The vast majority of business information exists on paper – and businesses must have access to that information they need when they need it. With the pressure to deliver data-driven decisions rapidly, a document management system represents one way in which companies seek to gain and keep the competitive advantage in an industry.
Document management is one of the many services offered by managed service providers. Yet, the dynamic and intangible nature of digital files makes it a different type of service than managed print or managed IT services. Read on to learn about document management, what it is, and how it benefits modern companies.
How Document Management Differs from Other Managed Services
Document management is the strategic use of software, hardware, services, and storage to keep physical and digital files organized, accessible, and secure. At first glance, that may seem quite similar to something like managed print services. Yet, at its core, document management is dramatically different from other managed services in many ways. For example, document management:
- Emphasizes processes, not devices. In managed print services, the end goal is the ability to print more, faster, and more cost-effectively. In managed IT, it’s secure hardware and software which support business operations. In document management, the end goal is an optimized workflow which enhances business functionality.
- Drives the movement of data through an organization. Document management helps make sure that the right people have access to the right information at all times – something which ultimately supports other processes.
- Encourages a transition towards digital infrastructure. Managed print services still fundamentally handle physical documents. Document management, however, encourages a transition towards digital files and recordkeeping to help operational processes be faster and more secure, but still accessible.
- Often involves or complements managed IT or managed print services. Both managed IT and managed print services touch upon data processes but they aren’t fundamentally concerned with them. In contrast, document management strategies may involve elements of both to deliver a secure document environment.
Tools and Strategies for Document Management
Document management solutions leverage a variety of tools and strategies to create environments where data and documents are securely created, manipulated, and stored. As such, such solutions tend to vary from organization to organization – there’s no one size fits all. Common tools and strategies for document management include:
- Automation. One of the most prominent features of document management is automation. It brings the ability to reduce the manual workload associated with maintaining documents, such as data entry, collation, filing, archival, and backup.
- Mobile workforce solutions. Mobile solutions unlock the ability of users to access and manage documents no matter where they come across them.
- Enhanced document capture. Documents appear in a variety of formats. Enhanced document capture leverages tools such as optical character recognition, automatic transmissions, keyword search and more to make sure documents are captured and categorized correctly.
- Extended third-party application support. Document management strategies may leverage third-party support to acquire capabilities or resources beyond what a company’s native infrastructure may contain.
- Cloud solutions. Cloud solutions are a lightweight way to significantly boost the security and accessibility of documents.
- Enterprise content management software. ECM software creates a unified ecosystem for all document processes keeping everything located in one convenient place.
Benefits of Document Management
A thoughtfully developed and deployed document management strategy has many benefits for a business. These include:
1. Cost Savings
Document management solutions help an office’s operating expenses. They do this by decreasing the labor hours involved with managing documents, to preventing lost documents and minimizing downtime.
2. Improved Disaster Recovery & Backup
A disaster recovery plan is a critical element of business success – it should include plans for data or documents. Document management helps keep vital records secure and backed up in the event of an emergency. Strategies often involve leveraging offsite storage or cloud solutions which are accessible from any computer as long as the user has the proper credentials.
3. Enhanced Productivity
Document management refines the entire document lifecycle from capture to archival to improve the business processes which work with them. Through a solid strategy, users gain the ability to access materials faster and more effortlessly so that they can spend time on business rather than documents.
4. Better Security and Compliance
Document management improves security and helps a company maintain compliance with any legal regulations it may be required to follow. Service providers with expertise in a specific industry will be aware of the necessary compliance requirements and help a company achieve it.
Improve Your Document Life Cycle Today
Unlike other managed services, document management actively seeks to improve the way data flows through an organization by emphasizing processes rather than devices. However, since document management often overlaps with managed IT and managed printing, service providers who offer both are often able to assist a company with their document processes as well. Document management is a valuable investment for any office seeking to optimize its workflow for better productivity.
Virginia Business Systems is a premier document management solutions provider for Virginia businesses. Contact us today to get started improving your document life cycle.