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What is document management software?

Document management software — also known as document management systems (DMS) — helps you digitize paper and organize digital information in a central, secure repository.

The primary value of document management software (sometimes called document imaging) is to process, capture, store, manage and track documents within your organization. By tightly managing your critical business information, processes start, execute and complete in a stable, predictable, measurable way.

It is almost impossible to design and implement reliable business processes and digital workflow without fully featured document management software.

The necessary components of a DMS

Document management software has standard components to secure and manage information. The more robust platforms offer additional capabilities. These include:

Capturing and storing: Easily OCR and intelligently index documents from a variety of sources such as email, PDFs and office documents, scanners and printers, network drives and more. Then store these indexed and usable documents in a central, secure repository.

Control access and security: Set group, user or document-type rules to control access rights to certain information. This is essential for confidential documents such as contracts, employee records, and more. Digital document archives must prioritize security and access control.

Finding and retrieving: OCR and intelligently index documents automatically for automated organization and simplified findability. Users can instantly access documents from any device, within or outside an office environment, to support the process at hand.

Sharing and collaborating: Securely share documents between users with full access rights, version control, and other precautionary measures to ensure the integrity of the information. Provide editing, annotations and task management to help users make the most of the information when it’s in their hands.

Records management: Apply retention rules, security profiles and disposition templates to ensure information is correctly stored and destroyed according to regulatory compliance.

Robust integration methods: Securely and reliably move information between your document management software and other systems of record like CRM, HR, ERP and more. Integration can happen programmatically through APIs, through native connectors, or through basic screen mapping.

Next: Document management in the cloud


Additional resources for understanding document management


Document archiving: security and safety standards 2022

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