For many years, companies first realized they needed document management when legal and financial officers ran down the hall yelling, “Wait, don’t throw that away!”
That’s because businesses across so many industries were experiencing an environment of increased regulatory, legal and internal quality and compliance. The mantra became “save everything,” and employees began filling up filing cabinets, e-mail servers and network folders in every department across the company.
Here’s the thing, with all those people saving and compartmentalizing, it wasn’t long before a new saying became commonplace: “Now where did I put that file?” So companies started using document management systems – systems just like Contentverse – to pull files from all those different places into one centralized digital system. And you know what they said? “Save everything!”
Employees saved. File cabinets were taken away and the sagging floors fixed. Cubicles became bigger. Financial officers were satisfied. Legal people were happy…. and the story often stops right here.
Document storage may offer a happy conclusion to a compliance-filled corporate story of paper chases and “trash” talk, but it’s only half the battle. Saving a file is never the end game – using it always is. Whether it’s a document that will change during the day, or one that may be audited years from now, storing a file effectively is about one thing and one thing only – getting it back again. For years, document management was guided by legal retention policies, but nowadays operation teams are wising up. They’re realizing that document management systems aren’t only for dead documents waiting for disposition. Nope. They make businesses run better, every day of the work week.
Here’s how document management (“Where should I put this document?”) can evolve seamlessly into a more comprehensive system of enterprise content management (“What can I do with this document?”).
Keeping documents safe is done by ensuring they are both technically secure and organized for ease of use. The first step in securing files is making sure that everything is captured in the system, whether they are transferred individually with drag-and-drop efficiency, batch processed, digitally scanned or e-mailed.
Once files are in the system, people will need to access them. But who? Confidential corporate information is restricted to certain top-level employees while front-line transactional documents may require extensive cross-functional access to modifiable or read-only versions of working files. And in today’s world, where cyberattacks are a constant threat, systems must deter unauthorized external access to individual files. For these reasons, layered security, such as 128-bit encryption combined with configurable user access management, provide optimal protection and practical ways to deliver files to the right people at the right time.
Knowing files are securely stored, it’s time to focus on efficient organization and retention. With files in one place, it becomes easy to set up a file structure that makes sense not just for any individual, but for your entire company. That’s really important. Every document that a business needs is made available to anyone who potentially needs to access it – within and across departments and functions. Additionally, documents can be indexed for easy searching and fast retrieval. Wherever they are in the system, they’re close at hand using intuitive keywords and other definable criteria.
What’s more, retention schedules can be automated, keeping your information consistently up-to-date and relevant to your company’s operations. As they are entered into the system, documents can be assigned a time period for retention based on legal and operational policies. When their time is up, Contentverse disposes of the documents. What’s better than a system that does your “spring cleaning” all year long?
So now you know your documents can be located whenever necessary, but what if Contentverse went one step further (it does!) and gave you a way to move, use and track documents on a daily basis? No more documents getting lost on desks or old versions getting confused with the most updated copy. The real competitive advantage of digital content management is letting you establish document workflows that get files to the right people at the right time, make sure versions are clearly identified and archived, enforcing necessary reviews and approvals, and making sure that your business process is consistent and compliant every time.
You can create custom workflows designed with your business processes in mind. In fact, digital document management offers opportunities to make your current business processes even stronger. Setup is easy – you don’t need to be a programming whiz-kid – and the result is a company that operates more smoothly than ever. That’s right, you’ll have a system that makes work easy for everybody, both in the office and out in the field, while keeping your legal and compliance teams satisfied every step of the way.
Contentverse makes the thought of having a document archive exceptionally boring. Why focus an investment only on preserving dead documents when you can have a dynamic and living system that boosts productivity and adds value to every employee’s workday? Give your operations a breath of fresh air by injecting new, business-sustaining work processes. Breathe easier, work easier and, while you’re at it, move that file cabinet out from under your desk for a little more leg room.
This Article was originally published as Storing Files is Just the Beginning by Daniel Cochran on August 4th, 2016.