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5 Document management
trends to track

Published June 27th, 2022

The story of digital document management began after a century of filing cabinet domination. Then computers arrived. Digitization has since spread, but for some it's still crawling at a turtle's pace – a 2020 Forrester report showed that 72% of organizations continue to use a mix of paper-based and digital processes. However, those businesses that have transformed their information stores into an easily accessible, efficient and secure system, are reaping the rewards.

Di Mace

Communications Specialist at Tiny

Once organizations move from paper to digitized documents, a document management system becomes their backbone. It structures the way they capture, store, manage, retrieve and secure every digital document. In turn, this streamlines document workflows by making people more productive and efficient, and saves the business considerable time and money.

Over recent years, technology has rapidly evolved and so too have the processes and capabilities of document management systems. The rapid rise in AI, machine learning and cloud usage have consolidated the document management trends into advancements that satisfy work from anywhere, on any device at a faster pace.

Trends shaping the growth of document management

While many organizations talk about 'going paperless’, and believe it’s achievable in the not-too-distant future, numerous businesses still don’t know where to start.

Many begin the process of digitizing their documents, and then get stuck in not knowing:

  • The next step
  • How to structure the categorization
  • Ways to encourage users to continue the work
  • Cultural practices to employ to convince users of the benefits and opportunities that digitization offers
  • What new technology is coming

Then there’s companies that continually scramble to piece together last minute information to meet compliance, submit a RFT/RFP or justify the value their team delivers. The stress and potential inaccuracies can be avoided with a well-designed, maintained and implemented document management system, especially one that uses state-of-the-art software and rich text editor components.

That said, it’s always helpful to know what’s ahead and the technologies involved. Currently, there’s five trends affecting document management systems and software:

  • Scalable cloud document management
  • Mobile access and optimization
  • Smarter automation and artificial intelligence
  • Sleek interface, collaboration and compliance
  • Ease of cross-tech stack integrations

Curious about Document Management Systems (DMS)?

Find out what they are, their history and the market size of this fast growing segment.

Read Document management systems: industry, market, statistics

Document management trends you need to track

1. Scalable cloud document management

Remote work has changed the way many businesses operate and therefore shifted the technology that’s needed to facilitate work-from-home. The rapid decline of paper processes and in-person communication has forced document management to immediately evolve, so that geographically spread knowledge workers can quickly and easily access documents.

Cloud-based document management is a scalable solution that’s flexible, agile and streamlines the change from office-bound processes to remote-based data organization. It allows your company to rapidly expand its storage requirements as document volume increases — thus ensuring that creation, collaboration, modification and filing is all done on a single centralized platform, no matter how fast you grow.

When document management software is paired with cloud computing (see trend #3) and a browser-based interface, it offers not only significant cost savings but also almost infinite processing capacity.

WYSIWYG HTML text editor essentials for document management

Ensure that the text editor embedded in your document management software is capable of handling the needs of cloud-based work. When either building or upgrading your document management solution with a rich text editor, ensure that your developers have:

2. Mobile access and optimization

It goes hand-in-hand with cloud-based access, that being able to find, create and file documents and images anywhere, any time on your smartphone or tablet, is now mandatory for document management. This trend began well before 2020, but the growth of mobile and work-from-home workforces during COVID-19 lockdowns reinforced the importance of having information available whenever it’s needed.

This trend has resulted in a demand for user-friendly software compatible with multiple devices and better interfaces for working (see trend #4). Document management software and its inherent components like your rich text editor interface, must be optimized for mobile devices and capable of adjusting to a multitude of screen sizes and browsers — without breaking.

WYSIWYG HTML text editor essentials for document management

The majority of DMS trends pivot around anywhere, any time access to information, so document management software and text editing that’s optimized for mobile devices, is a must-have:

  • Automatically adjusts to different size screens and devices
  • Works across multiple popular web browsers without breaking the HTML
  • Outputs HTML that’s consistent, despite the different ways users type and format text inside the editor.

3. Smarter automation and artificial intelligence

This is one of the latest and hottest trends in document management systems. Given that a DMS sits at the core of an organization’s information repository, it’s important to automate repeatable tasks that revolve around those assets. Robotic process automation (RPA) uses specialized computer programs (known as software robots) to automate and standardize recurring business activities and processes.

