Document Management Solutions begins with a system that stores, tracks and indexes both paper and digital documents for retrieval by a project team. The system helps you keep important papers and digital files close to your workspace while eliminating physical filing cabinets and providing security and disaster recovery for all information.
You need to know what physical information you have and what you want to do with it before you begin to scan your documents. Some items for consideration include:
- Desktop Computer Files
- Incoming Paperwork
- Audio and Video Works
When you finish checking through all of these items, you will have a data pool inventory. Now is the time to look at options available to you as a document management system. The identification of each document and evaluation of the information it contains makes the decision to "keep or toss" much easier. The remaining material helps you know what type of system you need to store and retrieve your company documents.
What are Client-Server Systems
This type of system takes up physical space within your business confines because you are storing your data on your server or a server you own in a remote location. There are both advantages and disadvantages to this type of system.
The advantages are:
- You always have control of your data
- It is easy to use your own software
- When your needs change, you can tweak your system
- Off-site computers are easy to access and inexpensive to manage regular backups
On the other hand, consider a couple of disadvantages:
- The extra servers require software with up-front costs
- Maintenance and management requires on-site IT staff
Sharing Vendor-Run Systems
The vendor-run systems are a bit different from client servers. They are application service providers (ASP) and reside on your service provider's servers. You share space and gain access through a web browser or software. Again, there are advantages and disadvantages to this system.
The advantages are:
- The power supply never experiences an interruption
- You have consistent and reliable backups of information
- Upgrades are timely with good communication
- You share professional IT maintenance, which is always available
- Security and Firewalls are set in place
- The initial cost is a setup fee with low monthly charges afterwards
Of course, consider the disadvantages of this type of system, also:
- You must have a dependable and suitable internet connection
- Document retrieval speed depends on web traffic density at various times of the day, week or month
- An outage that originates at your ISP could interrupt document retrieval
Ups and Downs
Depending upon your needs and storage capacity, a document management system could prove helpful. Weigh the ups and downs of the available choices so the commitment you make will be your document management solution for a long time. Contact us for any assistance you may need as you go through this process!
Does your company utilize a Document Management Solution? If so, how is it working for you so far?