To E or not to E?

To E or not to E?

“To be, or not to be …” is the opening phrase of a dialog from William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. In the speech, a despondent Prince Hamlet contemplates death and suicide. He bemoans the pains and unfairness of life but acknowledges the alternative might be still worse.

This sounds similar to the arguments that any one will go through on deciding to store important documents with a document management company. Does it make sense to only store the documents in physical storage or in electronic or in both. Whatever the final decision it has its implications in cost, retrieval and ease of search.

The reasons for any organization to engage a professional records management organization to store their records could be some of the following:

  • Regulatory requirement of storing records for specified period of time
  • Organized filing, storage and retrieval
  • Optimizing of expensive real estate cost

Majority of the organizations in the business of document management provide a host of services and allows customers to choose from a full service physical storage, scanning & digitizing and electronic document management. This poses a dilemma in the mind of the person choosing the service whether to opt for physical storage or additionally use a DMS, therefore “to e or not to e”.

The final choice will depend on the requirements of the organization and the budget available. However it may be ideal to consider if the following features could be provided by the DMS company you would engage:

  • Secure storage of the documents either on the cloud or on your servers
  • Linking e-doc to the physical copy, helping in accurate retrieval when required
  • User defined access levels for different job functions
  • Metadata and additional tagging options
  • Automatic OCR to make scanned documents searchable
  • Workflows built for ease of use
  • Mobile apps allowing anytime anywhere access

Given the digital age we live in and the impatience around inability of getting the right information/document at the appropriate time, wasted effort and time in receiving an incorrect document. It may be ideal to side with buying peace of mind going e and deciding to be like Prince Hamlet.