The days of storing paper are long gone. Any small business must have a sound document management system. You can help your company succeed by securely keeping necessary documentation digitally.

But where do you begin when selecting a document management system? After all, it’s a crowded field with numerous vendors. This guide will guide you toward the fundamentals of document management systems and provide a road map for the procurement process.

Selecting the best document management system begins with an accurate assessment of your organization’s needs. The first decision you’ll have to make is to choose one of the two types of document management systems; an on-premises or cloud-based solution. Each system provides the same functionality, but there are a few key differences in how maintenance is performed and data is stored.

Types Of Document Management System:

When selecting a document management system, you will have the option of using on-premises software or cloud-based software. So, which one should you go with?

  • On-Premises:

An on-premises solution necessitates the use of your servers and storage, which requires your maintenance. You’ll be responsible for the security of all of the data, so back it up regularly. Because of the higher technical demands, this option is typically appropriate for larger companies with dedicated IT resources, but it also puts you in direct control of your system. The vendor’s software updates and technical support are generally unforeseeable, whether you renew an annual subscription package regularly.

  • Cloud-based:

Your provider hosts cloud-based software, which is then made available to your organization online. Cloud-based solutions typically charge a monthly or annual fee that includes all maintenance and software updates. The pricing range for cloud-based systems can be from a few dollars to more than a couple of hundred dollars, depending on the system you choose and the features you require.

Choosing The Right Document Management System:

When selecting a document management system, you should look for a few key features. Discuss your requirements thoroughly with any sales representatives you contact, and make sure to obtain technical specifications and pricing in writing. We recommend that any Enterprise Document Management System you consider has the following features:

  • Simple File Structure:

The system should have a user-friendly file structure, such as a cabinet-drawer-folder structure.

  • Searching:

You require a wide range of options for quickly locating files. You shall be able to search not only by filename but also by content, last modified date, file type, and other criteria.

  • Ease Of Use:

Your employees will be able to use the system with ease. If it is too difficult, you will not receive complete buy-in from your employees, which will disrupt your day-to-day operations and cause miscommunication.

  • Mobile Access:

You want to invest in a Document Management System that is always available via smartphones and tablets, allowing you to edit, view, and share files from any location.

  • Integration:

The system should be simple to integrate with existing programs such as your email client and customer relationship management software. While discussing any solution with a sales rep, inquire about open APIs (which allow you to add your integrations).

  • Security:

You should be able to limit who has access to specific folders and files in the system. Employees should be able to set their access permissions.

Document Management System Features:

These are some of the most essential document management features:

  • Document Storage:

The most fundamental and vital function of a document management system is to keep your company’s documents safe and easily searchable.

  • Keyword Search:

A sound document management system includes a broad keyword search option, allowing you to access any document based on specific keywords quickly. Some systems include metadata and tags to aid in the recall of a document or group of documents.

  • Permissioned Access To Documents:

You can give several employees access to certain documents while preventing others from viewing or editing them by implementing tiered permissions.

Document management systems can be large and complicated. If you’re still unsure where to begin, Docupile is here to help.

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