management Software for Businesses

Document management software has many benefits for businesses that handle large volumes of documents. It helps organize, secure, and streamline access to documents while improving team collaboration. This software can reduce costs, save time and boost productivity for growing businesses. The top 10 benefits include Enhanced Efficiency, Improved Document Organization, Enhanced Collaboration, Document Security, Disaster Recovery and Backup, Regulatory Compliance, Cost Savings, Workflow Automation, Improved Customer Service, Scalability, and Growth. Details regarding these benefits are as follows-  

Enhanced Efficiency

One of the biggest benefits of document management software is the increased efficiency it brings to an organization. Employees spend less time searching for documents and wasting resources like paper and storage space. Centralizing documents in an electronic repository and applying metadata tags for categorization and keywords expedites document retrieval. Users can quickly locate relevant files through full-text searches or filtered searches based on metadata fields. Electronic approval workflows automate tasks like routing documents for review and signatures, speeding up processes.

Employees also waste less time discussing documents over email since the software enables real-time collaboration tools. All these factors contribute to employees saving time daily that can be redirected to value-adding work. The gains in efficiency add up for the entire organization, boosting productivity and the bottom line. Proper classification, organization, and security of documentation also future-proofs the business, ensuring critical information remains accessible when needed.

Put simply, document management software optimizes how organizations locate, access, and utilize their documents. By streamlining documentation processes, the software enhances the effectiveness and productivity of knowledge workers, unleashing trapped efficiency within businesses.

Improved Document Organization

One of the primary benefits of document management software is the improved organization it brings to a company's documents. Physical documents stored in filing cabinets or shared folders are often disorganized and hard to search. Documents get duplicated while important files can get misplaced. With a document management system, documents are stored in a central electronic repository that enforces consistency. Documents can be organized into folders with a logical hierarchy.  

Administrators can define metadata fields relevant to the business and require users to tag documents with this metadata. Users can then search and filter documents based on these tags. Retention policies ensure documents are kept or disposed of appropriately. The system makes it easy to find the most current version of a document. All these features ensure documents remain organized and easy to locate. Employees spend less time searching for information and more time being productive. The system helps optimize how organizations store, categorize, secure, and analyze their documents so the right information is accessible exactly when needed.

Enhanced Collaboration

A well-organized document storage system is critical for any business that relies heavily on documents. But physical filing systems and shared folders are often disorganized, resulting in lost or duplicated documents. Employees waste time searching for the information they need. Document management software solves these problems by providing a centralized electronic repository for documents. The system enforces consistency by requiring specific metadata fields to be populated for each document.  

Documents can be organized into logical folders and categories. Retention policies ensure the right documents are kept and disposed of properly. Versions are tracked so the most current information is always used. All of these features make it easy to locate any document quickly. Employees spend less time searching and more time being productive. The organization's body of documents is optimized so the right information is accessible exactly when needed. In short, document management software transforms a disordered pile of files into a well-organized, searchable document library that efficiently supports business operations.

Document Security

Securing sensitive documents is an important requirement for many businesses. While physical filing systems and shared network drives offer some security through physical and network access controls, they are still prone to issues like unauthorized access, loss and theft of devices, and inability to track document usage. Document management software solves these problems through advanced security features within its system.

Role-based access controls allow administrators to define what individuals or groups can see and edit each document. Documents can be encrypted both at rest and in transit. The system logs details of all document access and changes, providing an audit trail for compliance purposes. Two-factor authentication and password policy enforcement add another layer of security. These and other security features ensure that only authorized personnel can view and modify sensitive documents, helping organizations meet compliance requirements.

The software transforms an inherently insecure system of physical and shared electronic files into a secure electronic document repository. This gives organizations confidence that their most sensitive documents are properly protected and any unauthorized access can be detected and addressed.

Disaster Recovery and Backup

For businesses that rely on important documents, the ability to recover those documents after a disaster is critical. While offline backups of physical documents and file servers can help with disaster recovery, they are often incomplete, disorganized, and time-consuming to restore. Document management software facilitates faster and more reliable disaster recovery in two ways. First, the software automatically backs up all documents in the system regularly.  

These electronic backups are comprehensive, organized by user-defined metadata, and easily restored. Second, the software allows for configuring high availability, redundancy, and syncing across multiple servers. If one server fails, document access can failover to other servers with little to no downtime.

Together these capabilities ensure that in the event of data loss or system failure, businesses can quickly and easily restore their document repositories and critical information. Employees can quickly resume work with up-to-date documents, minimizing disruption. The benefits of automatic, frequent backups and built-in high availability make document management systems a vital part of any organization's disaster recovery planning and business continuity strategy.

