Rather than being simply a way to replace paperwork files with digital counterparts, digital document management offers a way for businesses to change their whole approach to data storage. The advantages contained by its usage are many and varied, providing benefits to working practice in a number of areas.
- Quick and easy access
When dealing with any sort of paperwork or data, it’s important to have quick, easy and efficient access to the information required. With digital document management, all aspects of finding and retrieving data are significantly improved.
Searches can be made from desktops, with no need to visit multiple locations and sort through paperwork. Customised filing structures can be created at business level, meaning users can prioritise any information they may need regular access to.
In a similar manner, access can be restricted to certain forms of data, based on need, ensuring that all employees can find what they are supposed to, without the risk of straying into areas not designed for them.
Documents can also be accessed off-site, meaning that the need to physically carry data is removed, and the potential for remote working exists.
- Creation of a standard approach
Ensuring that everyone is operating in the same way can often be difficult when dealing with a large number of individuals, all of whom may prefer different methods of storing information. Using digital document management helps bring everything into one uniformed and standardised approach.
Documents can be updated by more than one person at a time, meaning that no time is wasted trying to locate items and having to potentially contact other employees for clarification on any updates they may have made. Version control with a full historical record is essential to maintain smooth operations.
- Space saving
Creating the space needed to store large amounts of paper-based documentation can be an issue. Smaller businesses may be operating in restricted environments, whilst larger ones may be overwhelmed by the large amount of data they need to retain.
As many operate over separate sites and locations, problems can also arise around having to transport paperwork. Using a digital document management system ensures that space can be put to better use, and can potentially even result in reduced rental space costs.
Business premises visited by clients can become more aesthetically pleasing and streamlined, uncluttered by paperwork and documentation, and can stress their environmental credentials via a concerted effort to cut down on materials.
With Watermark Technologies’ solutions, storage is virtually unlimited, so no matter how many files you have, you won’t run out of space.
The security of documentation kept will always be a priority for a business, and is something that can be vastly improved using Watermark Technologies’ document management system.
As previously mentioned, access to information can be restricted to those who need it, and the data cannot be lost, either accidentally or maliciously. Full information as to who has access to what and when, is available, leaving a trail that can be followed in the event of any issues that need to be resolved.
Via versioning, every time data is altered or amended, the previous versions are stored and can be looked at, meaning that changes made in error can be realised and rectified.
Emailing confidential information in an unencrypted format can lead to security breaches. Attaching a PDF or Word document to an email which contains a client’s personal information could be intercepted by unwanted third parties. This information can be used, for example, to dupe people into sanctioning money transfers to criminal organisations. Watermark’s fully encrypted web portal prevents such illegal activities.
In 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is set to replace the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and will mean that businesses need to adapt their way of working to comply with some major changes. The DPA was established long before our modern age of the Internet as it stands today, with the majority of the UK adult population now having some form of online interaction, making this change in legislation long overdue.
A major component that needs to be reacted to is ‘the right to erasure’, meaning that people can request the removal of any data held by a business about them, provided there is no ‘compelling reason’ for the business to hold it.
Finding this information across many documents, potentially spread around different locations such as paper, emails, multiple PCs and servers, could prove to be problematic, whereas with our GDPR compliant software, it is easily found, recalled and removed/redacted.
Information about how long the data has been retained, and what it has been used for is also easily generated, meaning that complying with GDPR, which is compulsory, is rendered far easier.
Contact us to find out how your business can stay legally compliant with GDPR and how we can help protect you and your customers’ data from misfiling and misappropriation.