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5 Key Considerations When Choosing a Document Management System

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How many moving parts does your company have? As many as a luxury wristwatch?

When influencing so many central business components, exchanging any part for a new one means ensuring that all of the other parts continue working together just as well as a whole.

As far as the luxury wristwatch goes, running “just as well” may be fine, but for organizations implementing office automation solutions, everyday efficiency increases are the aim. Of course, that isn’t always easy.

Here are some tips to guide you as you start your assessment of document management solutions.

1. User-friendliness should come first

arrow made up of colorful strandsWhen companies start looking at document management software, they may initially focus on the backend and overall functions and features. Instead, they should be asking, “How well would this system work for our average user?” Having the best functionality isn’t worth much if half of the people on your team can’t figure it out.

Keep in mind that document management is a cross-platform application. To get the most from the solution, it needs to be usable for everybody, from accountants and engineers to the business office and employees who work on the factory floor.

When you’re changing behaviours inside of a company to achieve business value, if user adoption is slow, it’s going to take longer for an organization to realize that value.

Through targeted and well-planned training, users should quickly be able to see how document management solutions benefit them every single day. A focus on training and rapid user adoption increases a company’s speed toward meeting its goal.

This is one of the most important aspects of choosing a digital document management solution: Consider your users on the micro and macro level.

2. Ensure that the software aligns with desired business benefits

With any software deployment, there are a few general rules guiding principles:

  • Man crossing the finish lineUnderstand your business problems and expected benefits. Through proper communication internally and externally with your vendor, verify that project goals are being addressed correctly.
  • Take the time to define the basics, including which departments the system is primarily intended for, the document types your company handles and the business processes you’re targeting for improvement.
  • Let the business benefits you hope to achieve guide the deployment. Prioritize items by benefit instead of features or options. What’s most important to your business? Approach the software implementation in phases.
  • Keep communication going. Has the plan deviated from the approved path? Measure, adjust and continually improve to ensure alignment.

3. Factoring in security and compliance

Protecting your company against cyberattacks, data loss and loss of control of business-critical information are increasingly important to every organization.

In document management – whether implementing an on-premises or cloud solution – setting up security measures is just part of the process, and these features are actually upsides for data-conscious organizations and consumers.

Focusing on what security needs are most important for your organization – stronger compliance, for example – is an important conversation to have between stakeholders as well as with your vendor.

Complying with HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, GDPR and other mandates does not have to be a burden. Automated workflow applies business rules, logic and standards provide the tools you need to safeguard business-critical information.

4. Preconfigured solutions reduce implementation time from weeks to days

What's next written on a yellow post-itEven though business processes run differently in every organization, they share key requirements and decision points. Preconfigured solutions take advantage of these common denominators to build a robust framework that requires little or no customization. They offer a very fast, targeted entry into office automation and can be implemented within a few days.

Instead of planning the digitization of your company’s workflow processes yourself and configuring an “empty” document management system, start with a best practice solution that you can easily adapt to your own requirements.
DocuWare’s cloud-based preconfigured solutions are based on expertise gained from launching thousands of successful digitization projects. These ready-to-go packages empower you to digitize and automate central business processes such as invoice processingemployee managementsmart document control, e-signaturevaccination management and testing. You can also combine the usage of several of these preconfigured cloud solutions to save even more time and further shorten the implementation process. In addition, you get the option to implement the full range of DocuWare Cloud services when you’re ready.

5. Must-haves for every office automation solution

If you find yourself looking at document management and workflow solution that lacks any of the following functionality, keep searching:

Yellow light bulb on a blue backgroundInnovation: This is the key driver of maximizing user adoption. The software should be able to handle the most complex processes while keeping user experience intuitive and uncomplicated.

Architecture: The solution must meet the current and future needs of your organization. This ties back to the question: What’s most important to your business? Cloud-based software eliminates the burden of maintaining security, redundancy and scalability. These responsibilities are shifted to the cloud services provider. Business owners can focus on process optimization and worker productivity.

Security: A well-refined rights system for accessing documents across user groups and role levels is a critical component of any document management and workflow automation solution.

Scalability: A system should be able to grow with your business and your customers. From a simple workstation to a wide-spanning system, start your software project small and grow it as your needs evolve. This should be done without complicating other aspects of the organization or the software, and without retraining employees on how to use the system.

red and blue rope in a knotIntegration: The system you build needs to fit into an existing IT landscape and have the ability to integrate with current and future applications. Integration between applications is more than just exchanging data. Ease of use is equally important. If employees cannot switch fluidly between business applications, productivity suffers and the error rate increases.

Remote and mobile access:  Your team’s best work can happen outside of a traditional office. When you embrace the flexibility of web-based and mobile technology, employees can initiate workflow, route and complete approvals, and make informed decisions anywhere, anytime.

Assess the total cost of ownership

iStock-513483922Looking at an office automation solution strictly from a pricing perspective is the wrong way to go but being able to accurately assess the total cost of ownership of your solution is critical.

You should also consider how ease of use can reduce the amount of time needed for training. If you’re comparing the cost of an on-premises system to that of a cloud subscription, factor in the cost of maintaining hardware, yearly maintenance and support fees, the time and expense of upgrades and keeping up with cyberattack prevention with automated updates, security concerns shifted to a dedicated team and the elimination of the cost of purchasing new hardware.

With DocuWare Cloud, your company can take the long view which is essential to making good choices. A lot can change in your company, and your document management and workflow automation solution should be robust and flexible enough to keep up with that evolution.

If you’d like to discuss how document management can improve your organisation efficiencies get in touch today by emailing solutions@inpute.com.

This article originally appeared on DocuWare.com, Inpute are proud to be a partner of DocuWare.

 

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