How to Choose a DMS

Published: February 16, 2023
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Integrating a document management system, or DMS, into your enterprise is a great way to get a handle on the content your staff produces. Not every DMS is created equal, however. It’s always a good idea to ensure a solution aligns with your business goals and processes.

Here’s a quick rundown of a DMS, its benefits, and things to consider when deciding to make the leap.

Get A Grip On Your Documents 

A document management system is used to receive, store, share, and manage documents. As people continue to become paperless, business owners are finding that having a DMS is key to controlling documents throughout their organization. Cloud-based document management systems offer many benefits. Examples include:

  • