Organizations have been slow to change from paper document-based operations to automated digital processes. Some studies indicate that while employees are willing to make the switch, the problem usually lies with the leadership not taking up transformational initiatives. One of the most common reasons to hold back on digital transformation is the cost of implementation. It is gradually becoming evident that the benefits of digitization far outweigh any real or perceived disadvantages. Organizations are fast changing their priorities. Companies in many industries now maintain their business records digitally within a Document Management Systems (DMS) framework.
What do you find in your own company? Have the stakeholders bought in?
Let’s start by defining a Document Management System
A Document Management System (DMS) is an automated process or technology used to capture, digitize, organize, secure, and track documents in electronic format.
All physical documents are first converted to digital format and then integrated into the DMS in a process that begins with scanning and covers indexing, data extraction, workflow management, and document retention.
The benefits of a DMS can be summarized as follows:
- Freedom: Going paperless is liberating! It gives users a high level of control and organizes the company's data to improve its searchability. No more searching for documents or manually handling paper files!
- Saving Time: Automating repetitive and manual tasks saves time - leaving employees more time to do what matters more and accomplish more.
- Convenience: With a cloud-based DMS and its mobile app, you can access documents and work from any place where there is an internet connection.
- Security: DMS software keeps all documents and data safe from security breaches, leaks, loss and other data catastrophes. The role-based user permissions feature of the DMS mitigates fears of internal data breaches.
- Cost-saving: No more paper means considerable cost savings. You save on valuable office real estate as storage space requirements reduce.
Cloud-based DMS vs On-prem DMS
Is it better to deploy a DMS on the cloud or on-premises? A hot topic for debate! What do you think?
Some of the differences between a cloud-based DMS and an on-premises one are:
On-premises DMS solutions require considerable investment in hardware, software and infrastructure. Their maintenance is an additional cost. Cloud-based DMS is subscription fee-based, and the subscription charges include maintenance and support.
With cloud-based DMS, content is more accessible at any time to anyone who needs it and from anywhere—provided there is an internet connection. The cloud is always on!
The cloud is more conducive to growth. You can start small and scale up as you grow. You only need to upgrade your subscription to cover the increased data volume. With on-premises installation, you may need hardware and software upgrades periodically as you grow. All of this takes time, planning and money.
With data residing on the cloud and no longer physically available on-premises, there is concern about its security. But the cloud is considered to be more secure. Cloud providers invest heavily in keeping client data safe and therefore provide top-level security. After all, their business and reputation are at stake here. For on-premises DMS, security is the organization's responsibility. They must hire data security experts to secure their data from external assaults and internal data breaches.
Cloud-based solutions are always referred to as online because they can function in-browser over the internet. Today, almost any device connects to the internet from anywhere. On-premises versions provide access to documents from within the premises of that physical installation. Cloud-based document management systems provide greater accessibility using mobile apps and consumer-grade devices.
Data migration is expensive and time-consuming. Once an organization's data migrates to the cloud, it stays there. No hardware or software change is required. Data migration may or may not be necessary for on-premises versions, depending on the company's IT policies. Many organizations tend to change on-premises systems periodically, say every 5-10 years.
DMS implementations: Prepare your team for cloud transformation
The most crucial factor to consider when deciding to implement a cloud-based DMS is stakeholder buy-in. That is, are your employees willing to learn the new software and use it effortlessly and to its full capabilities.
As with any new technology, there is a process of getting it on board. The new DMS must integrate seamlessly with the software currently being used by the organization. Employees require training to successfully migrate to the new system in the shortest possible time.
Seamless integration of your DMS with popular business software like MS Office and electronic signature software will optimize your processes and make them more efficient. Your DMS provider will tell you what standard software integration is possible and what other integrations they are willing to customize for you.
Train your employees
Confide in your staff about the changes anticipated in the organization. They must expect and prepare for changes in work culture. Once they are prepared to meet the challenge, proper training in the new systems will make them hit the ground running.
Most DMS providers have a team to impart training and help your staff familiarize themselves with the new software.
The first step is to move all your data to the new cloud-based DMS. That means scanning all paper files and retrieving data from all the hard disks of the office computers. Scanning documents using OCR allows the DMS to recognize and store documents intelligently, naming and indexing as per the structure decided.
Partner with your DMS provider
Have you thought about it this way? Your DMS provider also has a stake in ensuring the success of your move to the cloud. An experienced DMS provider will customize the DMS and guide you to formulate best practices to maximize your business performance.
While moving to the cloud is a significant technological move forward for your business, it is also a huge cultural change for your employees. The success of your cloud-based DMS will largely depend on how well your employees adapt to the change.
DRS Imaging provides end-to-end cloud-based document management system implementations. We give you a secure, compliant cloud infrastructure, and guide your stakeholders so they derive the maximum benefit from their cloud transformation. Contact us for cloud-based document management solutions to drive growth and scale to your business in 2021.