There are numerous document management tools that will help small to mid-sized businesses enhance their organizational power and reduce operating expenses.

For instance, one needn’t look farther than Gartner’s or Forrester’s research to figure out which solutions will serve them best.

However, one caveat of these tools is that although they describe information with breadth, the depth is not always there.

Sure, you can draw conclusions from the data that will help you, but at the end of the day any serious analysis of these research offerings in either document management or content management will render some unanswered questions.

Understanding Document Management Tools: Market Research

Whether it be the Forrester Wave or the Magic Quadrant or the Gartner Hype Cycle, B2B software is usually analyzed through one of these mediums.

The downfall of these offerings is the fact that they do not tailor their insights to one organization, as doing so would not be an exercise in profitability whatsoever, and they cannot be blamed for this. After all, they are a business.

Although these research entities have made significant progress in offering tailored analysis on the digital front, traditional personal assistance still reigns supreme in the business to business software world.

So, what can individual prospects do to ensure they choose the right solutions. The answer is simple. Just work with the right document management vendor and let them give you the best document management tools out there.

The Gartner Interactive Magic Quadrant provides data driven insight to a real and visceral extent. And Forrester also offers a few segments of its Wave that offer personalization.

This inevitably leads to a few downfalls, which we will enumerate on below.

Where Document Management Tools Fail in Mass Research: Inclusiveness

The downfall of this methodology given to prospective document management users in both the Forrester Wave and Gartner Magic Quadrant/Hype Cycle, is that prospective buyers are shoehorned into analyzing only certain vendors’ offerings as they relate to improving their own businesses.

In order for this to be a bulletproof system, everyone would have to agree that all those document management vendors included in the Gartner and Forrester research assessments were indisputably the best options.

There’s simply too much variety of opinion and experience for such a thing to take place. Just take a look at Capterra’s most popular document management tools list; it doesn’t even include half of the vendors listed in either the Magic Quadrant or the Forrester Wave.

Analyze Document Management Vendors through Business Objectives

The world of business and commerce is driven by content, especially in client-centric industries, which are predominately sales and business development.

This means that those who eat what they kill have the most incentive to perform, and understanding how unstructured content divides the winners from the losers gives the right lens through which business documentation should be analyzed.

Without weaving the intimate experience of one’s own document workflow into their consideration of document management tools, there will be little to bank on in ensuring the right solution is selected.

At their best, document management tools allow businesses to harness their unstructured content, and for a variety of purposes: to shift away from manual filing methods, to grow businesses intelligently, to safeguard data and information, to reduce the operating expenses plaguing so many businesses today (and sadly the most plagued ones are the smallest and dealing with the most up-front expenses), and to finally embrace a buzzword that most only talk about—digital transformation.

At its worst, document management tools will cause redundant processes, which is the byproduct of a behavioral mechanism in which people revert back to what they are most used to when they are provided with an opportunity to change. This is sometimes called “cognitive dissonance.”

Why Businesses Actually Fail

For every blog on document management tools, there are likely one million discussing the reasons why small businesses fail. Some of the most cited reasons are things like “not enough capital,” or “not enough up-front investment.”

Although the people espousing these ideas are well-intentioned, they don’t have the faintest idea what they’re talking about. We know this to be true because we can rely on customer experience of document management tools, not third party insight, to understand the reason why businesses are growing successfully, and the reason is document management. Those without it are the 90% who are failing.

Without these tools, businesses lose access to content’s information in seconds; as these seconds pass, they may become mistakes that takes hours, weeks, months, and perhaps even years to recover from.

This is especially true if this information impacts customer experience or satisfaction. Additionally, losing access to information can also result in voluble opportunity costs and an organizational image that hinders bottom line.

But the document management tools we see today, and the models by which they are being deployed, are more different today than ever before.

There are now mobile, cloud, on premises and even tablet options—bringing the capability of digital transformation to the fingertips of consumers.

Document management tools are what give stakeholders, managers, leaders, and those who make positive differences in organizations the ability to create, process, and manage human capital through digitized information.

Without this ability, no business can run effectively. If anyone begs to differ, I challenge him or her to run their business without documents for 24 hours.

Despite many claiming the benefit of using a document management system is going paperless, the real benefit occurs once all the information is digitized (or is being digitized by Zone OCR).

How to Get Ahead of the Competition

For businesses wanting to get ahead of the competition (and who doesn’t?) Remember that when you are researching document management tools for your business and prospecting which solutions will work, the very best solutions should be able to help you accomplish the following things for your business. If you think the solution you choose can help you do all the following, it’ll do your business wonders:

  • Reducing Operating Expenses
  • Expediting Document Turnaround
  • Increasing Security
  • Simplifying Compliance
  • Turning Document Routing Into a Value Added Process