Paperless Filing System Features to Study Before Implementing
Although a paperless filing system is easy to implement and begin using, there are several features that require an up-front analysis before purchasing a solution, and these features should dictate, in large part, which system your organization should eventually opt in for. Continue reading to find out why.
1. Data Center Backup
Data crashes and losses are impermissible, yet also unavoidable with shared drives and other outdated technologies, and many small to mid-sized organizations have felt the negative impact of losing data through outdated enterprise technologies—therein increasing demand for paperless filing system.
However, document management solutions offer data backup security—drastically reducing the risks associated with natural disasters and other data losses while simplifying the recovery of the lost information.
Although many web servers suffice just fine, the gold standard is a vendor with Amazon web servers, and these servers should, as a suggestion, include three Points of Presence (MPoPs) as a standard for qualifying data backup.
Although this data center backup and recovery varies based on the needs of both document management system vendors and organizations, data backup can generally be split into two categories: mirrored offsite repositories with multiple geographic points of presence (MPoPs) or those on entirely different power grids.
This may seem complex, but it pales in comparison to the complexity of the data recovery and litigation proceedings facing an organization relying on paper documents and traditional storage methods in the event of a natural disaster, data collapse, or office break-in—another reason to opt in to paperless filing system.
Automated backup also ensures the retention of an organization’s database structure, files, and content on a regular, 24-hour basis; it is a high-level data destruction-resistant feature for organizations operating in earthquake, hurricane, or other natural disaster-prone areas.
For organizations using Online, Cloud-Based document management, this makes data accessible from anywhere there is an internet connection—regardless of whether a catastrophic natural disaster occurs.
Automated backup should also entail a restore function in all document management vendors’ products. In the event of a total system failure or a catastrophe, which is highly unlikely given the enterprise-grade bandwidth of these products, a restore function re-creates data even when it has been destroyed at its point of origin.
2. Digital Archiving
Digital archiving is not only a feature native to document management system vendors’ product solutions, it is also in and of itself one of the easiest-to-use yet most beneficial features document management vendors offer. However, it requires some up-front analysis before delving into use, and for the following reasons.
If a document management administrator is uncertain about when a document should be deleted to meet compliance guidelines in his or her industry, or knows a document will be “evergreen” and useful for a long duration of time, the digital archive feature sorts these files without consuming physical space equivalent to that of a normal piece of content or file—an especially useful facet of paperless filing system.
Consequently, the benefits of going completely digital—without paper—are further compounded as an increasing number of files accumulate in a paperless filing system user’s archives. Additionally, digital archiving prevents document and content damage, automating document and content disposal so that digital storage space is retained while clutter is reduced.
3. Virtual Private Clouds
Virtual private clouds (VPCs) allow traffic in the organizational intranet’s firewall to exist without exposure to the public cloud or the remainder of the Internet. Before opting into a paperless filing system, studying what type of cloud it uses will determine whether that cloud type will fit your organization’s security and storage needs.
Some document management vendors may even offer role-based permissions of their own through this feature—allowing only certain VPC users to reach the cloud’s resources.
4. Metadata and Usability Enhancement
Although it is a simple concept, the term “metadata” can incite technophobia on-command—because it is a frequently misunderstood concept in the space of the enterprise. However, metadata is merely data about data, and prevents files from being classified and stored in an arbitrary fashion.
Metadata allows its users to store and retrieve content based on what the content entails rather than where it is stored. The way organizations name their digital files is metadata relevant, as it is a tool to help determine what “data about data” should be associated with content—making the content retrievable based on the terms of all the involved parties.
For instance, the Metadata Object Description Schema notes that Metadata should be relatively simple and give organizations the means to both A) follow the aforementioned standards for metadata taxonomy and classification and B) allow for metadata classification schemes within the software that best cater to the organization’s ability to retrieve content. Both document management users and vendors can provide input as to what metadata descriptions are most relevant to a given organization.
5. In-Browser vs. Out-of-Browser Usage
Document management vendors oftentimes provide cloud-based, online versions that can be used inside and outside of browser windows—giving users the ability to choose how they interact with the software. If used in a browser, however, most vendors’ solutions will have less functionality.
6. Email Content Management
Most document management vendors will have means to structure email content for a variety of reasons. Traditional email alone is highly susceptible to data breach, more disorganized, and more difficult to structure without the paperless filing system intervening.
However, document management vendors provide manifold ways to visualize, simplify, and structure email into highly searchable, insight-ready content. Additionally, email also has poor user permissions within its system, whereas document management can set permissions as to who can send and receive information from specific parties.