7 Reasons Your Business Needs Online Document Management Software

29 September 2009

The days of having to file away thousands and thousands of paper documents each year in gigantic file cabinets that take up more space than most offices will soon to be a thing of the past. The reason?…Online document management software is able to replace those bulky file cabinets, but that’s not its only advantage. Document management software can help your business increase productivity and efficiency, reduce costs, become more organized and the list goes on.

What actually is online document management software? Well in a nutshell, it’s a way for teams and/or businesses to share, store and edit documents digitally. More and more businesses are turning to document management software to help boost productivity and reduce costs. Additionally, there’s a push by lawmakers in both the US and UK for legislation that requires files and documents to be stored digitally rather than the traditional way – paper – and in many sectors, these rules and regulations are already intact. For instance, many medical facilities are being required to store digital copies of their files in addition to traditional paper copies in an effort to slowly make the transition to paperless in the near future. The reason for this is simple, digitally storing and sharing documents is safer and keeps sensitive information protected from unauthorized users more effectively through multiple layers of security. Furthermore, it helps to reduce paper waste, making it a very eco-friendly solution.

There are two basic types of online document management software: Application service provider (ASP) and client-server hosted. Client-server systems are software packages that are controlled on local computers, while ASP software is an online solution hosted remotely by the service provider. Both types have distinct advantages, but a growing number of businesses today are opting for ASP document management software over the alternative. Why? An ASP can provide an added layer of security to protect your company’s data, because the software provider (i.e., Huddle) typically has a full staff of IT technicians and advanced security measures that far outweigh those of client-server solutions. In addition to the security benefit, ASPs also have the distinct advantage of being able to access your company’s data from anywhere that there’s Internet access.

Online document management software has many benefits that can help your company reach new levels of success. Here are 7 reasons why your company needs to consider utilizing online document management software.

Quick and Easy Online Collaboration and Sharing

Having the ability to quickly and easily share documents via an online workspace can be a priceless tool for any business. Viewing, editing and sharing data digitally can greatly speed up work flow, and it allows employees to share, send and receive data in a fraction of the time it would take to do the same thing but with paper documents. Online document management software speeds up the sharing and collaboration process greatly, which leads us to the next benefit…

Increased Productivity and Efficiency

Since document manipulation and sharing takes a fraction of the time with the help of document management software, it inevitably increases both productivity and efficiency as well. Time spent searching for documents through a library of file cabinets is eliminated, and this frees up time for employees to get more work done, effectively improving overall efficiency. With document management software, all of the company’s documents and data are digitally stored in one place, making it easily accessible from any computer with Internet access.

Air Tight Data Security and File Storage

A good online document management software, such as Huddle’s Collaboration Software, features several layers of security to keep your company’s personal data under air tight security. With a full-time team of IT technicians and multiple security features, online document management software is one of the most secure options available to any company – In most cases, it’s even more secure than storing documents and data locally. Plus, your data is protected from server crashes or power outages, because there are backup measures in place to protect against these types of failures.

Easier Access to Data – Past and Present

There’s no comparison between the “old” way of storing documents in file cabinets (or all over your desk!) and the “new” way of storing them digitally. The ability to store documents digitally in one central location is far and away the better option. Using the software’s built-in search function, you can access any file – old or new – within seconds, instead of having to search through potentially thousands of folders to find the file. Once the file is found, it’s easy to share the file with other team members or email it to a client – The entire process is streamlined.

Reduce Paper Costs – An Eco-Friendly Solution

The cost of paper can add up quickly in an office environment, so reducing those costs by switching to digital files can add up to substantial savings. According to RegisteredRep.com, companies with annual revenues between $500k and $1 million can save as much as $40k per year by switching to digital document management. Think about the money saved by going digital: paper costs, ink/toner costs, storage costs (i.e., file cabinets), paper waste removal, printer maintenance – not to mention employee time spent on filing and ordering more paper and related products. As you can see, by reducing the amount of paper being used, it will create a positive trickling affect on the company’s bottom line. Cost savings aside, a paperless company is also an eco-friendly company.

Data Becomes Portable and is Accessible From Anywhere

Document management software allows you to have a library of information with you while on-the-go. Traditionally, it would be nearly impossible to carry around hundreds, or even thousands, of files while on business trips or away from the office. Since you can access your entire company’s database of important data securely via the Internet, you no longer would need to lug around stacks of paper while on the road. Document management software allows you to virtually work from anywhere and still be able to share files with coworkers and access data while away from the office.

Saves Money Both Directly and Indirectly

The cost savings benefit of online document management software can be seen both directly and indirectly. I’ve already mentioned how going paperless can save a load of money on paper and paper-related products, but you can also cut costs in other ways as well. Lets say you have a relatively paper-intensive business that goes through a lot of paper and does a lot of filing each day – a law firm for example. If an employee spends one hour per day filing papers, searching for files and simply walking back and forth from the records room, that would equate to approximately 250 hours per year (assuming a 5 day work week). If that employee is making $20/hr, that’s $5,000 per year spent on simple paper filing tasks that could be eliminated by going digital.

As you can see, utilizing online document management software has many benefits over traditional file management methods, including major cost savings, eliminates the need for bulky file cabinets, increases productivity and is an eco-friendly solution.
If you’d like to learn more, read about Huddle’s online document management software solution.