As organizations grow, departments and business units may implement a variety of off-the-shelf document management systems to manage their seemingly unique documents and requirements. In some cases, document management is built into aging line-of-business (LOB) applications that need to be replaced. In other cases, the IT department has built a homegrown system with limited features. In each situation, the organization has unknowingly built a decentralized and inefficient means to manage critical document-based content, leaving the proverbial left hand oblivious to the right hand’s activities—a “lose-lose” proposition.
Left Hand Oblivion
Inefficiencies from disparate systems present themselves in a variety of harmful ways:
- Individual departments buy their own system rather than adapting another department’s system for common use, which also prevents cross-departmental transfer of knowledge
- Full licenses and hefty maintenance fees are levied for legacy LOB apps only needed occasionally by a handful of people
- IT departments have to spend an increasing amount of resources to keep ancient homegrown systems on life support, only to have this proprietary knowledge leave the company when the original programmers are laid off, quit or retire
- M&A activity brings new document management nightmares in the form of yet even more different software, legacy LOB applications and homegrown systems
Consolidate, Liberate & Celebrate
Consolidating to one document management system can save your company an enormous amount of cost and headache by no longer having to maintain legacy systems and allowing you to take advantage of economies of scale offered by a single application. Today’s document management software systems are also commonly integrated with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, many LOB applications and Microsoft Office and SharePoint.
Once in place, a central document management system needs limited IT support, especially when in The Cloud, and allows departments that never were on the old system to finally streamline and automate their processes with only a marginal increase in system scope.
Finally, moving to a single document management system simplifies the ability to share information across departments. For instance, by connecting your POs with proof of delivery documents and vendor invoices, your CFO can be certain that what was purchased was actually received, invoiced properly and paid on time—especially with the addition of a workflow automation software.
Left Hand Enlightenment
Software or cloud document management consolidation represents the ideal remedy to these disparate systems, which will otherwise drive the profitability, competitiveness and spirit out of otherwise healthy organizations.