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How to Tell if a Document Management System is Future-Ready

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No one can predict the direction technology advances will take over the next five, ten or twenty years. A dedication to staying current and using the most advanced proven technology is the best way to cultivate a forward-thinking mind-set and be future-ready.

If you're in the process of choosing a document management system (DMS) for your business, or are looking to upgrade, it's important to select a solution that solves your business issues for both today and the future.

This list outlines what you should look for in scalable DMS.

The features of a future-ready document management system 

  1. Modern web-based and mobile interfaces: A document management system should perform equally well on a Mac or Windows OS, as well as on the variety of mobile devices your employees rely upon. The growth of 'bring your own device' initiatives makes this even more important. Your employees should be able to navigate seamlessly among their work laptop, mobile phone, and tablet without missing a beat. Choosing a document management system that only accommodates one platform dramatically limits your choices of hardware and your employees’ productivity.
  2. graphic of men pushing blocks and one pushing a circleNative mobile applications: A future-ready document management system should offer native mobile applications optimized for iOS and Android. A native application that has been created for a specific mobile platform has a faster response time and a familiar look and feel. Browser-based applications that are optimized for mobile use may not display properly and are not as user-friendly. 
  1. Open communication standards: In a future-ready document management solution, the interface must be able to communicate between Windows programs, HTML5 web clients, and native mobile applications. Look for a system that uses open communication standards, as well as HTTP/HTTPS in conjunction with REST (Representational State Transfer).
  1. Compatibility with the cloud and on-premises servers: An on-premises document management system should support the leading database server technologies, from the latest Windows versions to MS SQL, MySQL and Oracle. 

    You should also choose a solution that offers a cloud-based option, even if you aren’t planning to move your documents to the cloud yet. Cloud availability ensures you're future-ready. Then, when you transition to cloud-based software, there will be no business disruption. Your workflow processes will not have to be revamped, and administrators and end-users will not require additional training. 

    Moving to cloud-based software eliminates the need to purchase new hardware. In addition, the responsibility for maintaining security, ensuring data back up, and developing a technology infrastructure that can grow with your organization is shifted from your IT team to the cloud service provider. 
  1. Scalable architecture: A comprehensive document management system enables you to start with a few users in a single department and gradually expand the system into other departments without and additional users and without affecting performance. The key to this flexibility and scalability is a system architecture that handles document access and user actions with web services.

    Cloud-based document management software takes scalability one step further. The cloud supports teams of all types and sizes. Its storage volume and number of user licenses can be increased easily when you hire more employees or when the storage capacity you need increases.

The option to choose on-premises or cloud-based software, open communication standards, and native mobile applications are essential components of a high-performance, future-ready document management system. Regardless of how quickly your company grows, DocuWare is a future-ready solution that will evolve with your needs without extensive changes or time-consuming retraining.

Learn how to achieve your office automation goals while preparing for your organization’s future needs with our free ebook: Plan Your Move to Cloud Office Automation.

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated for accuracy and new content has been added.

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