Businesses from various walks of life are constantly in hunt for better and improved ways to create, share, organize, manage and discover valuable data and information. Whether you are an independent author or part of a team, document management is an important practice that instills efficiency & accuracy in your work and documentation. Organizations today are implementing and leveraging software applications available in the market and making sure that information can be managed, whilst saving time and cost.
Document management concentrates on the storage and organization of documents to support active work in progress, such as content creation & sharing within an organization. When it comes to capturing, storing, managing, utilizing and preserving content and documents, there are very few platforms better than SharePoint.
Apart from assisting in managing structured documents, SharePoint helps in managing a wide range of unstructured documents like web pages, messages, emails and more. It is one of the most reliable solutions for document management, used by a large portion of Fortune 500 companies.
Okay, but how does it play a crucial role in document management? What makes it special? Let’s take a closer look.
The main reason why SharePoint is suitable for businesses or organizations of different sizes is that it helps business owners to interact with the employees within the organization, enables engagement with people, and simplifies storage of data and information in real time, while providing ease of managing project emails and documents.
Microsoft SharePoint Server supports organizations’ various document management needs through a wide range of document management capabilities, which can be broken down into document repositories, source/version control and workflow. They can either use any of the below features individually or in combination, for the purpose of smarter document management.
Document libraries is something that made SharePoint one of the most useful products as a document repository. They are essential folders where documents are stored, which showcases the list of the documents.
Document libraries is the core part of document management technology. They enable organizations to fully leverage customizable metadata, interface of documents, templates, user permissions and more. Document libraries make SharePoint an ideal document management platform for businesses that deal with large quantities of data.
Any kind of document management requires source or version control and SharePoint makes it easy. It lets the enterprise keep their content files in a secure place while allowing them to lock files to prevent conflicts during editing and track changes.
Source Control in SharePoint lets admin or authors to check out documents during editing, which makes the documents or files “read only” for the end users. The modified version of the documents will be saved to the document library only when it is checked in again. Moreover, it allows the authors to comment when they’ve documents checked-in.
SharePoint also allows users to maintain the version history of documents, which means whenever a document is changed, the version number will be changed too. SharePoint enables “Auditing” by keeping track record of who made the changes within the documents. It's also possible to set an ‘expiry’ period for sensitive documents.
SharePoint offers pre-programmed workflow for routing the documents and sending alerts in order to help streamline the document lifecycle. However, the user can also design more complicated workflows with the help of Microsoft Visio, SharePoint Designer or Visual Studio. Workflow functionality in SharePoint allows organizations to perform a wide range of operations, including approval through a digital signature, review and feedback of the documents, translation management through translation libraries and work tracking.
With the help of the above and other document management capabilities, SharePoint empowers enterprises to:
There is no denying the fact that each and every enterprise has its own needs concerning the storage and management of data, but SharePoint’s out-of-the-box document management capabilities makes it easy for them to store, organize and manage the documents. With SharePoint 2013 and its enhanced support for mobility, users can perform a wide range of these activities, even when they are on the go.
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