The program takes note of human tasks and actions, learns from them and can eventually take over the mundane and repetitive jobs that people no longer need to complete. It also offers opportunities to bridge dispararent data silos and tie together interdependent processes with minimal manual intervention, including rule-based decision making.

An obvious by-product of digitization is the vast amount of information that’s often inherently unstructured and usually needs a human to analyze, categorize and transfer that information so it’s usable in a meaningful way. With the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies such as machine learning (ML), natural language processing and automated indexing, the system can be trained to handle that unstructured data. The system then goes through the data, pulls out metadata (information about the data) and classifies it — all without human help.

The increased use of smart automations and AI offer greater productivity, organizational efficiency as well as lowering the risks of errors, lost documents and far-flung data silos.

4. Sleek interface, collaboration and compliance

Gartner’s definition of a remote worker is “an employee working away from their company, government, or customer site at least one full day a week (hybrid workers) or who work fully from home (fully remote workers).” And they estimated that by the end of 2021, remote workers would represent 32% of all employees worldwide. This volume of remote workers has triggered a reassessment of IT infrastructure that favors work-anywhere, collaborative capabilities.

But it’s important to realize that document and information management isn’t just about enabling collaboration. It’s also important to optimize it. That requires the use of technologies which manage document sharing, co-authoring, editing, and more, in a remote environment.

The user experience (UX) is also a crucial element in how productive workers can be. With a sleek, friction-free and intuitive user interface (UI), users can get more done without being hindered by clunky interfaces.

WYSIWYG HTML text editor essentials for document management

Ensure the WYSIWYG editor within your document management includes easy to use, feature-rich options that enhance users efficiency and productivity:

  • Clean, modern interface: a sleek intuitive UI that speeds work
  • Clean, accurate copy-paste: content from Word, Excel, or GDocs that replicates its source, without breaking the underlying code or needing developer bug-fixes
  • Ability to limit toolbar options: able to hide or disable options like HTML editing, font formatting, and font sizes to prevent straying from the default style formats defined
  • Compliance checking: if accessibility is imperative for compliance, ensure your editor automatically spots and suggests fixes for issues before the document’s published
  • Multi-language spell checking compatibility: the ability to add your product and brand terms to ensure all content creators spell and capitalize them correctly
  • Templates: reusable, predesigned templates with your brand styles so that users can easily insert, edit and publish documents
  • Easily pull styling and formatting: take formatting from another paragraph, document, or page and apply it to your selected text.

5. Ease of cross tech-stack integrations

A challenge that’s accompanied the accelerated rate of change in technology, is the need for inbuilt adaptability within an organization’s IT structure. With rapid change comes rapid obsolescence, so it’s important to use solutions that play well with other tech stack components.

Modern document management software and components are usually capable of some form of integration via either a direct connection or import/export across tools. However the most reliable means is the use of well documented APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) — both making integrations possible with other systems (legacy or new), and facilitating easy integration between DMS app components, like your rich text editor.

WYSIWYG HTML text editor essentials for document management

  • Well documented APIs
  • Full source code access for endless customizations
  • Availability of (core) open source software that’s extensible with advanced features
  • Ability to work with emerging digital technologies such as web-native apps and systems

Future of document management

It’s clear that document management systems are no longer dull. And they’re no longer confined to filing cabinets. Tasks that were once considered tedious and menial are now being driven by the same technology trends that are catapulting other business processes into the future.

Because these new document management systems can capture data faster, automate repetitive tasks and turn your document stores into usable knowledge assets, they’re transforming and improving tomorrow’s workplace. Along with saving time, money and leveraging productivity, document management of the future is most certainly helping the one billion knowledge workers across the globe to fulfill their potential as catalyzers who are converting what were once piles of paper, into information assets.

Popular questions

What is best practice for document management?

Best practice document management:

  • Improves the access to information
  • Speeds its retrieval
  • Structures the storage of digitized material

These three areas work together to help avoid information siloing (without jeopardizing security or intellectual property) across a company.

How can document management systems be improved?

Currently, there are five trends in play that are aimed at improving document management systems and software:

  • Scalable cloud document management
  • Mobile access and optimization
  • Smarter automation and artificial intelligence
  • Sleek interface, collaboration and compliance
  • Ease of cross-tech stack integrations

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