Technology continues to revolutionize business processes. It's influenced everything, from speeding up manufacturing lines to juggling paperwork.
Despite the many opportunities tech has created, it's also generated a fair share of concerns. After all, the demand for cyber security experts is steadily increasing, and firms are exploring all avenues available to them when trying to safeguard their data.
Improper management of documents can exacerbate these types of concerns too. Misplaced or stolen paperwork can lead to a series of other complications, sparking a chain reaction of misery for businesses. Technology is often the answer to preserving and securing this information.
Of course, as almost every business is going digital in some way, everybody is likely familiar with some technologies that have a significant role in document management. However, given how fast these innovations evolve, it's necessary to reevaluate these situations so your firm always understands the most current processes.
So, let's evaluate where we're at today in 2023. Below is a list of technologies playing an increasingly important role in document management processes.
PDF tools are multi-faceted and can give you a dynamic approach to document management. Numerous features can help you here, especially if you're operating in document-heavy industries.
The aptly named Pdftools has a suite of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and SDKs (Software Development Kits) that make your workflows with documents stress-free and faster. APIs provide more control for generating, extracting, and manipulating data from PDFs. On the other hand, SDKs provide libraries, tools, and other development resources for building applications with PDF functionalities, simplifying the creation of PDF-related features.
All of this opens up numerous implications. Some of them include:
- Integrating Pdftool products seamlessly into your firm's existing or brand-new applications and systems.
- Shrinking PDF files for easier sending and sharing.
- Converting PDFs to make editing and document manipulation easier.
- Maintaining PDF file quality and ensuring they're compliant for long-term archiving needs.
- Processing thousands of documents every minute with precision-engineered tools that run quickly.
PDFs were versatile, to begin with, but PDF tools help companies like yours mine their potential even deeper. You can trial these products over a free 30-day period with Pdftools if you wish to learn more about them.
Document Management Systems
As documents become digitized, the need for things like physical folders and filing cabinets dissipates. Alternative, tech-based storage methods are now being sought for all-important company documents.
There are typically two main possibilities for firms like yours to explore here. Cloud-based storage solutions, and document management systems (DMS). From a certain perspective, they can be similar, but both tools have distinct features and differences.
DMS is software, and it's equipped with tools to help with the storage, organization, retrieval, and structuring of data. It also has automation, indexing, and querying capabilities, giving users more control as they manage and manipulate their databases. DMS' also have document capture capabilities, which means physical documents can be scanned to create a digital version.
So, these tools certainly have their uses when you're trying to get on top of document management in your firm. However, the software works best as part of a wider scheme.
We just mentioned the cloud, but you likely already know about it or even use it. After all, business is booming with the technology in Switzerland and practically everywhere else too.
However, these tools can differ slightly from a DMS. They're run by physical servers, of which users only utilize a small part of it for their own purposes. A cloud service provider oversees things, and the tech can also host websites or help deploy multiple applications. Cloud servers can be encrypted, making sharing documents easier, as they can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.
Fortunately, you don't need to choose between a cloud server or DMS software; many firms use both simultaneously. A DMS can even be integrated into a cloud server, centralizing document management and making version control easier. Workflows around document management can be greatly improved with this tech.
Consider merging approaches here. That way, your efforts around document management will be more dynamic.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Tech
Using DMS tech to scan documents is just the beginning. OCR technology builds upon those functions further, converting scanned documents into searchable text. After that, document management processes become even more efficient.
Once the text is extracted, it can be indexed in a DMS. Search terms for finding key data can be simple phrases or even just a combination of keywords. Metadata can also be extracted from documents that have been indexed. The backbone of any refined search techniques online, metadata can help refine document searches further and narrow down results based on specific criteria. The need for manual sorting is eliminated, and none of your colleagues will ever need to sift through piles of paperwork again.
Built by pattern recognition techniques and advanced algorithms, OCR tech can also interpret symbols, characters, and other textual data in documents and images. Patterns and shapes of images can be studied, converting them into machine-readable text. Even handwritten notes can be analyzed in the same fashion.
OCR technology is being utilized in many major industries, from healthcare to law. In the former scenario, the tech is being used to digitize patient records, revolutionizing the speed and quality of patient care. In the latter sector, lawyers use OCR tech to combe through high volumes of contracts and other legal documents to extract the required snippets of information required to build their cases. Ultimately, OCR tech has revolutionized document management and subsequent productivity rates too.
Mobile Document Management Apps
App versions of much of what we've mentioned are readily available today. By using them, you and your colleagues can continue to adhere to the principles of great document management wherever you are.
It's an interconnected, fast-paced world out there. Efficiency must be consistent. Mobile document management apps can be accessed on smartphones or tablets to add comments, annotate PDFs, or create new documents entirely. The apps can also be integrated into cloud servers like Google Drive and Dropbox. A change made to a document on a smartphone can then be relayed across all devices.
Mobile document management apps are also highly security friendly. Depending on the system used, you could benefit from biometric authentication (facial recognition software or fingerprint access capabilities), connections that are encrypted, and various other features that secure your data. People may hesitate to use mobile document management apps in case they misplace their device or have it stolen, but even in those situations, your data should be secure.
Mobile document management apps tie everything together and can enhance collaboration. For hard workers who are always on the move, these tools can be highly convenient and streamline processes from afar.
Data Loss Prevention Solution
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions help prevent accidental sharing, unauthorized access, and any subsequent data loss associated with either circumstance. The tech uses access control (passwords, biometrics, etc.), encryption, and content analysis tools to protect valuable documents.
The content analysis tools use pre-programmed patterns to scan documents and identify information business leaders might deem sensitive. The patterns include credit card details, health records, social security numbers, or even intellectual property. Once the content is detected, it can be classified and protected.
Under these measures, few data breaches will occur, making document management strategies safer. Fewer disruptions and setbacks mean smoother processes are assured.