With cloud document management, you will see the same cloud computing benefits noted in the section above – cost savings, scalability, disaster recovery, reporting, and more.
The systems deliver even more specific benefits, including:
And these are only a few of the benefits. You will likely discover many more as you and your team start working with the digital documents and workflows.
The features of cloud document management systems can be grouped into five main categories.
Document imaging and capture
For most systems today, digital documents can be saved, printed, or “dragged-and-dropped” into your document management system. But you likely still have paper documents that need to find their way in.
Scanning paper documents through a dedicated scanner or multifunction device into a folder is the most basic way to digitize paper. Many systems offer push-button capture with document routing like our Smart Integrations Solutions.
Some document scanning and indexing solutions can auto-index your documents, capture data, and populate index, search, and fields for simple retrieval. With this feature, you eliminate manual data entry, reduce potential keying errors, and free employees to spend time on more productive tasks.
The driver behind automated capture is optical character recognition (OCR). Barcodes may also be used.
Eforms are another type of document capture solution that can designate specific data fields for capture, which can then route to the correct digital file cabinet based on the field's data. For example, if the invoice is from ABC Company Inc, the document would be routed into ABC's folder.
As cloud document management systems sit somewhere across the internet – rather than in your office, most scanning, indexing, and capture technologies can work with them.
You can do a lot with documents in your digital system. Markups like highlighting, stamps (“APPROVED”), text overlays, and much more can be applied. Documents can be combined.
The specific capabilities of what you can do with documents will vary from system to system. Even so, you can expect plenty of useful document handling features.
Employees can view, work with, and markup documents together in real-time. Plus, being in the cloud and accessible anywhere an employee has internet, your teams will find it easier to work together, even if they are in separate locations.
For many organizations, workflow automation features available through document management systems like DocuWare transform how they work. Workflows for specific documents can be pre-built or built ad hoc, as needed.
One popular workflow many systems offer “out-of-the-box” involves accounts payable (AP).
At no point in the process does the document move. Nor is there a risk it can be lost or misplaced, slowing payment. And every “touch” is recorded by the system, which can be viewed via reporting.
With document management workflow automation, approval processes that once took days can be done in minutes.
System administrators determine who has access to view documents and what they can do with them. Access can be restricted by "file cabinet" or even file type.
Here again, how access rights are managed varies from one system to another.