Going Paperless: Document Management Opportunity for MSPs
The phrase “managed services” often brings to mind providing businesses with leading edge technologies that dramatically transform their entire IT infrastructure, such as cloud or mobile. But especially when dealing with SMBs, for whom small problems can quickly grow quite large, sometimes managed services can deliver significant benefits by offering simple technology that streamlines basic processes.
Take management of paper documents as an example. In a white paper, document management software provider Cabinet NG details the numerous benefits document management and a paperless office can provide to SMBs. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most important ways document management can reduce costs and save time for SMBs.
True document management does not just turn paper-based data into digital data, but also manages the entire workflow of that data. So if a paper document needs to circulate among several people, possibly including people in remote locations requiring some kind of physical delivery, document management performs that same circulation electronically, removing significant cost and time from the process. Document management also circulates documents in an appropriate manner, so that they are viewed in the proper order by the proper people, necessary sign-offs are completed, etc.
Of course, document management does also turn paper-based data into digital data, which in and of itself offers many benefits. Documents can be easily stored, backed up and copied. Document search also becomes much easier and less time-intensive, with instant retrieval available via keyword search. Furthermore, by eliminating the need for storage cabinets (which Cabinet NG estimates take up 12 square feet of office space apiece on average), closet space and/or rented storage space, document management can substantially reduce the amount of physical space an SMB needs to lease or buy.
Digitized data from paper documents can be easily integrated with other corporate data and fed into systems for data mining and analysis, resulting in superior decision support and business intelligence. Considering the significant cost and time involved in manually transferring data from paper documents into a corporate system, this data integration capability can provide huge direct ROI, as well as the indirect ROI resulting from improved analytics.
MSPs Bring Document Management to SMBs
In theory, SMBs could implement, integrate and manage their own document management solutions. But in reality, few SMBs have the resources or knowledge base to purchase and operate a document management system in-house. When developing managed services for their SMB clients, MSPs should remember that sexier technologies such as cloud computing get most of the attention, but more basic technologies such as document management (which can also be cloud-enabled) provide substantial value from the shadows.