Client proposals, marketing collateral, training and documentation materials, project deliverables, and invoices are just some of the types of files your organization manages. Regardless of the type of file, most business documents are stored in electronic format. How these documents, are managed, shared, and stored requires planning – and sometimes a software solution is necessary. As you evaluate whether a software solution is right for your organization, consider these points.
Where Do I Start?
Many organizations are using solutions that leverage physical file servers either on premise or at a data center. The file servers use a standard file storage approach, with folders and subfolders and files are stored on whatever media has been implemented. In this situation, only Windows or your operating system is used to support the file structure and user access to files is granted based on access to the folders. Overall, this type of solution only provides structure and access management for file storage.
Although file storage is a key requirement of a file management solution, file sharing and collaboration may also be requirements for your organization. An overview of team collaboration and file sharing is outlined in the document Achieve Better Team Collaboration with File Sharing. Depending on the extent of file sharing and collaboration required, software for file management may be your best option.
What’s the Difference Between File Management and Document Management?
The terms “file” and “document” are frequently interchanged, but the terms can mean slightly different things when talking about managing them with a software solution. Let us establish a working definition of each.
- File management generally refers to storage of static files. These can be completed proposals, presentations, human resource documentation, financial documents, etc. Basically, they are documents that need to be saved but are not actively under development.
- Document management typically involves files that are in process and possibly being developed by a team. These documents may require tracking including different versions, identification of who made what changes, access privileges, etc.
Are There File Management and Document Management Solutions to Help Me?
Yes, there are different types of software solutions that can help. The right solution depends on several considerations.
What types of files does your organization typically use? How are documents used and accessed by different teams? Does your business need to scan and save documents as well as work with internally developed documents? The answers to these questions and other considerations will help determine the best software solution for your business.
Overall, a document management system provides features that allow document control and not just file storage. However, these features come with a price, so it is important to consider the needs of your business.
As a final thought, for some industries there are robust systems that include document management along with other capabilities your organization may need.
Evaluating the various options and determining which is the best solution for your business requires balancing the needs of your organization, including budget and goals, against the capabilities of the software solution. Ninestone is well positioned to assist. Contact us today to schedule an exploratory discussion.
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