Regulatory Compliance

For businesses in regulated industries, staying compliant with rules around document retention, security, and auditing is important. Document management software helps with compliance in several ways. The software enforces retention and disposition policies to ensure documents are kept or destroyed according to legal requirements. It logs details of all document access, edits, and downloads, facilitating audits. Advanced security features like encryption, role-based access, and two-factor authentication protect sensitive documents.  

Electronic document storage also makes compliance easier by providing a centralized, well-organized system. With document management software, businesses gain improved visibility and control over their documents to meet compliance obligations. The software transforms a messy paper-based filing system or unstructured shared drives into an electronic document repository that facilitates regulatory compliance.

Cost Savings

Document management software can help businesses save costs in various ways. First, the software reduces paper usage by digitizing documents and workflows. This saves money on supplies like paper, ink, copiers, and printers. Storing documents electronically also requires less physical space, reducing rental and facilities costs. Employees also save time with more efficient document search, retrieval, and collaboration tools provided by the software.  

This translates to higher productivity and less time wasted, resulting in overall labor cost savings. Automating document-intensive business processes through integration further improves efficiency. Together, these factors contribute to real cost reductions for organizations that implement document management systems to digitize and streamline their documentation processes. By minimizing reliance on paper and optimizing employee time, document management solutions can quickly pay for themselves through reduced operating expenses.

Workflow Automation

Document management software allows businesses to automate document-intensive workflows and processes. The software provides tools to define steps in a workflow along with conditions, routing rules, and deadlines. Employees are automatically assigned tasks and notified of due dates. Documents can be routed sequentially to different individuals or teams for review and approval. Digital signatures speed up approvals while ensuring authenticity. All progress is tracked within the system.

Integration with other systems triggers actions as documents move through workflows. Automating repetitive workflows in this way saves employees’ time, reduces errors, and keeps processes moving smoothly. Common examples include approvals, reviews, audits, contract management, and more. Overall, workflow automation capabilities within document management systems help optimize core business processes that involve numerous documents.

Improved Customer Service

For businesses that interact with customers through documents, implementing document management software can significantly improve the level of customer service provided. With documents organized, secure, and quickly searchable in one central system, employees can locate the information they need to resolve customer issues, fulfill requests and respond to inquiries much faster. Customers get faster replies to emails, quicker processing of orders and applications, and more efficient handling of claims and complaints. Documents required for support and service like contracts, invoices, manuals, and specs are easily accessed by employees working with customers.  

The consistency and accuracy of information provided to customers also improve through the use of centralized, approved documents managed by the system. Overall, by streamlining how organizations locate, share, and update documents associated with customer interactions, document management solutions raise the speed, precision, and attentiveness of customer service provided. Satisfied customers are the result.

Scalability and Growth

For growing businesses, a document management system that can scale to meet increasing needs is crucial. As employee headcount and document volumes rise, a physical filing system or unstructured file server typically becomes difficult to manage. Proper document management software is designed from the ground up for scalability. It can accommodate larger numbers of users, store more documents, and handle higher retrieval volumes without major performance impacts.

The software also makes it easy to add additional metadata fields, security roles, and workflow configurations as an organization's processes and taxonomy change over time. Cloud-based systems in particular offer unlimited scalability that is carefully monitored and optimized by the vendor. As a business expands, a document management solution that can scale its capabilities in tandem ensures documentation processes remain efficient and documents remain organized and accessible.  

Employees can continue focusing on high-value tasks instead of being bogged down by document management issues that slow growth. An adaptable, scalable document management system acts as the digital foundation enabling an organization to expand its people and operations.

Common Features of Document Management Systems

Common features of document management system include-  

  • Document storage - The ability to upload and store documents in a centralized repository that is accessible to authorized users. Files can be uploaded from the system interface, saved directly from applications, or imported from other sources.
  • Metadata tagging - Fields for adding metadata tags to documents like category, author, date, keywords, etc. This facilitates searching and organizing documents.
  • Advanced search - Powerful search features that allow users to find documents based on metadata tags, full-text searching, and other criteria.
  • Version control - The system tracks different versions of documents and allows rolling back to previous versions. Users can compare versions side-by-side.
  • Security and permissions - Role-based access controls and security measures to restrict access to sensitive documents only to authorized personnel.
  • Collaboration - Tools for collaborating and commenting on documents like discussions, annotations, and change tracking. Multiple users can work on the same document simultaneously.
  • Integration - The ability to integrate with other applications and systems used within an organization via APIs.

These are the core capabilities provided by document management systems that allow organizations to better control, secure and analyze their documents.

How To Choose the Right Document Management System for Your Business?

