The world is becoming increasingly digital. It means that organizations are collecting and storing an ever-expanding amount of information. Since data is the lifeblood of every business, companies need a document management system (DMS) sooner or later.
However, it’s essential to note that it can be challenging to determine which DMS would prove to be compatible with your business. And although it’s well-established that organizations may require varying conditions for them to flourish, it’s crucial to adopt specific solutions that can best cater to your company’s needs.
Fortunately, most modern document management systems will suit businesses regardless of their industry and how they operate. That’s because technologies, like esignature, have made DMS more effective at fulfilling its purpose. Besides electronically signing documents online, more innovations transform DMS in ways that many people aren’t aware of. But before we deep dive into them, let’s get to know DMS better.
What Is A Document Management System?
When it comes to managing essential documents in your company, one of the primary things you must do includes sprucing up the quality and efficiency of your DMS. Document management processes could also involve the signing, sending, tracking, and collecting of essential files for your business.
To efficiently obtain such purposes, here’s a list of important pieces of information that you must know about document management systems:
- Intrinsically, DMS is a type of automated software solution that primarily focuses on several mechanical processes, such as collecting, securing, organizing, capturing, approving, and tagging your business files.
- While the previous processes of storing data mainly rely on the use of cloud computing and other similar software, DMS utilize other resources and tools.
- One of the many good things about DMS is that it allows users to have full control of their business files. Apart from that, it also enables other people to maximize opportunities in their business.
- Additionally, DMS have certain features that make the sharing of large files easier. This particular component is present among platforms that have built-in web portals. If you’re wondering about how that can help users, built-in web portals offer users the ability to safely manage large files using mobile phones without going through any hassle.
- Although accessibility and security are some of the most common concerns regarding document management, DMS proves to be beneficial in sharing such aspects with other technology solutions and bring them in a single tool.
However, you still need to be vigilant about certain issues of cyber-attack and security concerns, such as information leaks and security breaches as these could pose a huge risk in document management activities. Usually, such data catastrophes occur due to poor data management and inefficient internal information security.
Innovations In Document Management
Despite digital transformation’s galloping pace, employees in many companies still regularly report issues when using DMS. Human error and duplicate files are only some of the several document management software challenges that lead to low productivity in the workplace.
Luckily, developers looked for ways that technologies could help make document management systems more effective. In fact, recent innovations have already started revolutionizing how DMS works. They include:
1. Mobile Capacities
In the past, users have difficulty boosting their business’s productivity due to limited access to their files. That’s why to save yourself from such hassle; it’s crucial to look for a solution that’d allow you to accomplish tasks via mobile phones.
The good news is that mobile accessibility has been one of the most significant innovations that continue to transform document management systems nowadays. It allows users to access their DMS software anywhere and anytime they want.
In fact, more and more document management service providers have started to capitalize on the rapidly-growing mobile technology by doing the following:
- Optimizing their systems for mobile device use
- Developing a mobile app version of their DMS
- Making their systems cloud-enabled or ready
- Sending automatic notifications to a user’s email address
With these and other mobility-related updates, all information will be at an organization’s fingertips. This allows employees to complete their responsibilities offsite.
Of course, as the mobile capacities of DMS continue to improve, more mobility features can be enjoyed by users. A notable feature that one can expect sooner than later is the ability to access documents via wearable technology like a smartwatch.
2. Cloud Infrastructure
Forward-thinking organizations are now starting to rethink their processes by looking at the opportunities that cloud-based solutions present. It includes how they control their documents, especially with today’s DMS becoming increasingly cloud-enabled. This is partly due to most service providers’ aim of unifying and automating document management throughout each aspect of their client’s business operations.
The cloud-based approach has transformed DMS significantly. It streamlines business processes and allows people to work smarter and faster. A cloud-based document management system works by addressing common frictions in business processes, including:
- Barriers That Prevent Collaboration: With a cloud-based DMS, every user can now share a document’s latest version with each other directly. As a result, communication delays that slow down productivity is avoided.
- Manual And Redundant Work: As previously mentioned, modern, cloud-enabled document management software unifies content on one platform. It means that users can access and share information automatically without the need to toggle between applications. It eliminates manual workarounds or redundant work and helps a company prevent exposing itself to compliance breaches and operational errors.
- Lack Of Transparency In The Document Creation Process: File edits and versions are all controlled by a cloud-based document management system. It also establishes a reliable audit trail by offering visibility into a document’s creation. In the past, a team member may not discover if a file is the latest version when receiving the document through email. It increases the chance of jeopardizing quality and compliance. However, with an audit trail, team members can see who made any changes to the document. They can even access previous versions. Also, the system updates documents automatically every time a user enters information, ensuring that everyone is working with the file’s latest version.
Simply put, a cloud-based approach to data management fosters greater collaboration, efficiency, and transparency. It’s even a cost-effective option for companies as it reduces IT burden and costs while allowing the organization to remain on the cutting edge.
3. Optical Character Recognition
Acquiring documents is one thing; taking them into your business and accurately processing them is another.
In the past, documents have to undergo labeling, referencing, or indexing when they land on a DMS. At times, however, this manual work made it challenging for employees to piece together where the document originated and what it was. Such a situation has changed with automatic classification and processing. Of course, all thanks to optical character recognition (OCR).
Despite the OCR technology being around for a while now, artificial intelligence (AI) made it one of the notable innovations in DMS. It makes the collection, assessment, organization, and restoration of data more straightforward. It also helps users archive their files without any hassle.
Basically, when combined, optical character recognition and AI gives DMS users an extra tool they can use for locating vital information from the software even if they don’t know where they should start looking.
4. Artificial Intelligence
Besides the above-mentioned technological innovations, another remarkable breakthrough in DMS is the application of AI. Of course, we’ve already mentioned how AI has revolutionized the application of optical character recognition in DMS. However, it isn’t the only way AI has transformed document management.
Other areas in which AI is expanding the benefits of using DMS are as follows:
- Improved Security: AI made document management systems’ security more advance, just like how it revolutionized the way businesses protect their networks. The algorithm can help detect any data in the document that criminals could potentially use to identify a specific person. It can also encrypt files automatically. AI even helps in implementing biometric identification to prevent unauthorized users from accessing sensitive company data.
- Data Analytics: Data analysis and insight delivery are potent benefits of AI-powered document management software. These analytics help organizations make better decisions. Such capabilities are especially essential in the digital age where companies collect and store increasing data or information amounts. AI makes these things possible using data visualization and machine learning.
5. User Interface
This innovation’s impact may not be at the same level as the other technologies we’ve already mentioned and discussed. However, suppose you’re also concerned with your software’s functionality. In that case, you’d be glad to hear that document management systems are now more intuitive than ever before, thanks to the term ‘user interface’ that the computer world came up with. Such intuitiveness allows users to use DMS to its full potential.
Incorporating document management solutions into one’s business may not be as easy as it seems, especially over the last decades when technology isn’t as advanced as today. Usually, this process takes up time and effort on the business owners’ part, along with the need for intricate software installations.
Fortunately, such instances aren’t an issue now with the emergence of various technological advances, including the use of esignatures and cloud technologies. Other innovations transforming DMS for the better are mobile accessibility, optical character recognition, artificial intelligence, and the introduction of the user interface. Through them, document management has never been easier and more beneficial for business organizations.