In a world of remote work, a fast-changing business landscape, and customers who expect the world in the shortest amount of time, using paper-based processes is no longer a feasible option for your business.
Working with paper is like carrying around a cumbersome backpack crammed with a load of documents. Searching for a specific document from it is a frustrating experience—it takes time, and you may not eventually find what you need. Moreover, if you forget to carry a particular document in that backpack, you won't be able to get work done.
In contrast, imagine having access to all your business documents at your fingertips, organized into clearly tagged categories and easily retrievable via a simple digital search function.
That's what using digital files is like. Just as you can search for a specific book in an online bookstore, you can quickly search for a particular document using electronic files managed via a document management system.
In this article, we explore the advantages and disadvantages of shared documents. But first, let's look at some of the primary questions business owners have before transitioning from paper to digital documents.
Q & A on the pros and cons of file sharing
Many business owners are wary about sharing digital copies of business documents. While some of their concerns are legitimate, many of these risks are easy to mitigate by deploying a robust document management system.
Here are some of the questions business owners have about electronic file sharing:
#1 What if someone (accidentally or intentionally) emails out a sensitive document I saved in an electronic format in a shared location?
The risk of security breaches is real: Data leaks of sensitive client information can prove expensive. If documents are shared with unauthorized parties, sensitive information can be misused.
But companies can mitigate the security risk associated with electronic file sharing by implementing an advanced document management system (DMS) with access control measures such as password protection, two-factor authentication, and data encryption, ensuring that sensitive information is protected.
#2 What if multiple team members work simultaneously on the same shared document?
Will one overwrite the other? Will there be confusion about the most recent version or which version contains the latest update?
Document management systems typically have built-in version control functionality that allows users to track changes, compare versions, and revert to previous versions if necessary.
#3 What if someone accidentally deletes an important file?
Digital files are prone to accidental deletion—(no one can tear up a vital paper document by mistake!)
However, automated cloud-based backups are available in most cloud document management systems. So even if someone deletes a file, rest assured that you can restore it from a backed-up copy.
#4 If many individuals can access important business documents, will I be able to track who has accessed or modified a document?
A document management system provides user authentication features and a clear audit trail which allows you to track which users have accessed and/or modified a file, what changes they have made and also allows you to revert the changes.
#5 Could we face technical issues while sharing different file types from various IT systems or collaboration tools?
A document management system supports various file types and formats, so it is unlikely you will face issues sharing different file types. Work with an experienced document management services provider who can help you iron out any technical challenges and support your team on an ongoing basis.
Check out this article to get an idea of the best file formats to store your digital documents.
#6 I've heard that when you use digital file sharing platforms, you must also comply with various legal and regulatory requirements.
How do I protect my electronic documents and ensure the privacy of client information and confidentiality of sensitive business information?
Most advanced document management systems have stringent security features to prevent unauthorized access, monitor usage with audit trails, and protect sensitive information. Check with your document management provider for compliance with regulatory requirements.
Weighing the advantages and disadvantages of shared documents
There are numerous benefits that electronic file sharing can offer your business, including convenience, efficiency, and sustainability. Digitization helps you complete projects faster and deliver better results to your clients.
The benefits and rewards of electronically shared documents far outweigh the disadvantages.
Digitization allows team members to collaborate on documents in real-time, regardless of their physical location (as long as they have an internet connection!).
For example, it allows contractors, vendors, and project planners to share real-time updates, which helps other team members expedite their part in task completion. Digitization streamlines workflows, and team members can adjust to the changing needs and requirements of the project.
Want an instant scanning quote to digitize your business documents? Click here for a free quote from MES scanning experts.
Improved access to information
Shared documents help your team to work together seamlessly, sharing ideas and making changes to documents simultaneously. Managers can see changes to documents in real-time, follow new ideas as they develop, make course corrections or suggestions and expedite tasks.
Using a DMS, your team can create and manage documents and update task progress from wherever they may be—an onsite location, an airport lounge, or at home—they can access any information they need from any device.
Increase efficiency & productivity
A document management system enhances efficiency and improves your team's speed and responsiveness to customer demands.
With shared documents, you may be able to eliminate some of your physical team meetings and save time and costs associated with traditional collaboration methods. Access to real-time information updates also enables faster decision-making.
Shared documents thus serve as a powerful means to enhance productivity and can positively impact the business bottom line.
Improve information management
A DMS creates a centralized repository for all your business documents, making it easier to search and retrieve information quickly while adhering to information security regulations and data protection policies. It allows you to share documents for faster collaboration and controls access to documents, ensuring that sensitive information remains protected.
Significant cost savings
Digital documents reduce the need for physical storage space and save printing and mailing costs associated with traditional paper-based document management. Working with digital copies reduces the risk of losing or damaging original documents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive document recovery services.
Shared documents: Work with the right document management service provider
The advantages of shared documents clearly outweigh the disadvantages or challenges.
Do you want to reap all the benefits of shared documents and overcome hurdles posed by issues such as security risks and access control?
- Start with digitizing all your paper documents. Check out our scanning price estimator tool to get an estimate for your document scanning requirements.
- Deploy a robust document management system.
- Replace your manual processes with streamlined digital workflows and optimize your day-to-day operations.
- Work with an experienced document management services provider who can offer you advanced document scanning and indexing services and has the expertise to implement a document management system for your business.
MES is an experienced document digitization and document management system provider.
We ensure your shared files are managed and stored safely and efficiently, so your business can reap the benefits of document digitization.
We have helped hundreds of companies go paperless and scanned millions of images in the process!
Connect with our document management experts today to understand the advantages and disadvantages of shared documents for your business.