Document management refers to the use of computer systems and software to store, manage, and track electronic documents. Document Management Systems have done wonders for the modern workplace. Their numerous benefits include enhanced business efficiency, improved communication, and more efficient use of office space. In this blog we take a journey through time and explore different inventions throughout history that have helped make document management what it is. This list is courtesy of blogger Leonard Johnson from NetDocuments.
- The File Cabinet. Invented in the late 1800s by Edwin Seibels, who saw an issue with the lack of document organization. The file cabinet became the solution – a genius invention that is still prevalent in many office spaces today.
- The Server. As useful as file cabinets were for storing documents, the accumulation of papers and file cabinets became hefty over the years. The server helped alleviate some of the physical burden of hard-copy documents and file cabinets. With the server, organizations could store documents electronically. The server was a sort of “digital file cabinet,” if you will.
- The PC. When PCs started becoming distributed and connected to the local area network, organizations could create and store documents on their computers. However, the advent of the PC led to unstructured documents being scattered everywhere.
- Electronic Document Management Systems. These started becoming popular in the 1980s. At the time, however, they were complicated tools that could only be managed by a word processing center operator. Over time, secretaries took over the task of creating, naming, and storing documents. In the 1990s, more user-friendly electronic document management systems started coming about so that more people could use them.
- The Search Engine. With thousands of documents digitally scattered everywhere, having an efficient way to find them became more important than ever. Search engines became integrated into the DMS so that any document could be found within seconds.
- The Cloud. The cloud has a DMS infrastructure built into it. With the cloud, documents are not stored locally in an office. Users therefore have the freedom to create, store, access, and manage files from anywhere in the world.
- The Smartphone. The smartphone takes the cloud one step further, allowing users to literally access any document at their fingertips.
It is exciting to witness the evolution of Document Management Systems right before our eyes. The continuous development of new technology will enhance DMS even more, giving organizations the tools to do their work to the best of their ability.
If your company is interested in exploring Document Management Solutions, contact QualPath today.
Mancini, John F. (2009). 8 Things That Changed the History of Document Management. The Digital Landfill.