What is a Digital Document Management System? Complete Guide to Digital Document Management Software

Posted On May 23, 2024

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A document management system (DMS) enables organizations to store, manage, and retrieve all organizational content and is a good fit for small-sized organizations. On the other hand, enterprise content management (ECM) software can offer all that a DMS has to offer and more! And it is ideally suited for large enterprises as it goes beyond storage and 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 document management solution can be considered appropriate for a department in an organization for its content storage and retrieval requirements. But from an organization-wide perspective, an enterprise content management solution is the go-to option where critical decisions are based on content, and you have to digitize large and complex business workflows and connect many applications and repositories.

Oas36ty Contextual Content Services Platform can be used for creating, capturing, managing, delivering, and archiving large volumes of documents. Oas36ty provides a highly scalable, unified repository for securely storing and managing enterprise content. It provides access to enterprise content directly and through integration with business applications. It also offers a centralized repository for enterprise documents and supports rights-based archival.

Oas36ty enterprise document management software supports both centralized and distributed scanning with policy-based upload. Manages the complete lifecycle of documents through record retention, storage, and retrieval policies. Supports exhaustive document and folder searches on date, indexes, and general parameters as well as full-text search on image and electronic documents.


What is Document Management (DMS)?

Document management, often referred to as Document Management Systems (DMS), is the use of a computer system and software to store, manage and track electronic documents and electronic images of paper-based information captured through the use of a document scanner.

Document management is how your organization stores, manages, and tracks its electronic documents.

According to ISO 12651-2, a document is "recorded information or object which can be treated as a unit." While this sounds a little complicated, it is quite simply what you have been using to create, distribute and use for years.

Now, we can define document management as the software that controls and organizes documents throughout an organization. It incorporates document and content capture, workflow, document repositories, COLD/ERM, and output systems, and information retrieval systems.  Also, the processes used to track, store, and control documents.

Document management is one of the precursor technologies to content management, and not all that long ago was available solely on a standalone basis like its imaging, workflow, and archiving brethren. It provides some of the most basic functionality to content management, imposing controls and management capabilities onto otherwise “dumb” documents. This makes it so that when you have documents and need to use them, you are able to do so. Some of the key features in document management include:

  • Check-in/check-out and locking, to coordinate the simultaneous editing of a document, so one person’s changes don’t overwrite another’s
  • Version control, so tabs can be kept on how the current document came to be and how it differs from the versions that came before
  • Roll-back, to “activate” a prior version in case of an error or premature release
  • Audit trail, to permit the reconstruction of who did what to a document during the course of its life in the system
  • Annotation and Stamps,

Document management eventually was subsumed into content management in no small measure because there is more information available to us today than ever before, and most of it is not being created by us.  Thanks to the mainstreaming of a whole range of sources like the Web, thumb drives, smartphones, etc., the need has accelerated to deal with information of all kinds: not just in terms of more media types like text vs. images vs. voice files, but also in terms of how structured – and thus how readily managed – it all is.

Document management systems today range in size and scope from small, standalone systems to large scale enterprise-wide configurations serving a global audience.  Many document management systems provide a means to incorporate standard physical document filing practices electronically. These include:

  • Storage location
  • Security and access control
  • Version control
  • Audit trails
  • Check-in/check-out and document lockdown.

Document management, while still recognized and utilized independently, it is also a common component found within an Enterprise Content Management environment.

More Info: What is the Importance of Project Scope Management?

Features of Oas36ty Document Management Software


Centralized storage

Oas36ty's enterprise document management software provides a cloud-based centralized repository that 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


Version control and auditability

Oas36ty's document management solution 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


Approval Workflows

Oas36ty's DMS provides the ability to route documents from one person to another through inbuilt workflow capabilities for quick approvals and reviews


Security and access control

Oas36ty's document management system provides an extra layer of control through granular access to documents. Stringent security policies and role-based access control prevent unauthorized users from accessing sensitive documents


Easy search and retrieval

Electronic DMS allows easy search and retrieval of documents through intuitive search capabilities


Disaster recovery

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.



Oas36ty's enterprise document management software enables assigning of metadata to documents for easy storage and retrieval

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All you need to know about Document Management Software

What is a Document Management System (DMS)?

A Document Management System is a tool for safely storing organizational content so that it can be easily managed and accessed. This helps organizations to shift away from paper-based documents. DMS is a comprehensive solution that focuses on effectively utilizing structured data such as Word documents, PDFs, Excel sheets, PowerPoints, and other files with defined formats. It empowers knowledge workers to efficiently access and leverage these documents throughout the organization, thereby increasing productivity. A document management solution equips the user with multiple capabilities, including centralized storage, document collaboration support, version control and auditability, easy search and retrieval, security and access control, and indexing and disaster recovery.

