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A Document management system answers many questions: how do I reduce operating expenses? How do I save money in newfound places for my business? How do I scale back on paper use in my office?
However, the software itself also poses important questions to those who are considering using it. Here eFileCabinet answers many of the most FAQs received from prospective users and new customers alike.
A. Will Software and Strategy Support be an Ongoing, Indefinite Process?
Document management system support will not be an ongoing and indefinite process insomuch as the document management system vendor has a strong support team and product offering. However, irrespective of which document management system a prospective buyer selects, the strategy for the technology will always be an ongoing process.
Although software and strategy are highly similar in the sense that a software’s features may provide strategic frameworks in and of themselves, from the organizational perspective, the strategy will always require legwork because the industry in which the organization resides will fluctuate, bringing new demands and challenges, and ultimately shaping the way organizations respond to these fluctuations with a document management system.
B. What Will Data and Content Migration Entail?
Most organizations’ qualitative data can be found in its content and vice versa. Thus, data and content may be treated as one and the same, or merely as “information.” DMS vendors will be able to assist buyers in data migration whether it be to an online, cloud-based solution, a hybrid solution, or an on premise(s) solution.
However, some vendors will not sufficiently address post-installation considerations regarding information migration. Essentially, it is common that once a vendor completes the installation and makes the sale, further guidance is not provided to the document management system user.
For instance, a particularly common issue post installation is the vendor’s failure to warn organizations against using old storage and data methods (like the shared drive) that the DMS was purchased to supplant. Employees are creatures of habit just as they are outside the office, and will continue relying on overlearned storage tactics, procedures, and protocols unless leadership incentivizes buy-in to the new DMS by removing the technology it was designed to replace.
C. Why Would I choose an Electronic Document Management System over An Electronic Document Management Solution (EDMS)?
Several document management system vendors use the terms document management system and EDMS interchangeably, so confusion regarding the terms is understandable. However, there is a distinct difference between EDMS and a document management system, while still relevant in terminology, is not relevant in practice.
The term emerged to account for enterprise imaging innovations made over 15 years ago near the beginning of the millennium. Akin to DMS, the main purpose of EDM was enabling organizations to rely on less paper, store information digitally, and increase the security of their files (albeit the security enhancement of going paperless alone was marginal).
However, the document management system, as noted earlier, encompasses a greater suite of strategies and software bred to accommodate the needs of larger organizations with multiple branches and a greater volume of information, including more stringent compliance objectives and expectations.
D. Why Would I choose a Document Management System over Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)?
ERP software is designed to help organizations become data driven, making strategic decisions based on surmised data. Perhaps more akin to DMS than any other technology mentioned in this guide, ERP is better suited for organizations looking to utilize different platforms of the same software in different departments of the organization.
However, a document management system deployment is most useful if deployed organization-wide across all departments—making it a better option for larger organizations wanting to keep all departments informed of each other’s processes and information structures.
Additionally, ERP is designed to account for predetermined information. DMS, however, is robust enough to account for both determined and undetermined information—the latter of these two information types being the most difficult to structuralize into internal processes. Finally, ERP emphasizes delivering solutions in real time: real time being the feature by which technology keeps pace with external processes as they unfold in the environment.
E. Why Would I Choose DMS over Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS)?
Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) is the equivalent of what many call cloud storage today, making it a consumer grade technology unfit for use in an enterprise, no matter how small the enterprise may be.
Although many DMS vendors have all the features of a typical EFSS, the value inherent to a document management system does not reside in its EFSS features. Presently, over half of all organizations worldwide rely on EFSS.
F. Why Would I Choose a Document Management System over Enterprise Content Management (ECM)?
DMS and ECM are two of the most commonly confused enterprise grade technology solutions. ECM mobilizes documents into self-contained content, reducing the time spent organizing materials and clutter—both of which are prevalent issues across industries.
Essentially, DMS facilitates documents’ capacity to self-manage so workers may tend to the more important aspects of organizational functions: decision making, analysis, and revenue-generating processes.
Although the following statistic varies from vendor to vendor and industry to industry, anywhere from one-fifth to one-fourth of a document management system is Enterprise Content Management in its entirety.
This is in large part because although ECM and DMS are distinctly different, they share a variety of technological features—whereas a DMS entails not just technology, but also the strategies by which organizations can effectively use and manipulate content for any given purpose.
For instance, Infosys, a business technology and consulting firm, notes that one-fifth of ECM is comprised of the following document management features: folder-ing, file visibility, file retrieval and search, workflow features, and automated document deletion and retention.
A document management system, however, primarily utilizes business process management, which is a strategy of melding preexisting IT structures and processes into organizations’ DMS usage.
Concomitantly, ECM involves records management (the legal component of enterprise technology and content), web page content management, and information exchange add-ons with more security features than email provides. However, both high-end ECM and a typical DMS can handle millions of documents.
To read more about what a document management system is, visit eFileCabinet’s website.