There are many reasons why document management software is rapidly becoming a business standard across so many industries. With fewer input errors, reduced paper, and paper-related costs, better security and improved accessibility, it’s no wonder that document management is being integrated with so many different technologies and disciplines, from e-mail to accounting software. It’s all about reducing and eliminating the need for documents to exist outside of a digital format. By converting from document to image early in a document’s lifespan or insisting on receiving it digitally in the first place all of these benefits become a reality.
Image-Enabling Your Business
Every business uses software, and the key to making your office a paperless one is to ‘image-enable’ your software. This intimidating term is nothing complex. It simply means making the images that one piece of software creates available for another piece of software to handle. Whether you’re converting paper documents with document scanning software or receiving digital documents directly, making images is a fairly simple process covered back in Part 2 of this series.
Most new electronic document management software suites are designed to integrate seamlessly with basic Windows products, but even if your ‘perfect’ software isn’t already integrated, some resellers will integrate a product for you, and if nothing else, professional systems integrators can come in and finish the job for a small fee.
Basic Features of Document Imaging Software
Once integrated with your existing software, document imaging suites provide server software that is custom-made for storing, indexing, and managing the images as well as client-side software for creating, viewing, tagging, linking, and otherwise manipulating the images.
Generally speaking, the server-side software is important to the overall efficiency of the operation the time it takes to find and load a specific image, for example but the client-side software is what makes or breaks a document imaging suite. The tools that your workers have access to in terms of viewing and manipulating images are going to be the biggest limitation to your ability to creatively manage workflow. For that reason, when you’re looking at document management software, keep a close eye on the client-side software; the more flexible it is, the more your paperless office will be able to evolve as your business evolves.