It’s evident that evolvement of technology has led to diverse changes globally- both positive and negative. Also, it has mainly transformed the Corporate sector. The Corporates are believed to have a thought of paperless offices using document management in near future for it incurs a high cost over it.
What is a Document Management System (DMS)?
A Document Management System is a system used to track, access, manage and store documents along with reducing the use of paper documents.
Some questions worth thinking would be –
– Is it actually possible to go absolutely paperless offices where even today paper dominates all other forms of currencies and is also used as the apex medium of exchange for even the minutest transactions?
– In the era of technology, people still love to read and have hand written content. Will the prior choice for paper ever let DMS take over in all ways of managing documents?
Technology in itself is a hegemony, making lives easier and stress free. But practically, both electronic and paper document management are interlinked. A paper document is the hard copy of an electronic document whereas, an electronic document becomes the soft copy of the other, leaving us with no differences as such.
The harshest reality of technology remains that not all workers are well versed with it nor are they technical scholars. This demerit of DMS makes people think of never really quitting usage of paper document management. But this type of document management has some real costs over it, the Corporates are more ignited to implement a DMS over paper documents.
Statistics say that, for each 30 copies that workers print, 39 percent of it goes to the trash.
Adding more to such facts, according to reduce.org reports, the cost of usage of papers is nearly 13 to 31 times more than actually the purchasing price of paper.
Document management system has more advantages, viz., easy access to documents globally, preservation of environment and most importantly, saving of costs incurred for papers.
For having a clearer idea about it, let’s check the merits and demerits of DMS:
Merits of Paperless Offices using DMS:
1. Easy to have a backup and record
Looking for one single document in a bundle of copies would be an uneasy task.
With DMS, just typing a keyword for the document will help saving time for the workers and also be easy to have a backup.
2. Easy to carry everywhere
Why carry an entire file for a meeting or presentation when even the smallest unit of technology like cell phone or tablet can enhance an easy access to files you need?
3. Keeps records of every activity too
DMS enables to have a record of every activity that has taken place on the software right from who accessed the files and where it got accessed from. Also, it is easy to find out what changes had been made which is impossible in case of a paper document management.
4. Cannot be easily destroyed
Paper documents are likely to get easily destroyed, for eg, by natural calamities. Very often we tear the papers unknowingly. When the documents are recorded in a DMS, it would remain secured and will be accessible only with a password.
Even the documents on a system can be deleted. But it has a certain procedure. They’ll barely be lost unknowingly. Moreover, these lost documents can be recovered too.
5. Easy to edit
If you are required to make changes in the paper documents related to your work, it will surely have to be done from the start. This will not just consume more time but also will be stressful for the worker.
DMS doesn’t require documents to be rewritten. Changes can be done straight away and they’ll automatically be saved.
6. Everlasting documents
As mentioned earlier, paper documents are likely to get damaged and useless. An electronic document will be the same even after decades.
Demerits of DMS
There are two sides of a coin. So does DMS has. Keeping the beauty of its positivity aside, let’s discuss about some of its demerits.
– ‘Security’ is the major concern of workers relying on DMS over paper documents.
– Accessing DMS makes a worker open for litigation. Of course, if there is an illegal activity taking place, it’ll be tracked and will be liable to litigation.
– Moreover, as all information is accessible globally, it is also very important to assure a guarantee to our security.
– A higher level of IT involvement is required and smaller businesses may find it difficult to cope up with.
– Computer hacking and viruses related to computer can be one of the biggest threats to paperless offices. Therefore, the Document Management System must have facilities that secures the transfer system.
What to consider when looking for a Document Management System?
A perfect DMS in paperless offices would be one that facilitates the users, will the following factors:
A standard structure: A combination of simple and advanced structure of the software would be the best one to prefer as it will be user friendly and advanced.
Cell Phones and Tablets access: The files should be easily accessible from cell phones or tablets.
Security: The workers should be liable to choose their recipients for document sharing. Making files and documents open to all is a question of security.
Easy searching: This is the most important point of preference. While looking for a particular document, paper documents consume a lot of time. Therefore, DMS should provide the benefit of looking for documents with just one click.
Will there be a transformation?
Besides all the benefits of DMS, the fact doesn’t change that we are still not completely exposed to a paperless era for official work but are quite close to it. Today, mostly all the work is done through electronic documentation.
It is believed that paper cannot be fully abolished from the corporate or working sector as some tasks are better performed with it. But at least restrictions over unnecessary usage of papers can be implemented in order to reduce the costs incurred over it, by the encouraging the usage of DMS in paperless offices over paperwork. Not only will it save the costs, but will also transform the way documents are saved.
Nevertheless, implementing such a Document Management System should not only focus on moving forward with the idea of transformation but also to simplify lives and save costs on unnecessary paperwork along with promoting a friendlier environment for all.