Which Type of Document Management System is Right for your Company?

More and more companies are moving away from desktop PC folders and complicated network directories for computer document management. Today’s solution for handling information is a document management system. If you’re looking for a better solution for your company, there are several types of document management systems to choose from.

The basic purpose of a document management system (DMS) is to manage the creation, tracking, management, storage and retrieval of documents.

Most systems are capable of tracking the various versions created and modified by different users. A DMS can also digitize paper documents and store all records electronically. Some systems only store scanned documents as images, while other can recognize characters and translate scanned documents into editable text.

Document management workflow chart

There are four common types of DMS: web based, client server based, database, and cloud based. Let’s look at some key features of each type:

Web based: With this type, the internet browser on each workstation is the access point, so you don’t need a client software package. Most web based packages support multiple branch operations right out of the box.

Client server based: This DMS can be faster and more robust than other types. A client package is used on each workstation, which means the interface can be customized and better integrated.

Database packages: These packages are often integrated with the underlying database structure, which means images and data can be easily linked. But the licensing model and additional computing horsepower can pose a downside.

Cloud based packages: This type uses software that runs on the host’s system and permits the user access with an Internet link. They are very similar to web-based packages, but user data is stored on the host’s servers instead of on a server located in the user’s office. A monthly subscription pays for the service.

Which type of DMS is right for your company? It depends on how you want to use your document management and how your IT network infrastructure is designed. A document management system can improve productivity, security and ease of use for your office. It might take some investigating to find the right one, but it could be well worth the effort.