Over the last decade, document management processes have gone almost entirely digital. With this shift, companies are starting to take a closer look at the best ways to fully utilize their Document Management Systems (DMS) to increase their overall efficiency. This focus has caused several important DMS trends to emerge. In this article, we’ll take a look at the trends your company should be aware of in the coming year. Read on to learn more.
- Emphasis on Sustainability
It’s no surprise that sustainability has been a popular topic for most industries over the past few years. The majority of consumers expect the companies they buy from to uphold some type of sustainable practice. Therefore, businesses that want to stay competitive and relevant need to consider eco-friendly practices in order to appeal to the up-and-coming generation of consumers.
Due to this shift toward sustainable business, many companies are making it a priority to shift their processes into a document management system to increase their sustainability. In fact, according to a recent market report, the Global Document Management Systems Market is predicted to increase from $5.5 billion in 2020 to $12.94 billion by 2027. Here are some ways a DMS can help your company increase its sustainability:
- Reduce print: An EDMS significantly reduces the need to print documents because all your documentation and communication is digital. This move can help a business prevent unneeded documents and waste from piling up.
- Reduce waste. With less documentation to print, your business not only stops wasting paper, but it also uses less ink and less electricity to run printers. An EDMS helps businesses reduce their contribution to environmentally unfriendly practices.
- Better Document Tracking: Without an EDMS, lost paperwork often needs to be found or reprinted. With a document management strategy, your company can utilize document tracking so that employees always know exactly where the document is – reducing the need for wasted paper.
- Scalable data storage: A cloud based DMS allows your company to grow and expand usage of the software as other departments find use cases for it. The systems themselves are evolving to keep up with the burgeoning need for remote collaboration, data organization, and security.
- Maintaining Business Continuity with Remote Work
With COVID-19 still effecting both the way we work, and the methods businesses use to operate, the way technology is used has begun to shift. In person communication and paper processes have become a thing of the past. In turn, document management practices continue to evolve to keep up with the current technological climate.
In 2022, improving business continuity strategies with persisting remote workforces will continue to be a focus for business leadership. This means an increased emphasis on workflow capabilities, disaster recovery, incident tracking/reporting and automation:
- FDA’s Technology Modernization Action Plan (TMAP)
Another key development for FDA regulated companies to consider is the FDA strategy called the Technology Modernization Action Plan (TMAP). This plan, which was originally introduced in 2019 but is being revamped for 2022, has three broad objectives to improve the way data is managed. These are:
- Identify and execute high value driver projects for individual centers and the agency
- Develop consistent and repeatable data practices across the agency
- Create and sustain a strong talent network combining internal strengths with key external partnerships
According to the FDA, their data systems are still primarily manual and paper based. So, with this plan they intend to transfer the majority of their data into digital organizational systems. Overall, their primary goals are to simplify data acquisition, enable better data quality and control, and provide more robust security and scalability.
Once this plan is fully executed, the FDA expects to be able to significantly escalate the amount of data they can receive and analyze, as well as increase their regulatory review activities by at least 10 times what it is now. For those in industries that are heavily monitored by the FDA, it is important to expect and prepare for a flood of extra questions, audits, observations, and possible warning letters once TMAP has been implemented. Be proactive by checking your quality controls and performing internal audits before these changes occur.
- Moving Document Management Processes to the Cloud
Over the last few years, the impact of cloud computing has completely changed the DMS industry, and the business case for cloud-based applications is only expected to grow. With the cloud computing market size projected to reach USD 791.48 billion by 2028, organizations should expect document control vendors to place a strong emphasis on moving to the cloud in 2022.
There are multiple reasons why businesses are adopting cloud software. Here are some of its benefits:
- Collaboration: With cloud computing, you do not need to be on a certain computer or have access to a closed network to retrieve your files or communicate with your colleagues; all you need is an internet connection. The cloud ensures that documents are securely accessible at anytime from anywhere.
- Flexibility and Scalability: In the cloud, you remove the limit to the physical size of your server environment, allowing you to start small and support the growth of your business over time, without any interruption in your business flow or expensive, unplanned changes. And, most cloud computing applications use a subscription-based payment model, allowing your business to scale up or down according to your current budget and needs.
- Reduced Costs: Attempting to establish and run a data center is expensive and requires a lot of employee time. When you shift to managed cloud computing, these responsibilities are passed on to your provider. This allows your company to pay for the resource usage you need while taking advantage of scale and reliability, two things that most companies cannot afford internally. And all software updates are completed for you automatically, eliminating the need to perform them using your own resources.
- GxP/21 CFR Part 11 Compliance: If your organization adheres to government regulations, you can find DMS systems that are hosted in a validated, GxP, 21 CFR Part 11 and Annex 11 compliant cloud environment. If you utilize a PaaS provider, you can take software upgrades at your own discretion.
Cloud storage is still evolving and continues to create an easier and more accessible data management process; due to their growing popularity, these technologies are not going anywhere anytime soon.
- Increased Cybersecurity
With the increased number of people working remotely, cybersecurity is more important than ever. Unfortunately, cyber-attacks are on the rise, with a reported 600% increase in cybercrime due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This large increase has caused business professionals to take a more serious look at the way they keep their company data safe.
To combat these customer concerns, document control providers have begun implementing more robust cybersecurity measures into their software. Here are a few examples:
- File Upload Handling: Look for features that give companies the ability to control on a granular level the ability to prevent or allow specific file extensions, as well as to check the file header to see if it matches the extension for all uploaded files.
- Enhanced Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Options: These options may include an added Google Authenticator and the ability for MFA token expiration to be customized to match company policy.
- QueryString Encryption: This acts as an extra layer of protection by encrypting the URL QueryString your software utilizes so that information is not passed that could possibly be manipulated. This type of encryption makes "spoofing" impossible.
A cybersecure document control software and a proactive strategy can help prevent an attack, obstruct one if it were to happen, mitigate the losses associated with it, and ensure regulatory compliance. No organization can afford to lose company information because of poor information security protocols. As the world continues to move online, companies that can streamline and secure their internal document management processes are one step closer toward protecting their assets against cyber threats.
These five trends give us insight as to what 2022 holds for document management. Companies are continuing their shift from manual processes to digital systems, and they’re beginning to expand usage to meet the demands of an everchanging business climate. With an emphasis on sustainability, a focus on business continuity, the impact of the FDA’s TMAP, the growth of the cloud, and increased cybersecurity measures, the popularity of document management systems will continue to grow —making business processes easier for professionals across every industry.
If your company still relies on a paper-based document management system, consider switching to a software like DocXellent’s ENSUR. Contact us for a demo or for more information about our ENSUR Document Management Software.