A document management system can be implemented in a banking organization that manages thousands of documents received from various channels on a daily basis. Such documents contain confidential information that must be handled carefully while maintaining compliance. They should also be readily available as and when required for operations. And after the appropriate time, as stated by compliance regulations, the documents must be disposed of as per the procedure.


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 document automation?

Document automation is using technology to automate the document creation, management, and distribution process. It involves using software to extract information from various source documents, such as employee records, legal documents, questionnaires, and more, and inserting that extracted information into pre-defined document templates. The generated document is then distributed and managed using workflows and document management tools. Automation is widely used in industries that frequently need to assemble complex, data-driven documents. This allows organizations to minimize manual data entry and improve efficiency, consistency, and accuracy.

  • Businesses can benefit from document automation in several ways. Some common examples are:
  • Billing and invoice: It can simplify generating invoices, collecting payments, and managing billing information.
  • HR functions: It can help to manage employee onboarding, benefits enrolment, and other administrative tasks.
  • Banking and finance domain: It can ease the process of account opening, claim processing, financial reports, and statements.

Read More: What are top benefits of using a business process management system?

What is document workflow management?

Document workflow management is the process of managing and regulating the flow of document-based processes within an organization. It involves coordinating the tasks, activities, and people engaged in a series of steps, from the document creation to the document’s disposition, in a structured and efficient way. These steps include activities like maker and checker functionality for the decisions and approvals of the documents to the further stages, such as collaborating with other users by real-time comments and annotations on the document and distribution of the records within the organization or to the customer. Document workflow management aims to improve productivity, reduce errors and delays, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

An example of this would be a health insurance claim by a customer. The customer will submit his relevant documents to his health insurance agent, who will then route them to the claims officer. The claims officer can verify these documents and assess the proofs. He will then send it to the surveyor, who, after approving it, will intimate the finance team for disbursal, and finally, the customer will be able to get his claim serviced.


What is Electronic Document Management (EDM)?

Electronic Document Management (EDM) is the process of systematically organizing, storing, accessing, and sharing electronic files and documents within an organization. The process involves using software and applications to manage electronic documents throughout their lifecycle, including the creation, distribution, and archival stages. The tools also provide additional features, including a centralized repository, version control, access rights management, live tracking, and metadata management. EDM enables organizations to improve efficiency, reduce paper usage, and easily retrieve and enhance collaboration and security around electronic documents.

This can be compared to how one manages physical documents. They are stored in files and folders, which are labelled. EDM does the same for electronic documents. It converts physical documents to electronic documents using scanning and data extraction, assigns specific metadata (data about documents) to them, and stores them in a repository similar to the ones we use on our computers/laptops.


What is the difference between DMS and Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Software?

Both ECM and DMS software, at their core, are 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. However, ECM offers much more when compared to DMS software.


What is the use of document management?

Document management simplifies the way organizations handle their paperwork. It helps store, organize, find, and share documents easily. This saves time and resources by reducing the need for physical files, making information more secure, and ensuring that the right people can access it quickly. It’s all about making work smoother and more efficient.


Advantages of Having an Efficient Document Management System

Having an efficient document management system provides a company or organization better workflow, secure document storage, and increased productivity. Document Management System definition should also consist of the advantages of using a proper DMS.

Here are some of the key advantages of a document management system:


Flexible information retrieval process

A document management system creates scanned electronic images of documents before storing them in a central repository. This form of storage saves time when looking for specific documents. You can retrieve any document you need without leaving your desk.


Flexible document indexing

Information stored as images in a DMS can easily be indexed in multiple formats at the same time.


  • Faster and more accurate search: Documents stored in a DMS can be found by searching for a word or phrase in the document, which is not possible with paper storage systems. The system uses single or multiple categorizations to classify and store a document, which facilitates easier and faster searches.


  • A higher level of security: An efficient DMS provides better and more secure control over an organization’s sensitive data. Most document management systems control the access to documents at a folder level. They also provide an audit trail that shows which person or persons viewed, retrieved, or edited which document and at exactly what time it happened. This level of security and control cannot be possibly achieved with paper document systems.


  • Data recovery after a disaster: A DMS provides the easiest and most efficient way of creating a backup of documents in an external or offsite storage. This is an effective disaster recovery strategy as it provides a failsafe archive for all your crucial data.


  • Prevention of lost files: With digitally archived versions of documents stored in a central location, instances of lost files become a thing of the past. Lost files can be time-consuming and expensive to replace which is why every small, medium, and large company needs to have an efficient document management system in place.


  • Significantly reduced document storage: Paper based document storage systems take up a huge volume of space in any business or organization. You significantly reduce the amount of storage space used when documents are scanned and electronically integrated in the document management system. The electronic system frees much of the physical space used to store paper documents.


