When your business reaches a certain size, you may start looking for ways to organize paperwork somewhere other than on your desk. Document Management Systems are like electronic filing cabinets that provide a framework for storing and organizing company documents. With this software, your company documents are easily searchable and accessed by anyone in the organization. But how do you choose the best one? There are so many options out there—a quick look at your storage needs can help you choose the ideal solution for your business.
1. Where to Store?
To choose your document management system, first ask how you’d like this data to be stored. The options here are to store your documents in the cloud or in your business (self-hosted). With self-hosted systems, you will only be able to store as many documents as your server allows. Software implementation is a one-time cost, however you’ll be responsible for the upkeep and backup. If your documents are managed in the cloud, your files can be accessed from anywhere with a monthly fee, and your provider takes care of backup and maintenance. It’s up to your business to decide whether onsite or in cloud-based solutions fit your needs.
2. What to Store?
What types of documents do you have to store? Some document management systems are better at managing certain types of records. For example, if you have official documents like contracts to store, you’ll want a system that respects privacy rules and regulations. Also, if you use other business programs, you should look for a document management system that plays well with these. Many software offerings now offer API integration with other popular business tools. Your document management system of choice should fit well with the type of data you need stored.
3. How Much to Store?
What volume of records do you need to store?This may help to determine if your documents can be stored on-site or in the cloud. If you have large quantities of documents dating back many years, you might be better served by a cloud-based solution. If you have smaller numbers of files, your data may fit better in-house. Regardless, the document management system you choose for your business needs to have space for all the files that need storage.
4. Why to Store?
Finally, for what reason is storage needed? Are you looking to meet regulatory archiving standards, or just need an organization system for within the business? These needs will also inform what kind of document management system will work best for your company. Some solutions offer long-term archiving and follow regulatory guidelines, if these are important for your documents.
If you’re finding it challenging to manage your company’s paperwork, it’s probably time for a document management system. These systems organize your files digitally and in one location, making it easy to find what you’re looking for. When you know what you need from a document management system, you’ll be well-prepared to find the best system for your company.