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Information technology is firmly penetrating all areas of business. From the very moment of its appearance, it began to grow overgrown with numerous myths.
Is it any conceivable thing - the usual folders and piles of papers disappear, and all information “dissolves” in computers. With the help of this article, the most important misconceptions about electronic document management systems will be debunked.
Electronic document management - simple office automation. It is believed that such a system can organize incoming and outgoing documents. And although electronic document management is already quite common in our market, this statement is quite popular. The office is just one of the forms of document management, traditional in our practice. In fact, electronic document management is already present in our life. As soon as we send a document created in Word by mail, or receive it, this already speaks of the fact that such a system works. In our realities, the business of the office is to totally centralize the passage and accounting of all official documents, to monitor the execution of orders issued by the head. But the company works not only with official documents. In any company, even before their creation, unofficial papers go and operate. Their flows are much more complex and wider. In our world, almost all information exists in electronic form. The implemented EDMS should establish the management of all documents, not only those passing through the office. It would be a mistake to create its own system for each type of documents. Better to let one global EDMS solve the problem in a complex way.
SED can save the company from internal chaos. It is a mistake to believe that such an EDMS itself will eliminate the organizational mess that is present in the company. But these problems are not solved that way. In the event of a mess within the company, the main thing will be to establish an organizational order, the EDMS in this case will become one of the tools. If you start implementing it where there is no internal interaction, where areas of responsibility are not separated and business processes do not work, then there will be no result. Those who make the decision to implement the EDMS need to understand what this project will give in the current situation.
The electronic document will be effective. The peak of this myth has already passed. Today more and more customers realize that this is not the case. But many continue to believe in the magic of electronic document management. Its efficiency is influenced by many factors, it is not enough just to arrange the circulation of documents through electronic communication channels. Before implementation, it is worth considering whether the previous practices have been comprehended, the existing procedures have been unified and taken into account, and whether the reengineering has been completed. It is worth considering who will use the system and in what mode, whether the bosses will work with it, or whether the interaction will fall on their assistants. Such nuances need to be discussed during implementation. If, during the transition, together with the EDMS, reengineering and optimization of business processes are carried out, then the result will be as effective as possible.
The best decision is based on the selection of the market leaders. It seems so easy to choose what leaders are already using. This seems logical, sometimes seriously affecting customer preferences. In fact, the market and its needs are constantly changing. Solutions developed 4-5 years ago are relevant now. The period of presence on the market and the experience gained during this time allows us to implement projects of almost any scale. Popular EDMS, which are used by leaders, conquered the market earlier. In those years, completely different principles were relevant. Now it is worth paying attention to new solutions, even if the number of implementations they have is less than that of the leaders. They are much more technological and will remain relevant for another 5-7 years.
It is better to choose Western systems - they are more flexible and functional. This myth appeared for a reason. Historically, domestic solutions were inferior to Western ones. But our complexes were still more focused on Russian specifics, taking into account the special requirements of the companies. At present, there are also domestic solutions that are superior to foreign ones. These platforms are both powerful and flexible. An advantage is the presence of modules focused on the automation of processes with Russian specifics. And such complexes cost less than foreign counterparts, and support and additional services are much more affordable.
EDMS is needed only for organizations with clear regulations and described business processes. As already mentioned, the mess in the organization makes the introduction of electronic document management senseless. But sometimes it is not at all necessary for everything to be correctly and clearly described. More and more companies are using agile management techniques, applying adaptive case management. In such cases, the EDMS are forced to adapt to them, changing their configuration and operating principles.
The EDMS can be actively used immediately after implementation. The object of automation is enterprise management processes. This does not make it possible to treat the workflow system as a normal project, completed with commissioning. All management processes are constantly changing. It also happens that at the beginning of the implementation of the system, the customer has a poor idea of its real capabilities. The implementation of an EDMS is a chain of interconnected projects that develop automation, expand the functionality of the system and modernize it. Usually, the EDMS toolkit contains requirements for the possibility of specific changes in the implemented modules and the rapid automation of new processes.
The implementation of the EDMS lies entirely with the contractor. Is it really not required from the customer when implementing such a system? This is the opinion in small companies and where the level of informatization is low and similar projects are new. The implementation of the EDMS always implies a change in the internal procedures established in the company and the mode of its operation. If the team is not ready for this and there is no motivation for new achievements, then the effect will be zero or even the opposite. But the developers note that recently customers have become more experienced, understanding their role.
For small businesses, high-quality EDMS is not needed. Most often, owners of small businesses believe that 1C and MS Office packages are enough for them to work. If the company employs only 10 people, then the accounting and registration of documents can be kept in Excel, stored in the cloud, and exchanged letters using Outlook. There are many simple and sometimes free cloud solutions - Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365. Under certain conditions, such a system may turn out to be understandable, but one has to wonder what kind of interaction there are between small business and IT. Anyway, what can be considered a small business? If we exclude microbusiness with its specific workflow, then the benefits of electronic systems are still there. True, the scale of the enterprise will not allow you to feel it as clearly as in the case of a medium or large business. Not all functions are needed. For example, a small business may well refuse to control incoming correspondence, control the execution of orders, and automate the procedures for approving documents. It is easier for a small group of people to sit down together and solve all the problems. But a unified working information environment is still needed, it is possible to structure information in a high-quality manner, search in it, and make quick access to the necessary documents and templates. This will be true for small businesses as well. If the owner plans to develop his enterprise, then he needs to think about debugging internal communications and business processes. In this case, the issue of introducing electronic document management will sooner or later become relevant.
Mobile electronic document management systems are unsafe. In fact, these solutions are as secure as other enterprise mobile applications. The threat lies not in the mobile EDMS itself, but in its specific implementation, ignoring the IT security policies by the customer's personnel. Developers are diversifying the way they access information. In this matter, a lot depends on the company itself and the technologies it uses to protect its data. We are talking about both technical and organizational measures. If attention is paid to this issue, then mobile EDMS will be safe. And in modern realities, sometimes you cannot do without them. This myth is dispelled at least by the fact that in large companies, including financial and management ones, mobile EDMS is actively used by top managers.
There is no legal basis for the introduction of EDS. In fact, the legal basis for the implementation of such solutions already exists. No one is stopping enterprises from abandoning traditional workflow in favor of paperless. True, there is still a small specified list that cannot be touched. This is, first of all, personnel records management. And the problem is not that there are no laws and acts, but that the company itself has not created internal standards for the legalization of electronic signatures. This makes it difficult to switch to paperless circulation of documents.
The implementation of the EDMS is too long. Once this statement was quite true, but today it has become a myth. Previously, electronic systems were built in the likeness of existing paper systems, the same regulations were used. Users could not quickly adopt new standards, interfaces were cumbersome, paper and electronic documents had to be duplicated, and training took time. But it is also worth considering a pre-project survey, setting up the system, embedding it into the existing IT infrastructure, installing applications to the user. It was really time-stretching. However, the situation has already changed. Modern solutions have many tools to accelerate implementation. There is a set of ready-to-use applications, the ability to gradually increase functionality. You can start using electronic document management quickly and inexpensively, improving it to the desired level. The implementation period itself depends on the complexity, optimization requirements, the amount of improvements and customization of the solution, the number of users. If you have to integrate many systems and transfer tens of thousands of users to the use of EDMS, then 2-3 years is considered a completely normal period. And the average business gets a functioning system in six months on average.