Trends That Impact Document Management

The idea of a paperless office where physical paper copies are converted into digital formats is nothing new.  We frequently talk about best practices and solutions.  However, as organizations continue making strides towards consuming less paper, they are more anxious than ever to take advantage of the latest trends and technologies.  Examples include cloud-based solutions like automated workflow systems, mobile interfaces and enhanced client communication platforms.

Document management is constantly evolving.  It’s what one provider offers that may put them a step above the rest.  Trends in technology can also dictate who a business chooses as their service and solutions provider.  So, what are the key trends reshaping and revolutionizing the document management industry?

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)—This trend is all about moving software to the cloud and delivering it through the Internet.  Saas is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a service provider, and made available over a network, either web-based or web-enabled.  The difference is that web-based is designed to be run through your internet browser. Whereas web-enabled requires the software be run through a traditional client server model via the internet.  Another related trend is SaaS Integration Platform (SIP) which enables users to access multiple applications through a single platform.

Client Portals—Features of client portals continue to be a hot topic.  Electronically publishing, sharing, collaborating and approving documents is all made possible with client portals.  Interactive, real-time features drive the exchange of information between parties, and new client portal technology creates an outlet for interacting with customers.  What’s also great is the flexibility.  A company can start off integrating a small amount of portal features into their website and increase it as they see fit.

Mobile Integration—People expect access to information from anywhere, at anytime.  Consider the portability of mobile devices, and we’re not just talking smartphones, but tablets and e-readers.  It’s likely there have been countless times when it would have been a helpful option to download and annotate a document, as well as upload edits into a mobile document management platform.  Service providers are becoming increasingly aware of the dependency on mobile devices, so system features must fulfill this need. The desire for integration between the document management systems and mobile devices is huge.