What Document Management Is All About?

Updated on February 23, 2021

In any project or task we work on, documents are essential components we must have. ISO 12651-2 defines a document as any recorded data or information that can be regarded as a unit. It’s what we’ve been using in workplaces, schools, organisations, and such for transactions, creative work, legal needs, academic requirements, and more.

Document management or Document Management System is known as utilising a computer system and software to store, track, and manage electronic documents and pictures of documents or scanned ones. In general, the document management software helps organisations organise and control documents they use daily. More than this, it encompasses document and content capture, document repositories, workflow, output systems, and information retrieval systems.

Content management

Content management is a significant component in the overall work processes as well. However, document management is one of its building blocks. It provides content management with some of its most basic functionalities. This includes having to impose controls and management capabilities onto some documents that need upgrading.

Some of the key features and characteristics of document management consist of:

  • Version control 

This keeps tabs on how the versions of the current documents came to be and shows the difference from the previous versions processed before.

  • Check-in and check-out

This allows you to coordinate changes that people input simultaneously without letting the other’s revisions overwrite others’.

  • Audit trail

This helps track who revised the document during its entire life in the system and permit further revision from their input.

  • Rollback

When you’ve made an error on the current version or in cases of a premature release, you’ll be able to activate the prior version with this feature.

Over time, document management became subsumed in content management because more and more information is available to us in this age. More sources such as thumb drives, the Web, smartphones, and more have also been invented, with the advent of technology being constant throughout the years.

Document Management System

Although document management has become a component of content management, it still has its unique functions and remains one of the essential structures and software in workplaces. They vary in size and scope and can come as standalone systems or massive enterprise-wide configurations that can control and manage documents globally. Enterprise content management is also a separate area that holds document management systems of utmost importance.

There is so much you can do with document management systems. Various features of these allow physical documents can be incorporated electronically by:

  • Audit trails
  • Security and access controls
  • Storage location
  • Document lockdown
  • Check-in or check-out

Suppose you’re not using a document management software. In that case, you might want to reevaluate if this is a reason to be left behind in the competition. Organisations who use these tools get to save time and money. It gives the benefit of optimising document handling, streamlining file searches, improving data accessibility, and reducing costs and risks in document management. More so, there is a better collaboration among teams with data sharing made easier through document management software and more security for the whole organisation’s files.

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