By Hellen Lubanga
Many organizations have a number of employees working remotely. This means ensuring your communication and collaboration network is effectively running is critical in order to support remote employee productivity and output.
File sharing has been possible across multiple online platforms such as Google Drive, Drop Box, Jump Share, and others for a while now. Though these platforms work well for what they offer, none of them has features as extensive as those available on a digital management system.
Before picking out an electronic file management provider, we advise that you first take a look at the following features so as to identify the drawbacks of sticking to traditional file sharing as opposed to investing in a document management system. So let’s get started!
1. The Filing, Retrieval, and Search components.
Both file sharing drives and DMS systems act as a central repository where staff members can file, retrieve and search for their documents. However, how they store it is vastly different, unlike file sharing platforms. DMS software includes a variety of sophisticated ways to find what you’re searching for, such as using metadata to help locate the data you need. This makes it faster and easier to search for and retrieve a document.
With DMS, you may search for files by name, file type, date stored, keywords, phrases, or even numbers inside a file (for example, an invoice number), which helps in the standardization of your filing system. This in turn ensures that information is stored in the proper location, thereby decreasing or even eliminating instances of misfiled papers.
2. Accountability and Security
A DMS is safe to use since each user has their own login credentials. When someone performs an activity (logging in, opening a file, changing a file, etc. ), a digital audit trail is established, meaning any system administrator can track who makes changes or tries to access protected documents. Permissions can also be configured to control employee access and editing rights. The finance department, for instance, cannot tamper with human resources documents and vice versa. This is a feature not commonly found on file sharing platforms.
If an employee would like to temporarily work on a document without any input from their colleagues, some DMS software possesses the option of “checking out” that document. This assures that it can only be edited by one person at any given time. Users also possess the option of working with the most recent version of a document, although earlier versions can still be accessed whenever needed.
3. Document size support.
The sharing of large files is something that can be very difficult to handle when staff work remotely. Using a DMS simplifies the process of distributing huge files that would otherwise be too large for email or other file sharing platforms, thus making document sharing seamless. Not only that, but since users are already using the company’s DMS, they do not need to create new accounts just to share large documents, as is the case with a lot of online sharing platforms.
4. Dual online and offline functionality.
A DMS may be put on an existing on-premises server or in the cloud before being configured remotely. This means you have the option to choose to work offline or online, depending on the tasks you need to accomplish. As expected, since your employees do work remotely, a cloud server would make more sense. Remember, though, that unexpected things happen, such as a failure in internet connectivity, which affects any cloud-based functionality. This doesn’t always have to mean that all work ceases, as some document management functions will still work as you continue to work offline, then update once connectivity is restored. This way, you’re far less likely to be completely blind-sided by sudden internet connectivity loss or power outages.