Most businesses and organizations rely on their documents to store data and keep information readily available. Some corporations create millions of documents each year. Filing data that is collected, storing it safely, indexing it properly, making it easily accessible and protecting it from outsiders is a major concern for many organizations.
In order for you to implement a document management system at your organization, you must first take into consideration the following aspects of document management. They include: storage, retrieval, filing, security, archival, retention, distribution, workflow, and creation. Here is a look at each one of these aspects.
Storing Documents: You might not think it is a big deal to store a few hundred documents, however, it is very important to imagine about the magnitude of large corporations, which can create millions of documents each year, and on a regular basis.
Not only are these documents usually spread out over many offices throughout the country, they can be in different parts of the world as well. Document storage is an important piece to document management, due to the fact that in the near future, a document might need to be found for legal or other business purposes. Most large corporations store documents in two ways; they either digitize all their documents and then store all documents in a large database or they rent or buy storage space where these documents are held for a number years (usually stated by the state or government law) before they can be destroyed. Most corporations and large organizations do both, they digitize their documents and place them in storage until they are no longer needed.
Retrieving Documents: Retrieving documents is another huge problem that many people involved in document management must solve. How do you access one specific document in a pile of thousands or even millions of documents? Retrieving documents requires a system of storing documents and accessing these documents in a timely manner, as well as a monetary affordable manner.
Filing: Filing is extremely important, even if you have an organization system set up, who is to say that a file can’t be easily misplaced. It is important to have a system that is not only easy to use, but is effective even if documents are misplaced. Some of today’s documents have stickers that include transponders. These transponders allow filing assistants to easily locate a file via RF (radio frequency technology). For important files, more and more corporations are using this technology.
Security: Security for most organizations is crucial when it comes to their document management. Many corporate industrial secrets, planning, salary data and other types of information are stored on documents. Whether the document is only a few weeks old or a few years old, if someone that is not authorized to look and copy these documents gets a hold of them, it can cause the organization possibly millions of dollars in damages. Today, lots of security precautions are set up around document management. For instance, regarding digital document storage, most documents are stored on servers that are not accessible by the internet, only the intranet (the organizations computers only). Most digital documents are also encrypted and password protected so that it can take lots of hard work just to decrypt one document.
Security is also a major concern for documents that are stored physically. If a document storage facility is not secured properly, a person can easily walk out with a whole filing cabinet of documents or worse. Most document storage facilities are guarded by security professionals.
Archival: One of the interesting aspects of archiving documents is how people will be able to access documents in the future, let’s say 50 to 100 years from now. Look back 20 years and many people were using 5