Here are the key considerations for choosing the right document management system for your business:

  • Analyze your needs - Consider how many documents you need to store, how frequently they are accessed and edited, and how critical security and compliance are. Identify your must-have features.
  • Cloud vs on-premise - Decide if a cloud-based system that's always accessible online or an on-premise solution installed on your servers better suits your security, cost, and IT requirements.
  • Integration - Check if the system can integrate with the other applications you use like CRM, ERP, and office productivity suites. Look for open APIs.
  • Pricing model - Compare pricing options like per-user, per-document, or enterprise licenses. Consider the costs of implementation, customization, and support.
  • Ease of use - Test the system's interface and search tools. Make sure it's intuitive for your employees, from beginners to power users. Streamlined workflows improve productivity.
  • Mobility - If employees need mobile access, ensure the system has mobile apps or responsive web interfaces. Offline usage and syncing are also pluses.
  • Security - Features like password protection, 2-factor authentication, and document encryption can protect sensitive data. Role-based access controls are important.
  • Scalability - The system should be able to accommodate future document volume growth and the addition of users without performance issues.
  • Support - Consider the quality of technical support and training options available from the vendor. Responsive support is crucial.
  • Reviews - Read online reviews and case studies from businesses in your industry using different systems to see what works best for your situation.
  • Customizability - For some businesses, the ability to customize or integrate the system with their existing IT infrastructure is important.
  • Do a trial or demo - Try out the top contenders in your investigation to see the systems in action and assess their fit for your organization.

Challenges Associated with the Document Management System

Here are some of the key challenges associated with implementing a document management system:

  • Changing employee behavior: Getting employees to change longstanding habits and use the new system can be difficult. Users may not see the value and resist learning a new interface. Proper training and clear communication of benefits are important.
  • Integration issues: Integrating the document management system with other systems already used can pose technical difficulties and add to implementation time and costs. Open APIs help with integration.
  • System configuration: Properly configuring the system with appropriate metadata fields, security roles, and workflows to match business needs can be complex and time-consuming.
  • Scanning existing documents: Scanning, tagging, and uploading existing paper documents into the system represents an initial, labor-intensive effort that must be well-planned.
  • Data migration: Existing electronic documents from file servers and employee devices need to be identified, migrated, and tagged properly so they are usable in the new system.
  • Change management: Successfully transitioning teams to the new system requires solid change management strategies to prepare users, resolve issues quickly and provide continuous support.
  • Overcoming technical glitches: As with any new software implementation, unforeseen technical issues may arise that require troubleshooting and resolution. Proper testing helps minimize these.
  • Ongoing maintenance: The system needs to be maintained with regular updates, back-ups, and monitoring of system health to ensure continuous performance.
  • Costs: DMS solutions can have high upfront and ongoing costs related to software licenses, implementation services, and support. Budgeting properly is key.

These and other challenges make a successful document management system implementation more complex. But with enough planning, preparation, communication, and training, most organizations can overcome these hurdles to realize the benefits a DMS provides.

Why Choose ioMoVo’s Document Management Software?

ioMoVo offers a comprehensive and user-friendly document management solution that addresses the needs of small to medium-sized businesses. Our software helps organizations reduce paperwork, streamline processes and improve information sharing across teams. Key reasons to choose our solution include:

  • Ease of use - Our software is designed with simplicity and intuitiveness in mind. The interface is clean and avoids clutter so users of any skill level can quickly find what they need. Workflows are streamlined for maximum efficiency.
  • Rich functionality - The solution provides all the features one would expect from an enterprise-grade system including version control, security, collaboration tools, search, reporting, and retention policies.
  • Cost-effectiveness - We offer affordable subscription plans tailored to organizations of different sizes. There are no hidden costs and the system scales easily as your business and document volumes grow.
  • Full support - Our dedicated client success team provides implementation services, training, and responsive technical support to ensure our customers realize maximum value from the system.
  • Security - Document security is a priority. The software uses measures like role-based access controls, data encryption, and 2-factor authentication to keep sensitive data safe.
  • Integration - The software integrates seamlessly with common applications used in organizations via our open API. We make integration simple and painless.
  • Customization - The system can be customized to align with your organization's specific processes and classification taxonomy to optimize workflow.

Our document management solution aims to provide an enjoyable and stress-free user experience while addressing the critical needs of businesses for organizing, securing, and gaining insights from their documents. It’s the right blend of simplicity, power, and value for growing companies.

Conclusion

Document management software provides a centralized system for storing, organizing, securing, and tracking documents within an organization. It helps businesses reduce paperwork, simplify information sharing and streamline document-reliant processes. Document management systems like ioMoVo make it easier for employees to locate access and collaborate on the information they need to do their work. Implementing this type of software can boost productivity by saving employees time previously spent searching for documents, making multiple copies, and discussing documents over email. Proper document management also helps organizations comply with retention policies and legal requirements. While every business has unique documentation needs, document management solutions aim to make handling the vast amounts of information companies rely on daily more efficient, effective, and secure.

More Blogs