What’s the use of a Document Management system? Or what you should look for in good Enterprise Content Management system.
24 June 2013
Like other good software products a document management system should meet a number of key functional requirements.First and foremost it should be easy and quick to capture content or transfer files into the system and assign relevant metadata.
Once in the system you should be able to exercise proper access control so that only those people with authority can see and manage content. From a practical standpoint it is desirable that users are presented with relevant information for their job rather than be overwhelmed by a sea of documents.
Different content has varying lifecycle demands. Not only is it important to keep your documents securely it is also your responsibility to archive or expunge records which have passed their sell by date as mandated by regulation, legal or simple good practice.
No computer program should be an island these days but should interact and integrate with other programs where data is likely to be shared. Your supplier details will almost certainly be present in an accounting suite and customer records in a CRM system so you should link to this information rather than duplicating data.
Lastly the system should be easy to use, quick to learn and be responsive in operation. Failure to meet these criteria however technically brilliant the software happens to be will result in the system being a burden rather than a benefit.
Of course I have missed one very important aspect which is value. A system that meets all the technical criteria but costs a king’s ransom is clearly poor value. Fortunately good systems can be had at sensible prices and are delivered in flexible ways including monthly subscription as well as licence purchase.