With the majority of business critical transactions still taking place using documents, there is a great need for document management. Businesses rely on unstructured data to drive their business and their knowledge workers to make the decisions. These users require a solution that will allow them to carry out their work without distractions. At a more granular level, intelligent decisions require the ability to see the document, annotate, distribute internally and externally, collaborate and keep a history, and maintain an audit trail.
The documents which drive business are legal proof of their interactions with customers and other parties and therefore need to be stored and reproducible in a fashion which is legally acceptable. The document management system has to comply with certain rules which guarantee the original document is stored and can be produced unaltered. In reality the document management system is a collection of unstructured data with a structured access method, and this structured layer is what helps create a variety of solutions required for business, it also allows coexistence and communication with other systems to provide a true business solution. Whilst document management itself can take many various forms, the backbone of any good solution is quick, scalable storage and retrieval to allow efficient use of knowledge workers time. Scalability allows for the solution to maintain good performance regardless of the location or number of users and volume of documents stored.
Document storage is expanding exponentially, but with it is the number of documents needed in today’s world. The cost to retrieve a single document may be significantly cheaper than it was ten years ago, however the overall spend on retrieving and storing documents has climbed dramatically. The only way to hold this cost in check is to build solid foundations with strong business rules and processes, then keep only what is necessary, and ensure it is classified and stored appropriately.
With heterogeneous environments reality, any implementation needs to be able to work across different hardware and software platforms concurrently, and add value across the whole business process, not place bottlenecks in it. This is certainly a possibility with the technology available, however it needs to be managed properly in order to receive the benefits.
Automating any business process takes a lot of hard work, the least amount of which comes from the software doing the automation. By choosing an automation package, you have only taken the first step in streamlining business operations, a step on a path which needs to be followed through to the end. Quite a few customers have remained on one document management platform, not because of acquisition costs for new technology, but because of the amount of business analysis, process optimisation and system optimisation which needs to take place before the first case is actioned.
In this regard, it is often highly beneficial to undertake a joint approach to a document management and workflow implementation to gain the most benefit.
Whilst a true paperless office is still something that will not be a reality for a while, being able to automate significantly time consuming tasks does not only improve the efficiency of your staff and reduce manual errors, but can also greatly improve your staff’s job satisfaction by converting menial into meaningful tasks.
Ask Documation to help you down the path whether you are looking, implementing, or have already implemented a document management platform. At every step there is opportunity for improvement and we’ve done it all before from beginning or middle to end.