Deciding on the Best Document Control Software
Whether you want to protect sensitive data like customer information or contracts, or need to track and store large volumes of sensitive materials, document control software can help lock down your important data while still providing access to those who need it.
Also called document management software, the systems produced by leading companies like WorldView, CompuThink, FileHold, VisualVault, and others enable you to store, track, retrieve, and process any electronic documents. And as data security regulations spread into more and more industries, the importance of document control software only continues to grow.
Current examples include:
- Financial services companies that need to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley requirements
- Health care businesses that have to meet HIPAA rules on security and privacy
- Law firms or in-house legal departments that need instant access to decades worth of confidential information
- Any business working towards ISO-9000 or similar certification
For businesses like these, document control software is the best way to ensure compliance with strict security and record-keeping rules. Note that a piece of software can only put you on the road to compliance, not guarantee it: polices and execution are essential as well.
Here are some features to look for in your document control software:
One of the main benefits of document control software is the added security they provide. There are several components to shop around for:
- Password protection and multiple levels of access (read only, read-write, etc.)
- Group access settings for easy management
- Encryption of document contents
- Audit trails showing who has accessed or updated documents
- Simple and redundant data backup features
It's becoming more and more common to have employees who work from home or remote offices. Giving these employees access to critical files can be a challenge, but the right document control system can simplify the process. Look for software that allows multiple people to view documents simultaneously and merges changes later if needed.
Customizable to your business needs
Document control software is often used to manage workflow: you may want a system that can manage multi-step approval and routing processes. Make sure that the software you choose can be customized to match your existing processes, instead of forcing you to adapt to its conventions.
Talk to the vendors you interview about your current document handling processes and get detailed, specific descriptions of how their system would handle them. Look into additional customizations as well: find out how easy it is to change labels, categories, and other user interface language so that it matches your preferred terms.
How to buy document control software
This isn't the type of software you buy off the shelf. Getting the right document control software requires careful preparation and in-depth conversations with potential vendors. That said, it may not be as costly as you might expect (and not nearly as difficult).
Packages are typically broken down by the number of users on an annual basis, with five being an average starting point for many quotes. From there, quotes are customized to the size of your organization. Plan on paying anywhere from $650 to $3,500 for up to five users, with a number of options (including a couple of the vendors mentioned above) reportedly offering services in the $700 to $800 range.Ready to Compare Document Management Software Price Quotes?