What exactly is an Electronic Document Management System (EDMS)?

A virtual physical record room

Think of EDMS as a digital version of a physical record room filled with thousands or even millions of documents. In a physical record room, finding a specific folder or document in a physical record room is not easy. Not to mention the security gaps where documents could be accessed or stolen without people knowing. Precious corporate memory could be destroyed overnight because of fire or earthquake. Hence we need a digital record room.

Framework and convenience for going paperless

EDMS provides the necessary framework and convenience for organizations to convert their paper documents into digital versions, create backups and index those documents with powerful search features for quick access. Almost all modern EDMS provides integration with scanners that make it easier for users to digitize their documents. EDMS is also a cornerstone system in Enterprise Digital Transformation processes, allowing documents, forms and processes to be “born digital”, doing away with the need for initial paper forms and the eventual scanning processes. A common outcome of implementing EDMS is the reduction of paper use and the cost associated with printing, storage and transporting physical documents.

An EDMS can capture, manage and securely store electronic documents such as PDF, PowerPoint Presentations, Excel Spreadsheets, Word Documents, images, videos and more. Some EDMS also comes with the ability to handle physical documents, helping enterprises to keep track of and manage physical documents, E.g. tracking the physical files that are checked-in and checked out from the records room.

EDMS is often viewed as a component of enterprise content management (ECM) systems and modern EDMS commonly has abilities to handle document scanning, work-flow and records management.

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