Although most companies, and human resource departments, have made the shift from paper to digital documentation, many have not yet maximized processes by upgrading to the newest available tools.1 Upgrading increases the speed and accuracy of your business, reduces errors and can expedite problem-solving by providing easily accessible data at your fingertips.  Updated methods provide smooth integration with ERP and other lines of business application, delivered in user-friendly “SMART” applications.

Several trends have emerged in document management, and while some have been unsuccessful, many have withstood the test of time.1 Some trends are new, some have been around for years, and some are just now emerging in the human resources arena.

Considering making the switch or upgrading your current workflow? Read on to discover the top-ten document management trends

  1. Cloud Computing
    When cloud computing first emerged, many people were hesitant to jump on board simply because the technology was not well understood.1 Hindsight is 20-20, and now we know it’s here to stay. Document management software has been revolutionized by cloud computing because it ensures documents are available at anytime, anywhere.2 Users don’t need to be sitting in front of one desktop computer within a closed network; all you need is the Internet.No matter your business size, web-based solutions  allow for scalability and offers ease of access and reduced costs.
  2. Social Integration
    The Internet is dominated by social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, and these networks have made it easier than ever to connect with friends and colleagues, replacing email, phone calls, and letters as primary forms of communication. In today’s business world, social technology is as much a professional tool as a personal one.Social technology provides a seamless process for organizing, storing and revising files.
  3. A Must Have: Mobile-Friendly Development
    Smartphones and tablets have streamlined the workday, allowing today’s professionals constant access to important files and documents.1 Document management software has to be just as flexible – and accessibility from mobile devices is not enough. The experience must be user-friendly.
  4. Client Portals
    Your clients and customers, like your employees, help keep your business going strong. Your bottom line depends on customer satisfaction. Today’s clients are tech-savvy, and with that kernel of knowledge, you can engage them deeper than ever before through your business technology.1Particularly important in areas of project management, document management software allows sharing of documents through client portals. These portals can easily be set up through a public or private cloud using tools such as a document management system. While email is still considered the top tool for communication,  multiple deployment option, either cloud or on-premises allows your clients to become part of the conversation by providing the ability to ask questions in real time, comment along with multiple participants on documents without deployment limitations. 1
  5. Collaboration Tools
    It’s no secret that many professionals prefer to work alone, claiming this cave time is more productive than working in a team. While true in particular cases, collaboration enhances projects by bolstering production time, improving communication and employee relationships. While email has been the go-to tool for collaboration on documents, it can also be time-consuming, cumbersome and confusing – especially when you are tracking changes in an earlier version of a file.1 When collaboration occurs within a single social space, problems such as this disappear.
  6. Scalability
    Is your current document management system growing with your business? Business owners can transition smoothly only if your document management software is designed with scalability in mind.
  7. Affordable Services
    You get what you pay for in software; one-size options typically are not worth their low price points. Software companies offering cutting-edge document management software are starting to offer affordable products and services to their customers.  In the past, many organizations chose to avoid it altogether because it was too expensive. To be universally adopted, today’s vendors know it has to be affordable. Cloud computing technology and other technological advancements have made the purchase of benchmark solutions affordable.
  8. Security
    Due to the sheer volume of documents processed by businesses on a daily basis and the channels through which these are propagated, ensuring security across the enterprise has become a priority and pain point for many organizations.
  9. Publication And DMS                                                                                                                Document Management Systems share similar concepts to current publishing standards and regulations. In both instances, phases of the process include document planning, research, design, writing, production, and distribution – or the case of DMS – retrieval. Developers need to take this into consideration when things start to diversify at a rate greater than what is seen presently.4 As DMS systems grow and expand, they will need to be customized to the needs of the organization and the dominions in which they are being used.
  10. Big Data Goes Small
    While the term big data has been around for a few years, many organizations don’t fully understand its implications and weaknesses.4 For example, with content stored in document repositories, there is a host of challenges with exposing metadata and properties to analyze the data. In some cases, due to the myriad of nuances and formats in presentation, the information is unanalyzable. Many organizations will shift toward process-specific analytic solutions, and invest in tools to help them automate discrete high-value processes.4

The Future Awaits

These top ten workflow and document management trends provide a look at which trends have become essential business practices as well as the promise of future document management software yet to be developed. If your business is stuck in the past, consider switching to platform that fits your company’s business needs today and will evolve with you, keeping you a step ahead of the competition.

1 Axero Solutions, 2015, The 8 Biggest Document Management Trends for 2015
2 Business 2 Community, 2015, 5 Document Management Trends Driving Business Transformation
3 ADLIB, 2015, This Year’s 5 Document Management Trends: Know Your Content
4 Datamatics, 2015, Emerging Trends in Document Management System/Document Management System: The Way Forward

About Jeff Frankel:

Jeff Frankel is Executive Vice President and Principal at docSTAR, a B2B software firm specializing in cloud document management solutions and business process automation. He has more than two decades experience in corporate business development, working with industry-leading firms including Authentidate Holding Corp, Med-Flash, Health Focus of NY, and Ernst & Young. Jeff offers innovative perspectives on streamlining business for improved efficiency and productivity.

Jeff Frankel 2015

You can follow Jeff and the docSTAR team on Twitter, @docSTARsoftware.

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