  • Better customer service: With a DMS, you reduce the time spent on completing processes that require document searches and retrieval. This means your customer will enjoy faster response times, accurate information, and better service. These are some of the factors that create customer satisfaction and build better customer loyalty.


  • Definition of Easy Cloud Document Management System: Implementing an efficient document management system has its own share of challenges and expenses. Oas36ty provides an easy-to-use document management system software where you can store, manage, share, and gain better control of all digital documents. But don’t take just our own word for it — Oas36ty was named the most user-friendly document management system in the world! Oas36ty provides a secure offsite cloud-based DMS to keep your important data safe from risks of fire, hardware failure, criminals, floods and other natural disasters. It’s the best DMS for both small and medium businesses.


How to implement a document management system

Implementing a document management system is a straightforward process. Follow the steps below to begin.

1. Review your current document management process

The first step is to review what your organization lacks in its current document management system. Consider every step in a document's life cycle: which team members create or receive these documents? How are they shared and used? Who has access and can make changes? What type of changes can they make?

Clarifying how every team member can use, manage, and collaborate with company documents helps determine how your document management system will work.


2. Test and choose a document management system based on your needs

Read customer reviews and test document management systems on a small scale before launching across the organization. This approach ensures you don't invest in a system that doesn't fit your needs. Questions to ask to evaluate if a document management system is right for you include:

  • Can it be integrated with your project management software?
  • Does it support all the file types your organization uses?
  • Does it make it easy to access and view documents?
  • Are there multiple ways to present information, such as a list, grid, charts, and thumbnail libraries?
  • Can team members annotate and comment on files and documents?
  • Does the document management system meet regulatory compliance and security needs?
  • Does it have good search functionality?
  • Can users download the documents they need from any location?
  • How long does the employer onboarding process usually take?

When you find a system that works for you, bring in the IT team to review it before setting it up.


3. Set up your document management rules

The next step is to create procedures for every action that could be taken within the document management system. This includes everything from uploading and adding metadata to making changes, downloading, and retrieving archived information. Once your procedures and policies are in place, upload and sort existing documents in the system and allow your teams to begin using the system. 

Continue to test the new system for the first couple of weeks or months. Set up review sessions with team leads and team members to collect feedback and ensure the system is working as expected. Review the entire document management workflow, including automated aspects and human data entry points.


Features to look for in document management services

The right document management system for you is highly dependent on your organizational needs. The gaps you notice in your current system should dictate the most important features for your new system. Fundamental features to look for in document management systems include:


  • Cloud-based: Company documents should be accessible to employees whether they're working in the office or not. Cloud-based document management systems make it easy for anyone with the correct access keys to sign in and gain access to the information they need.
  • Automation capabilities: Automation in document management systems guarantees streamlined and connected workflows according to your set rules. This helps reduce manual data entry and other low-value tasks like updating metadata and version control tags.
  • Robust search abilities: The right document management system makes it easy to search for files and documents quickly. It provides a safe and accessible way to dig deep and retrieve needed information.
  • Permissions level: Document management systems should have different permissions levels to enable administrators and managers to set specific permissions for different files and employees.
  • Version control: Document management systems must have clear and understandable version control, allowing users to know when a document is updated and by whom.


How much does a document management system cost?

As with any type of software system, document management systems prices vary. You can use subscription services or buy a perpetual license. Prices depend on functionality, volume and size of documents, number of team members, and how/where the software is hosted.

Subscription document management services range from $15/month per user to about $200. Some systems have a free or freemium plan, but this is often insufficient to meet long-term business needs. Most document management system software solutions are cloud-hosted, but some offer an on-premise installation option.


Who is responsible for document management systems?

Larger companies may have a person responsible for overseeing activities in the document management system. This person may be a records manager or document control administrator. In smaller businesses, the office manager or business owner may be responsible.

Many companies fall somewhere in the middle, with a designated team member running the system, typically an IT or HR department manager. Employees in these roles are adept at using management software to do their jobs and have a strong appreciation for data security and regulatory compliance.


Who would benefit from a document management system?

Using a powerful document management system benefits businesses large and small. It's an ideal solution for companies where documents, files, and data, are received, created, and shared constantly.

Users of document management systems benefit — employees can perform their job with ease regardless of where they work from, and everyone knows when a document has changed.


How to use Oas36ty as a document management system

It makes sense to combine your document management system and project management software into one synchronized platform to make work easier for teams, regardless of where they are.

Oas36ty's collaborative project management solution makes it easy for employees to share project-related files easily and securely, enhancing collaboration and communication as each team member is in the loop regarding any project changes.

