A Document Management System (DMS) is a system used to create, store, manage, and track, electronic documents, and images of paper documents through software. It short, gives organizations a place to store and organize documents. One of the key features document management systems provide is quick easy document retrieval.
Other features include things like version control and the ability to store various file types. Generally, we say the more file types a DMS can handle, the better because this means you can use that flexibility to better streamline your business processes.
Not all document management systems are created equal. There is a consensus of what “good” document management software looks like, but you must also know which features you need for your specific use case. For example, you may not just need a solution that allows you to store documents but also one that allows you to edit documents.
Some can act as collaboration tools and/or are often a component within an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system. In comparison, an Enterprise Content Management system offers much broader capabilities for managing and controlling access to a variety of file types – not just documents.
Many DMSs will have some amount of cloud storage. Some will offer both cloud-based and on-premise solutions, and it is not unusual for some to have a mobile app. On-premise DMSs have their place, but one of the advantages of a cloud-based document management system is reducing the burden on IT for maintaining the infrastructure.