In the evolutionary fabric of companies, the information supported by documents becomes a pillar that sustains business operations. However, amidst the constant tide of data and information, notable challenges arise in the proper management of these documents. In this article, we will focus on identifying and reviewing some of these challenges, exploring their impact, and providing concrete roadmaps to successfully address them.
Let’s take a closer look at what we can encounter when striving for effective document management:
The accumulation of documents in various formats, applications, and locations over time can create a chaotic situation that is difficult to manage. The lack of a clear structure can lead to wasted time when searching for documents and difficulties in finding the necessary information when needed, which in many cases can result in quantifiable economic losses.
The key lies in implementing a hierarchical organization system or classification framework. This involves creating folders and subfolders with descriptive names and clear classification criteria. Additionally, adopting a document management system can assist in this process, simplifying document organization and retrieval.
Metadata, or information that describes documents, is an effective way to address this challenge. Our recommendation is to define a canonical schema or document card that includes mandatory minimum metadata that every document should have in our organization.
As multiple users access and edit documents, version control can become a problem. Lack of tracking can result in missing important changes and confusion about the most current version. Manual version control consumes time and energy, while it is difficult to ensure that it is being done correctly.
Document management solutions offer version control functionality that allows tracking, recording and retrieving all modifications to a document. This guarantees the integrity of documents and provides transparency on changes made by different collaborators.
Document collaboration often involves multiple people working simultaneously. The lack of an adequate system can hinder real-time collaboration and limit the accessibility of documents from remote locations. In addition, finding a document in the mail manager after some time has passed becomes a real headache. Sharing information via email also runs the risk of information becoming outdated. In this article we discuss why email should not be used to manage documents.
The adoption of online collaboration platforms allows teams to work on documents simultaneously, with real-time updates. In addition, cloud-based document management systems provide secure, remote access to documents from any location. State-of-the-art document managers also offer integrations with the tools you use on a daily basis to work: Outlook email, Google Calendar or Outlook, Office 365, Slack, etc.
Inadequate document management can jeopardize the security of sensitive data, and failure to comply with regulations can lead to legal sanctions. The loss of important business information is another frequent risk. Documents do not belong to employees; they are part of the company’s processes and are evidence of decision making.
Investing in document management systems with security measures such as encryption, user authentication, permissions management, access logs, etc., is essential. In addition, the use of these solutions can help automate processes to ensure regulatory compliance.
The transition from physical documents to the digital world represents a crucial leap in modern document management. However, this change is not only a technical issue, but also involves emotional, operational and cultural challenges. The process can generate resistance and difficulties in adaptation, affecting both employees and business processes. COVID has accelerated this transition, but there is still a long way to go.
The key is to adopt a gradual digitization strategy. Start with the digitization of critical documents and then move on to the others. Invest in technologies that allow covering the entire document lifecycle in digital (generation, approval, signature, storage, delivery, etc.), this will simplify this transition. Creating and working on electronic documents natively digital, is the real solution to this evolutionary change.
Common document management challenges are unavoidable, but they are also surmountable with the right strategies. Implementing modern document management systems, structured organization, version control, efficient collaboration, security and a gradual focus on digitization are crucial steps towards effective document management.
By overcoming these obstacles, companies can enjoy greater efficiency, productivity and security in the management of their valuable information.
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