Electronic document management

Information technologies are penetrating into all spheres of business. Sometimes it happens so quickly that it is not easy to understand the necessity of introducing new products. Something like this happens with the electronic document management system (EDS). Since its inception, it has become overgrown with numerous myths.

It’s a delicate matter – the usual folders and piles of papers disappear, and all information “dissolves” in computers. Some myths disappear, while others appear. It is necessary for the customer of such a solution to constantly search and verify information, evaluating the benefits from the implementation. With the help of this article, the most important misconceptions about electronic document management systems will be debunked.

Electronic document management

Electronic document management – simple automation of the office.

It is believed that such a system can order incoming and outgoing documents. And although the electronic document circulation is already quite widespread in our market, this statement is quite popular. The office is just one of the forms of organization of document circulation, traditional in our practice. In fact, electronic document management is already present in our life. As soon as we mail the document created in Word, or we receive it, it already speaks about the fact of work of such system. In our realities, the business of the Chancellery is to centralize the passage and recording of all official documents, to monitor the execution of instructions issued by the head. But the enterprise works not only with official documents. In any company, even before their creation, unofficial papers go and operate. Flows of their circulation are much more complicated and wider. In our world, almost all information exists in electronic form. Implemented SED should establish management of all documents, not only passing through the office. It will be a mistake for each type of document to create its own system. Let’s better one global SED solves the problem in a complex way.

SED can save the company from internal chaos.

It is a mistake to think that in itself such an ERMS will eliminate the organizational mess that is present in the company. But these problems are not solved that way. In the case of a mess in the company, the main thing will be to establish an organizational spin, the CSA in this case will become one of the tools. If you start to implement it where there is no internal interaction, where zones of responsibility are not divided and business processes are not working, there will be no result. Those who decide to implement the SED should understand what this project will give in the current situation.

The electronic document will be effective.

The peak of this myth has already passed. Today, more and more often customers understand that this is not so. But many continue to believe in the magic of electronic document management. Its effectiveness is affected by many factors, it is not enough just to arrange the circulation of documents through electronic communication channels. Before implementation, it is worthwhile to consider whether the previous practices were comprehended, the existing procedures were standardized and accounted for, and whether the reengineering had passed. It is worth considering who and in what mode will use the system, whether the boss will work with her or whether the interaction will fall on their assistants. Such nuances must be specified during implementation. If the reengineering and optimization of business processes are carried out together with the SED, the result will be the most effective.

The best solution is based on the choice of market leaders.

It seems so easy to choose what the leaders already use. It looks logical, sometimes seriously affecting the preferences of customers. In fact, the market and its needs are constantly changing. Now the solutions developed 4-5 years ago are actual. The term of presence on the market and the experience accumulated during this time allows implementing projects of almost any scale. Popular SED, which are used by leaders, won the market earlier. In those years, very different principles were relevant. Now it is worth paying attention to new solutions, even if they have fewer implementations than leaders.They are much more technologically advanced and will remain relevant for another 5-7 years.

It is better to choose Western systems – they are more flexible and functional.

This myth has appeared for a reason. Historically, domestic solutions were inferior to Western ones. But our complexes still were more focused on the Russian specifics, taking into account the special requirements of the companies. At the present time, domestic solutions have emerged that surpass foreign ones. These platforms are both powerful and flexible. The advantage is to consider the presence of modules focused on automating processes with Russian specifics. And there are such complexes less foreign analogues, and support and additional services are much more accessible.

SED are only needed by organizations with clear regulations and described business processes.

As already mentioned, the mess in the organization makes it meaningless to implement electronic document management. But sometimes it is not necessary that everything be correctly and accurately described. More and more companies use flexible management techniques, using adaptive case management. In such cases, SED are forced to adjust to them, changing their configuration and operating principles.

Electronic document management

The ERMS can be actively used immediately after implementation.

The object of automation are the processes of enterprise management. This makes it impossible to treat the document management system as a normal project, which ends with commissioning. All management processes are constantly changing. It also happens that at the beginning of the implementation of the system the customer does not really represent its real capabilities. The implementation of SED is a chain of interconnected projects that develop automation, expand the functionality of the system and modernize it. Usually, the requirements for the possible modification of the implemented modules and the rapid automation of new processes are laid down in the EDS toolkit.

The implementation of EDS is entirely on the performer.

Is there really nothing required from the customer when implementing such a system? So they think in small companies and there, where the level of informatization is low and similar projects are a novelty. The introduction of SED always involves changing the internal order of the company and the mode of its operation. If the collective is not ready for this and there is no motivation for new achievements, then the effect will be zero or even the opposite. But the developers note that in recent years, customers have become more experienced, understanding and their role.

For a small business, quality EDS is not needed.

Most often, small business owners believe that 1C and MS Office packages are enough for them. If the company employs only 10 people, you can keep records and registration of documents in Excel, store them in the cloud, and exchange letters with Outlook. There are many simple and sometimes free cloud solutions – it’s Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365. Such a system under certain conditions may be understandable, but we must ask ourselves what are the main issues facing the interaction of small businesses and IT. And anyway, what can be considered a small business? If we exclude the micro-business with its specific document circulation, then the benefits of electronic systems still exist. True, the scale of the enterprise will not let it feel so clearly, as in the case of medium or large business. Not all functions are needed. For example, a small business may well refuse to control incoming correspondence, monitor the execution of instructions, automate the procedures for negotiating documents. A small group of people find it easier to sit down together and solve all the problems. But a unified working information environment is still needed, it can qualitatively structure information, search in it, make quick access to the necessary documents and templates. This will be relevant in small business. If the owner plans to develop his company, then he should think about debugging internal communications and business processes.In this case, the issue of implementing electronic document management will sooner or later become topical.

Mobile electronic document management systems are unsafe.

In fact, such security solutions are not inferior to other enterprise applications with mobile access. The threat lies not in the mobile SED itself, but in its concrete implementation, ignoring the IT security policy by the customer’s personnel. Developers diversify ways to access information. In this issue, much depends on the company itself and the technologies used to protect its data. We are talking about technical measures, and organizational ones. If this issue is paid attention, the mobile EDS will be safe. And in modern realities without them, sometimes you can not do. Debunking this myth is at least the fact that in large companies, including financial and management, mobile SED is actively used by top managers.

Electronic document management

There is no legislative basis for EDS implementation.

Actually, the legislative basis for the implementation of such solutions already exists. Nobody prevents enterprises from giving up traditional paperwork in favor of paperless. True, there is still a small agreed list that can not be touched. This, first of all, personnel records management. And the problem is not that there are no laws and acts, but that the enterprise itself has not created internal standards for the legalization of electronic signatures. This hinders the transition to paperless circulation of documents.

The implementation of the ERMS is too long.

This statement was once fairly true, but today it has become a myth. Previously, electronic systems were built in the likeness of existing paper, the same rules were used. Users could not quickly adopt new standards, interfaces were heavy, they had to duplicate paper and electronic documents, training took time. And after all, it’s worth taking into account the pre-project survey, setting up the system, integrating it into the existing IT infrastructure, installing the applications to the user. This really stretched the time. However, the situation has already changed. Modern solutions have many tools for accelerating implementation. There is a set of ready-to-use applications, the ability to gradually increase the functionality. Start using electronic workflow can be quickly and inexpensively, improving it to the desired level. The term of implementation depends on the complexity, requirements for optimization, the amount of modifications and customization of the solution, the number of users. If you have to integrate many systems and transfer tens of thousands of users to the EDMS, then the normal term is 2-3 years. And the average business gets a functioning system on average for six months.

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