Your business generates large amounts of paper and electronic documents. As your business grows, so do files, and the time and effort required to manage them. Storing, managing, distributing, and accessing information from this enormous volume of data can prove to be quite a hassle.

Digital document management revolutionises the management of information and provides the ability to rapidly find, retrieve, and share all the documents in your repository. So what is digital document management and how does it works? What are the essential components of an enterprise-level digital document management system, and the technical issues you must consider?

Digital Document Management

The process of digital document management begins with the conversion of paper or other documents into digitised images. These images can be easily organised and quickly retrieved, indexed, and archived. When files are scanned or electronically converted, a high-resolution digital copy is stored on a hard drive or optical disc. Templates, or electronic index cards, can associate information, such as author, reference number, date created, or key words, with a document. Files can still be viewed, printed, shared, and stored. Which documents users can read and what actions they can perform on these documents depend on the level of security that the system administrator has assigned to them.

Digital document management represents a significant advance over storing information on paper. No longer just ink on a page, the document becomes active content after processing by Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. A document management system should offer effective search tools for document retrieval, including full-text search, template field searches, and a visual filing scheme that permits users to browse for documents. The best systems will allow you to find documents using a combination of all three methods.

Document management leverages the value of paper documents. Files can still be viewed, printed, shared, and stored, but with digital document management, these files have the enormous advantage of having active content. You can easily search files with active content, and you can create workflow rules to automatically route files to users.