In most industrial sectors, business organizations have shifted from storing paper documents in cabinets to storing them digitally. The benefits of managing documents digitally can be enhanced with the use of a document management system. How? A document management solution can streamline your workflow and control the shared document storage space.
Now the question is, how shall you choose the right document management system for a government organization? Just like any other product, a document management system also comes with its fair share of pros and cons. You have to choose the one that suits your organization the best. Here is a compilation of the facts to consider while choosing document management software.
#1 Define the Specific Goals of a Document Management System
Most of the document management solutions are the same because they store documents electronically. The users can view or download the documents. Now, before you choose a specific document management system, think about the existing applications that your business uses, the type of documents/reports that they create, and how you want the documents to be stored.
For instance, you have chosen an accountancy software package and it generates reports, bills, invoices, and more. You need to understand how the documents will be stored in the new document management system. Are you aware of the business requirements to store email communication with clients? Do you know how many staff members will be using the system? What are the permissions that they need to access, review, and store the downloaded documents?
#2 Ease of Use
It’s crucial to ensure that the system is easy to use. This might sound a bit too obvious, but you need to remember there are different types of document management solutions, and it’s highly likely that all of them will have varied technical abilities. User adoption is also crucial to the success of a new system installation. Thus, try out a few document management software and ask a selection of people to review them. Most document management systems come with a trial period. This will help you in choosing the right software for your business.
#3 After Sales Support
After Sales Support is crucial for any system or software. Unlike other software applications, document management systems for government organizations are complex. Most business organizations already have multiple applications serving multiple purposes. Now if you have to choose a centralized document management system, it has to be integrated with the existing business applications. Thus, you might require support during the integration process.
It’s crucial to remember that the document management system (DMS) will become an intricate part of your business operations. Therefore, your staff must have the peace of mind that they will be provided with the necessary support for any changes while working on the document management system. As a business owner, you have to be fully aware of the training provisions and ongoing support while choosing a document management system for government organizations.
#4 Sharing & Collaboration
More than one of your employees will likely work on a specific document. You might need to send a document to external parties or clients to review. A DMS that incorporates the appropriate sharing & collaboration tools, helps in improving the business efficiency. For instance, you would want the necessary tools to securely share documents with the clients. The documents have to be made accessible through a branded webpage along with the tools for messaging and signing. Also, all the changes must be tracked and viewed easily through the audit tool.
#5 Managing Workflow
This is important for medium to large enterprises that have a considerably high number of employees and incorporate multiple departments. Based on the predefined criteria of the system, you should be able to forward the document to specific users or groups at the time they are indexed by the DMS. Even though we are talking about medium to large enterprises, small enterprises also need a simple workflow. A document management solution can help to process multiple files for smaller firms as well.
#6 Accessibility & Control
The DMS should be remotely accessible. It should not remain confined to the workplace/office network, especially when “work from home” is the new normal way of working. Thus, you will need to allow the staff remote access 24*7 on their devices. Make sure the document management system for government organizations has enough options to share accessibility.
Even though you will share the DMS access with your staff, there has to be a certain level of control for you or the concerned department (HR/IT). The accessibility privileges should come with limitations because not everyone in an organization can access every piece of classified document. The centralized filing system should secure sensitive business information and client files.
#7 Automation & Data Security
When you are choosing a document management system for government organizations, consider the automation feature. Automation can be highly specific. Thus, you have to understand how the DMS can be tailored to meet your firm’s requirements. Do you want to save all the emails automatically? Do you need folders to be added automatically during the filing process? Consider these factors before choosing a document management solution.
While we are discussing the automation feature, it should incorporate data security as well. Every business organization comes with an internal IT infrastructure to prevent cybersecurity attacks. Also, check with the DMS provider on their security protocols and talk to them about how they are going to keep your data secure.
In a Nutshell
Not every document management solution will be equal. Some are better than others and some will suit your needs. As a business owner, you will have to make the right choice and that’s only possible through intensive research on the document management system for government organizations. Talk to the vendors and explain your needs to store & manage your business documents. Compare the software trials and demos to check what they have to offer.