Emails, text files, forms, invoices, quotations, reports, working drawings, images: the average organisation produces an enormous number of documents and files, every day. Often all these documents are stored digitally in a variety of places: from someone's private laptop or the local file server to a generic cloud service like Microsoft OneDrive.
How do you keep an overview in this huge, fragmented sea of documents? How do you ensure that you find the right document quickly? And how do you ensure that everyone always has access to the same information?
Order in the chaos
A document management system (DMS) helps you create order out of chaos. The DMS allows you to store, archive, manage and share documents centrally in a structured way, so they are easy to find for everyone.
A good DMS usually also offers the possibility of version management. Thereby, you constantly have an overview of the changes that have been made to a file and you can always easily switch back to an older version of a certain document. In this way, you prevent employees from unexpectedly working in an outdated document or in different documents - with all the loss of productivity and possible costly mistakes as a result.
A DMS thus ensures a clear and efficient communication and information flow, allowing you to work together in a much more organised way and, at the end of the day, to save time and money.
Cloud versus local document storage
Of course, that sounds wonderful on paper. But whether you make optimal use of the benefits of the DMS also depends on how exactly you set up the system. An important question is whether you choose to store documents in a local DMS - on your own internal servers or on a file server - or whether you choose a cloud-based DMS.
The latter is often recommended. In fact, storage in the cloud has a number of important advantages, which we would like to elaborate on in this blog.
#1 Documents available anytime, anywhere on any device
When investing in a document management system, you really want every employee to be able to access the system 24/7 - no matter where or when. A DMS in the cloud ensures that documents are always available, regardless of the workspace, as long as there is internet access. Whether on a desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet: the DMS continually gives you access to the right documents.
All the more convenient for employees who are often on the road, such as sales people, mechanics and consultants. They can quickly access the information relevant to them via a mobile device, no matter where they are working that day. But a cloud-based DMS also offers advantages to less mobile employees, especially now that we increasingly work in a hybrid way, partly in the office and partly remote.
#2 Easier collaboration and file sharing
As we are expected to spend less and less physical time together in the office, a DMS in the cloud offers another important advantage: that of quick and easy collaboration. The cloud-based DMS makes it easy to work on documents together online and to share files with colleagues.
Employees will never again work in an outdated version of a document. Everyone sees exactly what the other is doing in a document in real time. You can respond to each other immediately, which greatly minimises the chance of working at cross purposes. Documents can also easily be shared as a link, and not as an attachment. Thereby, the recipient is sure that they are always working in the most recent version of a document.
Another advantage is that employees all work in the same system and no longer have to resort to generic cloud solutions such as Dropbox or Google Drive. These applications are usually not managed internally by the organisation. As soon as an employee leaves your organisation, chances are great that you will lose their documents too. With your own DMS in the cloud, you can avoid that.
#3 A cloud-DMS is easily scalable
Need to give a new employee or department access to the DMS? The advantage of a cloud DMS compared to an on-premise solution or a license model is that it is easily scalable. This is not only practical (a new employee is quickly up and running), it also ensures that you have clarity on the costs of an extra 'connection' from the outset.
#4 The cloud is optimally secured
Salary details, information about a possible takeover, figures regarding your company's turnover and profits: documents often contain confidential and/or business-sensitive information. Information that you do not want to fall into unknown hands or to end up on the street.
It is precisely in the cloud that data is often better protected than locally stored documents. Providers of cloud services frequently invest heavily in cyber security and have the resources to keep security at a consistently high level. Backup is also usually included as standard. So, you can rest assured that you will never accidentally lose your files and documents again.
#5 No more in-house management and maintenance
Installing updates and security patches, maintaining software licences, solving unexpected failures: managing and maintaining an on-premise DMS is a labour-intensive job, especially as the organisation and the number of documents grow. Moreover, you will need to have the specific technical knowledge for this in-house.
The advantage of a DMS in the cloud is that the system does not require any maintenance on your part; the supplier continuously updates the online software and ensures that it is always current and up-to-date.
#6 You save on costs and time
As we have already seen, a DMS enables employees to work more efficiently. No more endless searches for the right document, but quick access to everything you need - from any device, at any time. In this way, a DMS in the cloud generates cost savings in a very direct way: it ensures that your employees can work together efficiently and become more productive.
But a cloud solution also reduces costs in other ways. Because the management and issues such as cyber security are outsourced, as an organisation you have more time and therefore more money for other things.
Finally, the cloud has another important advantage over an on-premise DMS: the acquisition and implementation costs are much lower. Whereas the implementation of a traditional DMS sometimes takes months, a cloud DMS can usually be set up within a few days. And because you usually pay a fixed amount per employee, you always have a good overview of the costs that are associated with your DMS.
#7 Easily combined with other software
A document management system is useful in many ways. But if you, as an employee, have to switch too often between the DMS and other applications and systems, this will inevitably lead to frustration and - if you are unlucky - considerable loss of productivity. Instead, you offer your DMS via a central digital workspace, so that your employees can be maximally productive and benefit from an optimal Digital Employee Experience.
At Workspace 365, we do everything we can to make it as easy as possible for our users. Therefore, a convenient cloud-based DMS is integrated into Workspace 365. Our digital workspace lays out a clear user interface across SharePoint, OneDrive and the file server, and brings all your documents together in one web-based document management system.
In this way, all your documents are easily accessible in one central place. It doesn't matter whether they are stored in the cloud or on file servers, in Office 365 applications like SharePoint, OneDrive or Teams, or in another storage location, Workspace 365 lets users find them in one document app.
Would you like to know more?
The Workspace 365 DMS is easy to integrate within Office 365, but can of course also be offered within our digital workspace. The result: one place where employees can access all documents and applications, for optimal efficiency.