Articles & Editorials

How to Align a Document Management System Strategy and Execution

Although document management system (DMS) execution requires an understanding of the solution’s features and the impact of their benefits, a strategy involves myriad components: organizing content in an intuitive way, creating a buy-in to follow the strategies, and incentivizing this buy-in from the top down.

Although DMS improves content and information strategies, it can have the opposite effect if the organization’s strategy has too many unregulated components. For instance, focusing on the two most important content management goals of the organization is more important than organizing DMS around fifteen goals.

Even if the two aforementioned goals have subsections that could in and of themselves be construed as independent goals, creating a strategic umbrella will effectively guide employees within the organizaation.

Document Management Strategy Should Make Processes Transparent

Whether through phased implementation and deployment, all-at-once implementation and deployment, or localized vs. dispersed deployment, all employees, not just executives, should understand the roadmaps, strategies, and processes surrounding the installation and use of a DMS solution. Otherwise, DMS will not be fully potentiated and generate less ROI.

Rerouting the Content Revolution: Cloud Technology’s Impact

DMS is one of the enterprise technologies most responsible for introducing organizations to the cost-efficiency, security, and other benefits of cloud-based document management technologies. If hybrid solutions do not supplant the cloud vs. on-premise distinction, the cloud will continue to garner a greater market share of DMS users.

So much so, in fact, that the International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates in its Worldwide Content Collaboration Forecast for 2015–2019 that the cloud for this market will grow 23.1% annually over this four-year period, whereas on-premise solutions will stagnate, growing 0.9% annually over this four-year period.

Resolving Information Overload in Knowledge Workers During DMS Deployment

DMS benefits both knowledge and process workers, but in two different ways. The knowledge worker will require a different deployment road map to adhere to than the process worker.

Knowledge workers’ biggest challenge in DMS deployment will entail identifying and making use of the insight relevant content will provide. For instance, financial professionals will need to determine which documents and content matter to their business objectives by virtue of this content’s information.

Although DMS vendors are steadily gearing features and product development toward knowledge workers, the process worker benefits more from going paperless via DMS than any other worker demographic.

Workflow and the Paper Free Document Management Process During Deployment

The process worker, as stated above, is affected most immediately by the paperless component of DMS, relieving them of burdens involving printers, fax machines, and paper filing.

For the process worker outside the office, these benefits can be made most immediate through DMS vendors’ mobile applications. Additionally, if deploying a DMS for an organization comprised of process workers, such as a construction company, going paperless can eliminate the need to bring blueprints to construction sites, keeping important plans safe from decay and weathering.

Ensuring Document Management System Throughput Continuity

As mentioned earlier, throughput measures a scanner’s automated ability to upload a certain number of documents and content to a DMS. A common error post-deployment, however, is forgetting to continue the throughput process.

Doing so duplicates information, attenuates the ROI of DMS, and confuses employees. Although roughly 70% of content worldwide is already digital, the content not uploaded to the DMS can compound quickly. Therefore, post-installation throughput to the DMS is important as mail or other paper documents arrive at physical office locations.

However, bringing throughput continuity to its fruition will require understanding how the digital space can be just as disorganized as filing cabinets and other physical storage spaces—particularly if DMS is not utilized correctly.

Ensuring the relevant use of Zonal OCR, file versioning, metadata, and other DMS functions can prevent digital data from being stored outside the DMS system. Digital information can be stored in many, many different places—making it arguably more disorganized and unstructured than even traditional paper-based office processes.

Developing a protocol for uploading all content to the DMS can preclude this issue. Generally speaking, most vendors provide solutions designed to harness an organization’s content in its entirety. Thus, choosing to not upload all information to the DMS prevents the system from being utilized to its fullest potential.

Mike is the founder and editor of CMS Critic. He consults with vendors and the public to help them find the right products for their websites and businesses. When he's not working here, he's off mixing cocktails for his wife's website, The Kitchen Magpie. You can check out some of his great cocktail shots over on Instagram.