Paperless document management has lots of benefits for your organization. It saves money, space, and time along with numerous other advantages. However, when companies use inappropriate software for document management, it can actually decrease workspace efficiency. In this article, we’ll explain why Microsoft SharePoint is not document management software despite what it claims to be. We’ll go over the features that are normally found in document management software but are missing from or lacking in SharePoint.
Microsoft SharePoint Is Great for File Sharing
Microsoft SharePoint was created to help businesses share files with each other. SharePoint is useful for collaborating on projects together. It allows many different people to have access to the same files so they can work together regardless of where they’re located.
Collaboration benefits from the free-flow process that SharePoint has to offer. It’s easy to share documents with other people through SharePoint, and there is no need for greater planning. And since all that’s required for productive collaboration software is the need to share information, SharePoint delivers. But since it’s a file manager, SharePoint falls short when it comes to document management which is more than sharing files.
Document Management Produces and Manages a Work Product
Document management is a complex system that benefits from greater planning. Document management is used to manage the entire document lifecycle from creation to editing, sharing, deleting, or archiving. On the other hand, file sharing programs like SharePoint are not equipped to do all of this properly.
Document management still offers the ability to collaborate, too. But collaboration is more productive when it’s done inside of document management for several reasons. One, the process is well thought out. Two, document management stays in control of the documents. Three, collaboration within document management is productive.
What SharePoint Is Missing to Be Considered Document Management Software
You may wonder why we don’t consider Microsoft SharePoint to be full-fledged document management software. While it has some of the trappings of DMS, it doesn’t really offer a complete solution. SharePoint requires the use of metadata, has limited version control, and no ability for you to control who has access to your documents.
The Use of Metadata
SharePoint uses metadata to tag files. Each file can have several different properties, by which it can be found later. Metadata is similar to keywords and tags. The problem with using metadata is that it takes a lot of time to tag each file, especially if there are thousands of files. If a file is inappropriately tagged, it might be very difficult to find it later on.
Finding anything inside of your document management system is much easier. With the full-text search function, you can search for anything inside of the actual documents. There is no need to spend time on tagging your files when you save them inside of eFileCabinet.
Limited Version Control
SharePoint offers some form of version control. However, it’s difficult to figure out which version is the most current one being used. Therefore, users may decide to rename files “this is the real deal” or “newest version” to keep track. This quickly leads to chaos.
On the other hand, document management systems are built around version control. It’s easy to see which version is the most current one. The system even alerts you when you attempt to open and edit an outdated version of a file.
Inability to Control Access
The biggest downfall of SharePoint may be its inability to restrict access for specific users. If you want to restrict access for your employees, co-workers, business partners, or clients, it would be difficult to do. You can set up new “filing cabinets” for each department to prevent other people from accessing it, but that makes it difficult to keep track of your company records.
A document management system is built with file sharing and restricted access in mind. This means you can potentially share each file with your employees, but it’s just as easy not to do so. And role-based user access ensures that nobody has unauthorized access to important documents without the need for departmentalized “filing cabinets”.
The Process of Collaboration with DMS
Microsoft SharePoint was originally designed to help people collaborate with each other when working on the same file from different locations. And while SharePoint is a useful program for collaboration, it doesn’t make sense to choose it over a document management system when you need more. This is especially true if your company is dealing with a large number of files.
Collaboration with eFileCabinet is surprisingly easy. You can share documents instantaneously with other users as long as they have the right user permissions. You can even share documents with your clients via SecureDrawer. For internal processes, it’s a good idea to set up workflows inside of eFileCabinet. Workflows help your company streamline operations and get things done more efficiently.
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