Optimising your document management systems for business continuity

Having an effective document management system is critical for today's businesses. More than 70% of companies would fail within three weeks if they suffered a catastrophic loss of paper records due to fire or flood.

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Optimised document management systems can help companies avoid common scenarios where core business processes are at risk of failing. There have been numerous cases recently of reported data breaches causing major financial and reputational damage.

The introduction of GDPR in May 2018 will also force all organisations operating in the EU to adhere to strict legislation around data protection, with document management systems under close scrutiny into their compliance.

What is a document management system?

Document management is the process of handling documents in such a way that information can be created, shared, organised and stored efficiently and appropriately. As such, learning how to best leverage a document management system is critical for businesses.

For many organisations, the focus of a document management system is on the storage and control of documents. They want to be able to store documents in an organised and secure way, that still allows documents to be found easily and used in the correct manner.

Document management for business continuity

The digital universe is doubling in size every 2 years and by 2020, the data organisations create and copy annually will also grow by 10 times – reaching 44 trillion gigabytes. This compounds the stress for organisations when deciding how to leverage a document management system to assist business continuity planning.

Business continuity is about having a plan to deal with difficult situations, so your organisation can continue to function with as little disruption as possible. Flood. Cyber attack. Fire or internal disputes. Disruptions to your business can happen at any moment. Whether you’re a business, public sector organisation, or charity, you need to know how you can keep operating under any circumstance when the management of critical documents is disrupted.

Components of a document management system

Document management systems commonly provide storage, versioning, metadata, security, as well as indexing and retrieval capabilities. Here is a description of these components:

Storage of documents often includes management of those same documents; where they are stored, for how long, migration of the documents from one storage media to another and the eventual document destruction.

Versioning is the process by which documents are checked in or out of the document management system, allowing users to retrieve previous versions and to continue work from a selected point.

Metadata is typically stored for each document. Metadata may, for example, include the date the document will be stored and the identity of the user storing it.

Document security is vital in many electronic management systems. Compliance requirements for certain documents can be quite complex depending on the type of documents. Some document management systems have rights management features that allow administrators to provide access to documents based on type to only certain people or groups of people.

Indexing may be as simple as keeping track of unique document identifiers; but often it takes a more complex form, providing classification through the documents’ metadata or even through word indexes extracted from the documents’ contents.

Retrieval in the electronic context can include; simple retrieval allowing users to specify unique document identifiers, flexible retrieval allowing users to specify partial search terms involving the document identifier and/or parts of the expected metadata, or boolean searches using multiple keywords or example phrases expected to exist within the documents’ contents.

Optimising your document management systems for business continuity

Benefits of an effective document management system

Business continuity is of paramount importance to businesses who want to safeguard operations by having a document management system that can withstand any disruptions and safeguard key data.

Regulatory compliance, especially GDPR, is not only the basis of enabling organisations to continue to operate in certain industries, but also demonstrates to customers and stakeholders that quality management practices are being administered.

The enhanced security throughout organisations when using robust document management systems protects data and the users and customers interests. Significant financial and reputational damage can be inflicted when data breaches occur. Information sharing and collaboration can also become a lot easier. Documents captured from different sources can be accessed from multiple locations and used however the organisation requires.

Document management systems and other software or hardware technologies can be integrated so that workflows and processes are connected and streamlined. This level of connectivity ensures that organisations are able to control, monitor and manage documents effectively throughout the enterprise.

Document management in your organisation

Does your organisation currently implement a document management system that is fit for purpose and that effectively handles the responsibilities of your document requirements?

If you would like to find out more about Document Management or how Apogee can help your organisation optimise it’s performance, then speak to our Strategic Accounts team today by calling 0345 300 9955 or completing the contact form on the website contact page here.

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