Keeping documents in digital storage systems is not the same as document “management”. Many traditional business processes and software simply create document silos. In effect, they are dumping areas for forms, records and other data.
This is a useful way for your organisation to tuck all its documents away within your digital workplace software. However, how easy is it to find a file, particularly in response to an urgent need? How sure are you that the most up to date or relevant version will rise to the top?
The time-consuming and sometimes frustrating work of tracking down stored data is not the only insidious issue. Ineffectual document management can leave you with multiple copies of the same document stored digitally. The risk of using or even transmitting out of date information becomes greater.
Some of the “off the shelf” document management software solutions don’t go far enough in alleviating these potential problems, particularly if you have a fast-moving or complex enterprise. Different departments and individuals have too much freedom of choice on where and how to store documents.
If someone elsewhere in the organisation needs to see a file, searching the various document “dumps” can be confusing or even fruitless. The solution is to integrate your document management systems into your intranet software.
Making a virtue of social dynamics
Streamlining and orchestrating document storage company-wide, via the intranet, is linked to an important modern business dynamic. The digital workplace relies on social connectivity to function properly.
If your documents are stored within – and retrieved from – one connected system, it opens the door to far better communication and collaboration. Get the right intranet software in place, and you can also underpin a more quality controlled system of document management.
Simple and reliable
However, one of the most important benefits of social intranet document management is its clarity and simplicity.
The whole organisation is working digitally on the same level playing field. Once your team has the right level of understanding and confidence – through intranet training – they can quickly create, store and retrieve documents, wherever they are in your organisation. They can use any device they prefer, including those favoured for remote working.
Shareable and instantly updated
Competence with this document management system is straightforward for staff of all abilities. In fact, the right intranet software can prove to be even easier to use than some of the more elaborate social media offerings these days!
A properly configured platform provides clear command prompts and automated document control.
Conversations linked to documents appear in threads, enabling anyone involved in updates and reviews to see the latest information in a split second. When a document is changed, the project team will also receive a notification.
Quick document search enabled
Social intranet software – with document management capabilities integrated – also offers another important advantage. It is infinitely “searchable”.
Many traditional software options involve storing documents according to their departmental category or finding them by exploring various forms of classification. A properly configured intranet platform dispenses with this overly structured, siloed approach.
Even a novice user with the relevant authorisation can search for a document and find it with speed and ease.
Document flags and ratings
Creating a flow of document storage and retrieval to suit your organisation also enables you to add file names, tags and other markers that your staff can easily understand.
Then, if there is any doubt about which markers to use for searches, social intranet software provides another great solution. You can conduct searches based on document content, as well as any of the primary flags you’ve used.
There is also an option to rank documents you use within your digital workplace. This useful tool is invaluable if you want certain documents to be consulted or used in preference to others.
Security and control
Each organisation will have its own ideas on sensible document storage and retrieval, but also its own requirements for security and access control.
Correctly configured intranet software provides you with sets of virtual keys to enable you to open and lock document files as appropriate.
Cost effective communications
Basing your document management on intranet software brings with it another key advantage.
Your organisation’s more flowing and transparent data systems will stimulate and support more interaction and consultation. Communications will become far more of a two-way street. Document feedback can be encouraged and collected with ease.
It all comes down to better “management” of documents, rather than simply storing them or moving them from one place to another.