What Is Document Management? Definition, Features & Benefits

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Have you ever stopped to think about how many documents you work on, on any day? It's probably a lot more than you'd think, and as each workday passes, the number of documents you're responsible for increases.

Regardless of the type of work you do, you're dealing with your fair share of documents. And unless you have a document management system (DMS) in place, it can become chaotic. But what exactly is document management, how does it work, and what will it do for you?

If you're frustrated by the growing load of documents and need to make sense of it all, we can help. Managing your documents doesn't have to be stressful or complicated. In this guide, we cover the definition, key features, and top benefits of document management.

What Is Document Management?

Document management is the systematic capturing, tracking, and storing of electronic documents in the workplace.

Are you still struggling with a mix of both paper and digital documents? By scanning paper documents into a digital format, your DMS can include them, too. It allows you to transition all of your processes to the digital arena.

But that's not all this management system does. PDFs, word processing files, and even digital images of paper documents can all be processed with the same DMS. A good DMS will also make it easier to share these files for better collaboration.

How Does a Document Management System (DMS) Work?

Document management is not a single process, but rather a system of processes that, together, make working with electronic documents easier. So, how does it work?

First, you need to capture all the documents your business needs into the system, by uploading or importing the files. These document files are then categorized and stored electronically. This central hub is what you'll refer to when you need to search for, retrieve, or share a document.

Capturing, storing, and distributing your document files are indeed the three main facets of document storage.

But there is another factor, and it is crucial for your business. Security. Good document storage systems also offer security for all your files, protecting more sensitive data from unauthorized access and data breaches.

7 Key Features of a Document Management System

Any software is only as good as the features it includes. Here are the top seven features to look out for in a DMS.

Document Importing

When you're handling all types of documents from multiple sources, you need to know you can capture them all in the same system. That will ensure practical and convenient document management. That's why all good DMS software allows you to import documents from other sources.

Document Storage and Organization

Some documents merely need to be stored, with the small possibility that they'll be needed for reference at a later date. Others will be viewed, referred to, and shared regularly. Document storage and organization allow you to stay on track with folders for different document categories.


Having your documents in categories only helps if you can easily find specific documents within those categories. That's where metadata comes in. This is the data about your data, and it helps you categorize, store, and retrieve documents much faster.

By using features like automated metadata and auto-tagging, you'll save even more time while ensuring more precise file organization and later retrieval.

Search and Retrieval

When the pressure is on, you don't have time to waste on long search and retrieval processes.

Fortunately, good document management software makes search and retrieval easier than ever, with filtered searches based on customizable fields and labels.

Access Control

You wouldn't give the keys to the cabinet holding all your most sensitive documents to just anyone. Only authorized personnel would have access. It's the same with your DMS. Access control settings allow you to limit access to specific document files, maintaining security.

Version Control

Sometimes, documents need to be amended or edited. But it's easy to become confused between different versions of that file and know who made what changes. And what happens if you decide to revert to the original? DMS's version control feature eliminates all these uncertainties.

Workflow Automation

Automated tasks have made the workplace an easier place to navigate. Entire workflows can be automated and tailored to your unique requirements. This improves productivity, speeding up those mundane document-related tasks for everybody.

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5 Benefits of a Document Management System

A DMS offers distinct benefits for any type of business. Regardless of your industry or niche, you'll find working with your documents easier thanks to these benefits. However, some may be more relevant to you than others. Here are the top five that businesses of all types enjoy.

Efficiency and Productivity

The top benefits that you'll notice right away when you use a good DMS are enhanced efficiency and increased productivity. These benefits go hand-in-hand to streamline your workflows, so you can move on to your more important tasks, much sooner.

It's why so many business leaders are more than happy to invest in a DMS. They realize that it will offer them more than just file storage. It offers benefits with measurable results that boost profitability and overall long-term success

Better Teamwork & Collaboration

Even your collaboration benefits from document management. Almost every department in your organization relies on teamwork and collaboration to some degree. There can be no collaboration without file sharing, and you may find yourself having to search for and share dozens of files or more a day.

A DMS makes all your file retrieval and sharing easier, and thus makes your collaboration and teamwork easier, too. This applies to both interdepartmental teamwork and project collaborations with professionals outside the company.

Document Security and Compliance

Safety for your documents is assured when you use a safe and secure system to store them. Access control and permissions provide good basic security. Securing your most sensitive documents with a password will add yet another layer of protection.

This helps you to stay compliant with industry regulations on data security as well as your own company's guidelines for data handling. It's the easiest way to meet all those regulations without incorporating any other system to handle them.

Cost Savings

All these benefits in one package are sure to save you not only time but also money as well. There's no more switching back and forth between multiple file systems. No one has the time and patience for that anymore.

A document storage system that integrates with your other management, collaboration, and workplace productivity tools does away with all that. You'll be able to seamlessly switch from one system to the other, making the most of all the online tools you rely on every day.

Backup and Disaster Recovery

Digital documents have many advantages over traditional paper ones. But there's a risk that is unique to electronic documents. When you're processing large volumes of digital documents every day, there is always the risk of data loss in a breach, glitch, or system failure.

Fortunately, your document storage system can protect you from these problems, with regular backups, and a disaster recovery feature. Cloud-based file storage with enhanced security features gives you peace of mind about the safety of your documents.


There's no denying that documents play a crucial role in the running of any business. A DMS will safeguard your sensitive data, enable easier collaboration, and improve all your document-specific tasks.

The system you choose and the features you use will determine how well your document management works for you. But you'll get more out of it if you select a multi-functional system to begin with.

That means using a system that will organize, secure, and store all your digital assets, from documents to images, graphics, and even videos. Razuna is a cloud-based digital asset management system that offers you all of this and more.

Register a free account in minutes, and enjoy the benefits of efficient document management today!

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