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Document Management Systems

The definition of a document management system (DMS) is a computer system (or set of computer programs) used to track and store electronic documents and/or images of paper documents. The term has some overlap with the concepts of content management systems and is often viewed as a component of enterprise content management (ECM) systems and related to digital asset management, document scanning, workflow systems and records management systems. Contract management and contract lifecycle management (CLM) can be viewed as either components or implementations of ECM.

Until the 1980’s media in all formats was subject to degradation over time. Look at a newspaper that has been kept in a sealed plastic envelope and you can see the paper itself has turned brown due to chemical reactions with the air and ink. With the evolution of computers programmers learned it was possible to scan and store graphics and text in a digital format. Today various software programs work as one to provide multiple services for scanning, storing, securing, and publishing documents.
Once a document has been scanned the digital copy of it can be stored on a server and the information can be accessed by all computers connected to the server as well as all computers on the World Wide Web if the server has an internet connection. Many software vendors offer security features that allow companies to select which individuals can access the data. Courts as well as the federal government have started to accept digital signatures on important documents allowing business to conduct important transactions without the necessity of face to face contact. Advanced search engines allow the information stored on the servers to be selected not just by the name of the document but by the actual content as well.

If your company is in need of preserving, securing, and easily accessing its information then a Document Management System could be a worthwhile investment.
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