In addition to sharing and managing documents, Oas36ty integrates with other business-critical applications like Google Sheets and Gmail, making it easy to create new automated processes to speed up your business workflows and eliminate low-value tasks. Oas36ty's software goes beyond project management, with highly secure collaborative features creating a valuable digital workspace for teams of any size.




What is a document repository?

A document repository is the storage arm of a document management system. Although its main function is storing documents, it's more than a simple filing cabinet. Document repositories secure and restrict access to internal company documents by providing tiered permission levels based on each one's criteria.

When teams work with a document repository, they minimize contradictory data, communication mishaps, and misinformation within the organization. This is especially useful when working with external parties and collaborators like third-party vendors. Modern document repositories automatically clean and update your database, removing duplicate entries and redundancies.


Why do companies need document management system software?

In today's business landscape, with the continuing impact of COVID-19 and switching to hybrid or remote working, innovative business owners and managers are long past using ad-hoc systems for managing, storing, and sharing documents.

Companies implement document management systems to gain control and insights from documents and data entering and leaving the organization. Whether working remotely or in the office, you want to ensure that all employees use the most recent and up-to-date versions of documents they work with without too much hassle or back-and-forth emailing.

Team members can easily add comments, suggestions, and annotations in the document management system software, making it easy to collaborate, communicate, review, and approve work.

Document management system software also solves security and data audit issues by creating trails of a document life cycle from creation to modification and distribution. This is useful for internal accountability or a prompt for an external audit from industry authorities.


What are the benefits of management systems?

The benefits of implementing document management systems are significant and compounding quickly — the market value of the document management systems industry is projected to increase to $6.78 billion by 2023. Key benefits of implementing a document management system include:

  • Improved collaboration and teamwork: Document management systems ensure team members always have access to the most recent document version.
  • Enhanced security: Document management systems ensure documents entering and leaving your organization are safe and stored securely in a central, accessible platform for all teams to access.
  • Compliance and audits: Document management systems help track a document's history from creation to edits and downloads. This information is critical for industry-compliance practices and businesses being audited. 
  • Ease of access to information: Document management systems usually have robust search functionality, making it easy for teams to find the right documents when they need them.
  • Improved productivity: Using a document management system means employees don't waste time looking for files in multiple computers, apps, or cloud-based platforms. Anyone with the right access can find the documents they need quickly and easily by using the search bar.


What are the challenges of document management?

With all the benefits of document management, there are still some challenges to watch out for. These include:

  • Identification mishaps: It can be challenging to identify and separate documents with sensitive information. A confidential document coming into an organization may not be instantly recognizable and thus shared openly. When setting up your system, ensure there are clear policies on the different security levels for different types of documents.
  • Changing formats: The changing space of document formats can pose a challenge for older document management systems. Systems may not be equipped to handle new document formats. Imagine trying to store a ZIP or audio file in a physical filing cabinet. It's impossible. This may create compatibility issues as document management systems must be able to upgrade to accept new file formats.
  • Lengthy onboarding time: Depending on the system you choose; you may face a lengthy onboarding time when training your teams to use the system. A document management system nobody uses defeats the purpose of creating one in the first place.


What is document management?

Document management is a system or process used to capture, track and store electronic documents such as PDFs, word processing files and digital images of paper-based content.

Document management can save you time and money. It provides document security, access control, centralized storage, audit trails and streamlined search and retrieval.


What is document management important?

Paper storage may require significant physical space. A document management platform can integrate disparate documents for greater control, access and process efficiency. It offers advantages in terms of information retrieval, security, governance and lower cost of operations. What’s more, proper records management is becoming a legal imperative.


What is a document management system?

Document management, often referred to as Document Management Systems (DMS), is the use of a computer system and software to store, manage and track electronic documents and electronic images of paper-based information captured through the use of a document scanner.


What is an example of DMS?

Using a document management system, you can create, edit, and manage business files. It can be PDFs, word processing files, scanned images of paper-based content, emails, financial reports, or spreadsheets.


What is an example of document management software?

Microsoft SharePoint is a document management system that's ideal for businesses that rely on MS Office for their day-to-day tasks. The software offers native integrations with most of the tech giant's existing tools, such as Microsoft Word or Excel, allowing you to share files, communicate, and collaborate online.


What is the purpose of DMS?

A document management system (DMS) is usually a computerized system used to store, share, track and manage files or documents. Some systems include history tracking where a log of the various versions created and modified by different users is recorded.


Why do we need document management?

Document management software provides version control, enabling team members to know what the latest version of the document is. Being able to easily track the progress of a document and ensuring you are always working with the most recent version goes a long way to improving efficiency and productivity in business.


Is CRM a document management system?

Document Management in CRM software helps companies store, manage and track important documents. It provides a secure storage platform where users can store documents of any format like images, PDF, CSV, and more. The feature also lets users manage projects, tasks, and other work-related activities.

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