Document Management a Necessity…

♫ Oh I…
I want to be with you everywhere… ♫

Words and music by Christine McVie, recorded by Fleetwood Mac.

It seems that we are living in a mini-renaissance with new technology applications being released seemingly daily. Google has released Google Chrome (see Simon Fodden’s post of Sept 1, 2008) with the stated justification that the web needs a solid foundation for modern web applications. Law firms face a similar problem – the need for a solid foundation for capturing of all the myriad bits of information that form the electronic client file into one place.

Certainly document management software has been around for some time and larger and mid-size firms have taken it to heart (Interwoven (formerly iManage), Worldox, Livelink ECM-eDOCS KM and others). But in an increasingly mobile world, lawyers and law office administrators need to have a reasonable degree of assurance that all the work done on the file and the instructions from the client have been dutifully captured and recorded in some fashion in one place. IM’s, voice mail, office emails, web-based emails, databases, GoogleDocs, documents on flash drives and CD-ROMs or DVDs, or on web-based depositories need to find their way onto the law office file. Lawyers also need the ability to access this information (and add to it) when they are in far-flung areas well away from the office.

This is not terribly exciting when compared to new products. However, it is building a solid foundation for the other systems in the office. And like any good foundation, it allows for even better systems to be built that depend on that foundation. An added benefit is that no matter where in the world you may be, your documents can then be with you everywhere…

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  1. From the above mail we can understand the uses of DMS, but it is still not clear, why DMS is necessity? My colleague says, we can do all the things of DMS in normal windows using folders itself, by sharing them and giving access rights, etc. So can anyone tell me exact necessity for DMS?

  2. I think that a DMS offers performance and functionality not available with windows folders. A windows folder system can suffer slowness at higher volumes. The need to manually track versions (ie each version is a new document appropriately named) can make folders very busy. A DMS allows you to store multiple file formats (emails, etc) easily in the same folder structure. You can manage (from a security and feature perspective) a DMS much more easily than a windows folder system. Having used both, I much prefer a DMS.