Document Management Software Options

There are numerous options when looking for a document management software solution, and there are two types of software applications— client-server based and an application service provider, or ASP. The client-server based application, as the name implies, is based in your office and you are in charge of maintenance. ASP on the other hand is based with the vendor.

Client-server
This is the more popular of the two choices. Depending on the amount of files you need managed, you will be able to store the files on your computer, or in a network server in your office. Implementing a client-server based program gives you the most authority when it comes to your files.

There are pros and cons to having client-server based documentation. The time and effort it takes to maintain your files can be more of a hassle for larger corporations. On the flip side, having your files stored in-house will allow you to back up your files into another computer or server.

You also need to take into consideration how many people you will need to maintain these files, and what type of education they may need on the software. Keeping your hardware as well as your software maintained, on top of the files themselves, should be taken into account as well.

Application Service Provider
If you don’t have time to maintain your database, an ASP will be the best route to take. With his type of software, the data and software are based with your vendor. Your employees will be able to access the files through a client software program or web browser—depending on how your vendor does things.

Security should be a top priority for you, so make sure it is for your document management software company too. Most vendors have backup systems if their facility loses power, as well as backup files that are stored in-house so you don’t risk the loss of data.

The downside to ASPs are almost the same as its biggest attribute—the Internet connection. Because you are depending on your Internet connection, you could lose access to your files if your Internet goes down.

Other Considerations
If you are having trouble deciding between the two choices, look at the following chart to help guide you in the right direction.

Consideration Topic
Question
Solution
Tech Support
Do you have a tech or IT team to handle a client-server based application?
If you have an in-house IT team, you should consider if they can handle the extra workload of maintaining the day-to-day maintenance of a client-server based system.
Control
Is the customization of your day-to-day tasks and files important?
The answer is twofold — if you are looking for more control over the system than a tech support team will offer, then you may want to go with an ASP. If you are looking at a deeper type of customization over your files, then a client-server based may be more beneficial for you.
Security
Do you have to adhere to strict guidelines regarding your data?
ASPs could be better for security because of the extra protection they offer. They are in the business of storing data; so they are sometimes more equipped to abide by strict guidelines.

Once you weigh in the good and the bad for each option, you should be able to decide on which type of document management software application that is right for you.  Both are great options so deciding on which one would benefit your company is very important.


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