Trevor Wilkins, Product Manager for Information@Work, knows that document management systems can transform how you work, but warns that going down the wrong route can be costly. Take SharePoint. It’s a great bit of software and getting started is simple. But without experts on hand to build, integrate, maintain and upgrade it, what looks like a quick fix can become a burden. If your goal is to capture, use and share information efficiently, then you need a purpose-built EDM.
SharePoint can be a document management system, but that’s not how it arrives. It’s a toolkit, not an oven-ready system. This means you need the right skills from the start.
Imagine someone’s asked you for a library. SharePoint will clear some space and drop off a big pile of wood, a bag of screws and a pack of labels. You can now build anything you want. But are you sure it’s the right layout? That the shelves can take the weight? That people can find what they need without pestering you for help?
If you’re a council or a housing provider, this matters enormously. Because you can’t afford to call in the professionals every time you hit a snag.
If you’re looking at your options, here’s five things to think about:
Many organisations with a purpose-built EDM will use SharePoint too. It’s great for managing internal documents that aren’t used in service delivery. But to improve how you work, and have your documents securely tracked, automated and audit-ready, a true EDM is the safer bet. The upfront investment might be higher (particularly if you use MS Office) but you won’t get hit with hidden costs.
A purpose-built EDM can also be more easily extended into new services. Sandwell council recently rolled out Information@Work Enterprise to their HR department following its successful use in revenues and benefits. They’re now shortlisted for the 2020 Smarter Working Live award for paperless working, having saved more than £6,000 per month by automating manual processes.
If you’ll always have unlimited SharePoint expertise on tap, then you could go down the self-build route. But if you don’t, and you need to capture, route, annotate and automatically delete records efficiently? You need one that’s ready-made.