KM Software

Updated On: Apr 1, 2024

What Is Enterprise Document Management System & What Are Its Features?

Reading-Time 9 Min


The manual processing of documents spells significant losses for companies regarding operational costs, storage requirements, lost paperwork, time, and effort. Document management systems (DMS) are applications that leverage an enterprise document management system (E-DMS) strategy to cut down on these costs. They do so by digitizing vital documents’ storage, retrieval, and deletion.

What is enterprise document management?

Enterprise document management, or EDM, helps organizations retain certain documents in a single platform so that they can be retrieved quickly for compliance or knowledge sharing among employees.

By implementing a concise document management plan, businesses can employ more efficient workflow processes, enable faster dissemination of information, instill a ‘self-service’ learning culture, and improve transparency in all facets of operations.

At its core, an enterprise document management system reduces operational costs associated with the need for physical storage while also reducing the time and effort required to retrieve data.

Using enterprise document management system to overcome challenges

Organizations across industries rely on documents to facilitate their workflow. However, studies show a considerable loss of productivity simply because of document search and retrieval issues.

M-files report
Figure 1. Credit: M-Files

In fact, according to M-Files’ last published report, – The intelligent information management benchmark report, the challenges of document management aren’t limited to searching for the right documents. An inefficient system contributes to workflow challenges while reviewing, approving and signing too.

M-files report
Figure 2. Credit: M-Files

Today’s workforce expects organizations to make data available on mobile devices so that they can work on the go or from an off-site location. In fact, 8 in 10 employees say they need to access corporate data on their mobile devices, while 62% say that they cannot find the data they need when they use their mobile devices (see figure 3).

Organizations that rely on using physical paper fail to meet these expectations, making it harder for newer generations of the workforce to be at their most productive.

5 Pointers blog body image

Organizations handling sensitive customer data naturally prohibit using file-sharing apps and personal devices. A document management system offers the perfect in-between – it lets leadership rest easy regarding data safety while allowing employees to access documents virtually.

With remote working becoming the norm, organizations must identify an effective means to share crucial documents without opening themselves to the risk of cyber-attacks. Most enterprise document management systems use complex security protocols to ensure the safety of your data at all times.

Identifying the document management system, you need to use

Whilst identifying the right document management system for your needs, you must first identify the mode of operation that suits you. Typically, enterprise DMS has two main operational variants:

  • On-site enterprise DMS: As the name suggests, such enterprise document management systems allow organizations to store data on their campus. Organizations must leverage their own servers to use such systems.
  • Cloud-based enterprise DMS: Organisations with a largely remote workforce can benefit from using cloud-based DMS as employees can access documents even when not physically present at the campus.
FeaturesOn-site enterprise DMSCloud-based enterprise DMS
AccessibilityDo not rely on the internet, which means you can access data even when the internet is down.The onus of ensuring that the data is accessible is on the service provider and not the organization.
However, poor internet connections can make accessing documents challenging for employees.
Set up costOrganizations must shell out large upfront costs to implement the system.The set-up costs are much lower when compared with on-site enterprise DMS.
Data securityOrganizations can exercise more control over security.Data security must be ensured by the service provider.
Backing up filesThe files must be backed up frequently as the same does not happen automatically. Thus, there is a higher risk of losing data during an unfortunate event.The files are backed up to the cloud automatically, ensuring that vital files are not lost even during an unfortunate event.

5 Features of a good enterprise document management system

While most organizations have identified the need for enterprise document management, the challenge now lies in identifying the right system for your business. The software you choose should have the following features:

  1. Document classification: As stated earlier, 42% of employees find it challenging to find the right document due to classification or labeling errors. A good enterprise DMS helps standardize document classification by auto-generating metadata once documents are made. Shifting the onus of accurate naming from the employee to the software can reduce human errors and the loss of time due to the same.
  2. Keyword search: Finding the right document should be as simple as possible. The software should allow employees to search via keywords and display related results to facilitate quicker search and retrievals.
  3. Document editing: 83% of employees lose time retrieving the right version of the document. A good enterprise DMS is one that not only allows employees to edit and update documents but also does so in a manner that displays updated versions first. It’s important to note that the system should also allow employees to retrieve older versions of a document if required.
  4. Document sharing: The DMS should also facilitate sharing data in-house with clients and stakeholders.
  5. Security: Finally, the enterprise document management system should leverage the latest security tools and software to ensure that only the intended users can access vital data.

These base features can allow organizations to meet their most demanding needs pertaining to storing, retrieving, editing, sharing, and deleting documents. The software you choose should be further customizable to meet any additional needs.

Applications of a single platform for managing documents, records, and team collaboration online

Enterprise document management is a strategy that applies to almost all industries as it facilitates a more optimized workflow.

For instance, customer service representatives who need access to updated product brochures or troubleshooting manuals can do so while on-call when an enterprise document management system is in place.

Similarly, many companies that rely on customer service utilize customer service scripts to ensure that all calls are attended to with the same efficiency and professionalism. These call center scripts are updated regularly as managers review recorded calls and identify better customer satisfaction strategies.

Accessing customer service scripts for different scenarios is much easier with an efficient document management system. Such systems can help save time and guarantee access to updated files instead of older, outdated ones.

Thus, it’s fair to say that enterprise document systems have endless applications for organizations across different industries that must offer robust customer service. Every organization relies on documented data in different forms and can benefit from implementing an organized system for all its documents.


An enterprise document management system helps organizations improve productivity, workflow, and talent retention because satisfied, engaged employees are more likely to stay loyal to the organization.

With endless merits associated with using an enterprise DMS, it’s imperative to identify when and how you should start switching from physical paper management to digitized software. To know more, get in touch!

Jayanti Sabdani

Content Marketer

Writer. Storyteller. Literature Enthusiast. Jayanti leads content marketing initiatives at Knowmax and amalgamates in-depth research, interviewing, and product messaging to craft marketing content. When not working, she can still be found writing ( because that’s what she loves), reading, and trying out different cuisines.

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