A Guide to Offsite Document Management Solutions

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Choosing the right document management system to support your business is essential, if you have decided upon an offsite solution here is a quick guide to help you make your choice.

Electronic Document Management

Electronic document management or EDM first started to gain traction in the 1980’s when companies like IBM began creating systems to manage documents including paper, print, photographs and some electronic documents.

EDM systems can now store most types of files and are integral to a business’s operations. A document management system features different components that work together to create a unified approach to document management. These components include data fields, records, files, folders and cabinets. The data fields (also known as indexes) contain information relating to the document i.e. date of creation, last person to amend the document etc. The documents are then grouped together based on relevancy and function within specific folders, and a collection of these folders is known as a cabinet.

An electronic document management system EDMS is designed to aid users in uploading, storing and retrieving important information in a systematic way based on the function and needs of the organisation. Users can search through huge amounts of documents using specific keywords or data, create a workflow system that automatically routes documents to departments or people, and provide a level of security and control over who can access sensitive documents.

Using an offsite EDMS has extra benefits that other systems may not provide. Offsite providers can guarantee safety and security of hosted documents along with access to trained consultants who can advise on the best systems to use, taking into account a business’s needs. Offsite solutions also offer a more cost effective way of storing and organising documents as clients do not have to buy their own hardware, such as servers and computers, or create their own secure networks to run the system on.

Hybrid Document Management

Hybrid document management is a combination of paper and electronic document management in a way that is secure and reliable. Paper documents can be scanned and transferred into a cloud based system that allows users to access it from any location using a secure username and password, whilst the original document is held in a safe location.

This solution cuts down on the amount of onsite storage needed for paper documents and also cuts down the time taken to sift through paper documents to find crucial information. Once a paper document has been scanned and added onto the system it will be given specific attributes that can be searched for using keywords- making this a brilliantly cost effective way of managing your documents.

The digital scans can be accessed from anywhere around the world and easily shared between different departments whilst the original paper document is kept safe and secure.

Paper documents that are being stored offsite can also be easily requested and delivered. Many document management providers also offer a cataloguing service where they will organise, sort and store your documents making them easily trackable and available at short notice.

Offsite hybrid document management solutions also take care of the secure destruction of paper documents. Once a record has come to the end of its life your provider will inform you and often, if no longer needed, will securely destroy the document for you-managing the cycle of the document from start to finish.

How do you currently manage your documents, both paper and electronic? Tweet us @BoxItCentral

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