Long before large organizations achieved complete digital transformation, the individual consumer was racing toward a paperless revolution! How? For many years now, most of us purely use the digital medium to store family photographs. When was the last time you developed a camera film and printed out the pictures on paper?
The USB drive or pen drive (as it is popularly known) is another example of the individual consumer's paperless success. Most of us carry our most critical documents (like passports, government identity cards or social security details) in soft format stored on an external device like a pen drive. Gone are the days when we carried folders filled with original paper documents.
Consumers used various commercial-grade digital tools and technology to achieve this level of freedom from paper.
It is quite a different story for organizations to go paperless, though. Organizations require highly sophisticated and customized software applications to eliminate paper from their business processes. Many consumers make the mistake of thinking that organizations can harness consumer-grade technologies to go completely digital. But they could not be farther from the truth. Such thinking demonstrates a lack of understanding of how commercial-grade technologies and consumer-grade technologies differ.
What is a Document Management System (DMS)
A Document Management System (DMS) is an enterprise-grade technology.
Though there is no standard definition for it, enterprise-grade technology is suited to organizations' needs or is suitable from an organization's viewpoint. Compare this to consumer-grade technology, which implies that it is ideal for individual consumers (and not organizations). Enterprise-grade technology solutions are more robust, secure and more flexible than consumer-grade tools.
A DMS is a versatile software
Consumer-grade companies provide tools that an individual uses to store and share information on the cloud for his personal use. Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud are some examples of such consumer-grade companies. They provide the user with affordable storage space and function like an extension of their servers or computers as a shared drive.
A document management software is more complex, versatile, and offers a higher security and access control level.
Document management software companies vs consumer-grade companies: A quick comparison
Those who equate a document management company to consumer-grade companies do not understand a document management system's versatility and functionality.
Both provide digital tools or technologies, offer storage and sharing capabilities, and do away with traditional paper mail. Both have versioning and backup features. But a DMS offers better compliance, security, automation and workflow capabilities.
Let's look at some features of a DMS that are superior or more complex than consumer-grade solutions.
Fast retrieval of documents
Document management software solutions offer fast retrieval of documents based on a user's search criteria. The DMS stores digital records in a highly sophisticated index or classification system, which is searchable by keywords or phrases in the document's text. Consumer-grade tools cannot match the search speed and accuracy of an enterprise-grade DMS.
Automated backups ensure business continuity
A DMS supports automated backup to a centralized data center. Usually cloud-based, these backup features ensure continuity for companies if any natural or human-made disaster occurs that threatens the security of data or documents in the organization's physical premises. Consumer-grade applications may feature cloud storage but do not offer automated backups.
Higher storage capacity
Another differentiating aspect is that an enterprise-grade solution's storage capacity is much greater than that of consumer-grade technologies. It's an important distinction, as an organization's document volumes far exceed those of a commercial-grade user.
Enhanced information security
Consumer-grade technologies have only one security layer, that is, a login form. Enterprise-grade security is unparalleled and gives you complete control over your data accessibility.
Automated workflows reduce errors and improve compliance
A document management software provides the technology to enhance an organization's internal processes and workflows. It comes with in-built security features that help the organization meet various information security regulations and compliances. Commercial-grade software does not provide such security and compliance levels.
Summarizing the beneficial features provided by document management software companies
A DMS provides compliance through in-built network security features, streamlined workflows, and highly encrypted client-sharing portals. There is complete security for sensitive information that is accessed or shared by users locally or remotely.
User-friendliness vs complexity: Does the DMS still win?
DMS software has the near-impossible mission of integrating individual business tasks into one digital interface. One of the most significant criticisms of enterprise-grade solutions is the lack of user-friendliness. Consumer-grade companies claim that compared to the digital tools we have at home, the workplace feels clunky, intimidating and years behind. Document management software performs and integrates complex organizational functions and processes far beyond a household's requirements.
Document management software companies are undergoing digital transformation to make their software more usable. Today's digital transformation includes cutting-edge technologies to increase usability, create efficiencies, and introduce new technologies like machine learning. Providers are working towards making DMS more user-friendly, intuitive and more straightforward to use.
Companies like Google provide a search function even in their enterprise-grade software, and all users are familiar with this at the workplace and home. Other companies integrate popular programs such as Google Drive, Outlook, Gmail and other commonly used business tools within their enterprise-grade offerings for increased ease of use.
All these innovations in Document Management Software will erode any apparent advantages that consumer-grade technology may have over enterprise-grade solutions. Consumer-grade software cannot achieve the critical benefits of enterprise-grade software like compliance, security and workflow automation.
At DRS Imaging, our easy-to-implement document management software allows you to manage your enterprise information, regardless of where it resides. It saves storage costs, reduces compliance risk, and maximizes information value. Our solution also allows you to automate critical tasks related to information governance.
Connect with one of our experts and request a customized demo.