What is a document storage system?
A document storage system makes it easy for teams to collaborate on documents, even if they are working remotely or in different locations.
Every business generates thousands — if not hundreds of thousands, or even millions — of documents a year. These documents contain information ranging from sensitive employee vitals to use cases to marketing collateral to internal-facing corporate strategies. Over time, these documents pile up into a Mount Everest of data. That’s where a document storage system can come in handy. Every enterprise needs one, but to what level? What makes for smart document storage?
What is document storage?
Document storage encompasses the tools and techniques for storing your company’s documents. Document storage includes processes for document repositories — the place where you store the documents — and document retrieval, or the various ways to access the information contained in the documents.
Good document storage is vital if you are to remain compliant with industry regulations, which is especially relevant for organizations governed by rules and procedures to keep sensitive documents secure and private (government bodies, insurance companies, healthcare organizations, etc.).
The goal of document storage systems
A document storage system is a system that controls the storage, sharing and organization of electronic files or captured data from paper-based documents. Document storage platforms accomplish three main objectives:
- Reduce the risks of documents being misplaced
- Accelerate the speed at which crucial information can be accessed by employees
- Store data extracted from paper and electronic files in one centralized location
An efficient document storage system is also supported by the capabilities to capture faxes and forms, save copies of documents as images and store the image files in the repository for security and quick retrieval via text-retrieval capabilities.
How can document storage systems help your business?
Organizations that invest in cloud-based or digital document storage are able to stay ahead of information chaos and other pitfalls of manual, paper-focused processes, and successfully lay the groundwork for a connected workforce.
The main advantages of a document management system for your company are:
Greater document accuracy
Version control gives employees access to the most up-to-date version of a document, eliminating duplicate content and reducing the risks of editing and sharing old files.
Faster file retrieval
A single document management solution eliminates the time needed to switch back-and-forth platforms to search for information. Instead of paper-chasing, employees can spend their time focused on higher-value tasks.
Reduced costs of paper storage
Electronic document storage reduces the need for file cabinets, boxes and storage bins, freeing up valuable office space. Businesses also get to cut down on the cost of storing paper in off-site locations, printing paper and manually delivering documents to employees across branches.
Essential features to have in a document storage system
A robust document management system should include core features like:
- Permission controls to grant, revoke or limit user access according to document types
- Document version control to improve data accuracy and streamline collaboration
- User-friendly interfaces that do not require high technical literacy to navigate
- Various file search methods (metadata, keywords, dates, index value ranges, etc.)
- Data capture tools to extract and classify data from paperwork or electronic documents
- The ability to integrate with your existing systems