What is Enterprise Document Management Software (DMS)?
An enterprise document management software is a centralized tool that allows businesses to capture and manage scanned paper documents and multi-format digital documents. It is a comprehensive system that focuses on the optimum usage of structured data such as Word files, PDF files, Excels, PowerPoints, and other documents with defined data formats. This enables knowledge workers to efficiently utilize documents across the organization, boosting productivity.
What is the difference between DMS and Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Software?
ECM and DMS software, at their core, are both responsible for storing organizational content securely and safely so that it can be managed and accessed easily, helping the organization shift away from paper-based documents. But ECM offers much more when compared to DMS software.
Here’s a comparison of the advantages offered by DMS and ECM Software:
Advantages of Document Management Software
Cloud-based centralized repository makes it easier for organizations to digitally store documents in standardized file structures and formats. Allows easy management, access, and retrieval of documents as and when required
DMS provides the ability to route documents from one person to another through inbuilt workflow capabilities for quick approvals and reviews
Easy search and retrieval
Electronic DMS allows easy search and retrieval of documents through intuitive search capabilities
A DMS software enables assigning of metadata to documents for easy storage and retrieval
Version control and auditability
This enables users to keep track of changes that are being made to documents and leaves audit trails, permitting the reconstruction of actions taken on documents by individuals
Security and access control
A DMS provides an extra layer of control through granular access to documents. Stringent security policies and role-based access control prevents unauthorized users from accessing sensitive documents
Any good DMS will have a disaster recovery plan. Digitally archived paper documents are protected from any disasters. Documents stored in a DMS cannot be lost or misfiled and can be easily located with cross-indexing
Advantages of Enterprise Content Management Software
Federated Content Storage
Not just a single “one-size-fits-all” repository, ECM systems can connect with multiple repositories organization-wide, offering users access to all the content they need from a single place
Supports Unstructured Content
An ECM software can handle both structured and unstructured content, including audio/video files, emails, social media posts, large business objects, and more
Business Process Automation
ECM systems enable organizations to digitize their enterprise-wide complex processes such as account opening, loan underwriting, and others that require advanced workflow capabilities, ad hoc task management, data management modules, business rules, and more
Best-in-class ECMs offer integrated capabilities to capture, extract, and classify content from both paper-based and electronic documents and can identify what to do with captured content, send it for further processing, archive it, and more
A modern ECM enables organizations to stay compliant with government rules and regulations by enabling cost-effective, long-term storage of all types of records, easy tracking of the physical movement of documents and physical records, minimizing risk, and enhancing accountability
A good ECM system enables users to securely share content with stakeholders (both external to the organization and internal employees), enabling seamless work with peers and collaboration with people outside the organization
A DMS enables organizations to store, manage, and retrieve all organizational content and is a good fit for smaller-sized organizations. On the other hand, ECM software can offer all that a DMS has to offer and more! And it is perfectly suited for larger enterprises as it goes beyond storage and also offers capabilities like content capture, business process management, and long-term archival. It enables organizations to completely digitize their operations while effectively managing content.
A DMS can be considered appropriate for a department in an organization for its content storage and retrieval requirements. But from an entire organization perspective, ECM is the go-to option where critical decisions are based on content, and you have to digitize large and complex business workflows and connect a large number of applications and repositories.