An Electronic Document Management
System – or EDMS for short – is the electronic management of documents in an office, meaning e.g. their creation, processing, storage and archivisation. The main objectives of such a system are improving the efficiency of document processing and greatest possible automation of repeatable tasks – particularly those which are highly time consuming when performed manually. The use of EDMS makes the flow of documents inside State Owned Companies to be highly efficient and makes them be administered in a state-of-the-art manner.
Electronic document management is modern technology’s answer to the challenge of the growing importance of data management in general, and of sensitive data in particular. The effective organisation of work time, ensuring data security, compliance with data protection legislation all are factors behind the spread of EDMS systems. Without such software companies find it increasingly difficult to stay on top on the ever growing mountain of data and increasing number of processes. Resorting to modern technology is a must for a company with an eye on growth, as any errors may lead to financial loss or negatively impact its public image.
Please note that not all tele-IT systems come under the EDM label, this term being limited to office document management and archivisation. Hence this term foremost concerns:
- Registering incoming and outgoing documents and a record of what these documents relate to
- Document flow management
- Acceptance and signing of documents with e-signatures
- Using EDM to maintain other relevant Registers and Listings, in parallel to such activities run on IT systems dedicated to non-EDM matters.
- Gathering e-documents and their aggregation by area and relevant issue.
EDMS and the traditional office document flow system
The counterpart to EDM is the traditional office document flow system, where paper documents are manually created and sorted. It is possible for the traditional model to be supported with IT tools. At some point during their development companies often decide to abandon the manual system and migrate to EDMS. Naturally, it is up to a company’s Board to decide which model to adopt. Upon making a decision which document flow system to use, a company must pick the dominant model and notify the appropriate State Agency. The switch to Electronic Document Management leads to future savings of time and space, although the migration of data from paper into digital form may pose a challenge. When deciding to move from the traditional model to EDMS one should bear in mind that in practice such a move is not reversible, with the outlay on migrating to EDMS being sufficiently substantial as to make a move back unattractive. Nevertheless, when deciding upon switching to EDM a company’s Management can establish exceptions, may delimitate areas where the traditional document flow system will continue in use. The exceptions may concern not only how documents are created and stored, but also how matters are processed and managed.
Where is electronic document management used?
An area where the use of EDMS is most widespread are all sorts of Public Administration Agencies, as their functioning is dependent upon document flow and following established procedures. Hence the implementation of appropriate EDM Systems has made Public Administration more efficient. However, EDMS should be tailored to the exact needs of a specific Agency or Office.
Another area where EDM shines is the Public Education System, a body which also collects substantial quantities of data which – without an appropriate management system in place – would be difficult to store and keep in order. Here EDMS also allows for internal control over ongoing processes, providing access to relevant results or to academic publications.