What to Consider When Purchasing a Document Management System: Part II

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In Part 1 of “What to Consider” we took a brief glance at some of the most basic functions of document management systems.  This edition focuses on two more of the technical aspects that cannot be overlooked when determining which software will be most effective for your company.

Compliance Regulations:

Whatever the industry, regulations are always changing. It’s critical that your document management software can be configured in a way that allows IT staff to administer the system 24/7 and activate security and regulation checkpoints as is necessary.  Likewise, your system should include auditing features which track the document’s visitors and changes; some industries will require proof that documents have never been altered.

Server Solutions:

Your company is faced with one of two options: client-server or ASP.  Client-server systems indicates that the software will run on your computers and data will be stored on computer hard drives or on the office’s network server.  This gives you the greatest access and control to the software, but requires sufficiently trained IT staff on site.  ASP, on the other hand, provides you application and data access via web browser (internet dependence) or specialized software. In this case, the vendor provides the IT professionals and numerous levels of security and back-ups are typically utilized.  However, should you choose the ASP route, be sure to confirm that the data will be stored at an SAS 70 audited center, which are audited by a third party to ensure compliance with the strictest standards.

In the third and final edition of “What to Consider,” we’ll provide some final suggestions before recommending that you begin your search for the appropriate document management system, critically applying the information we’ve provided.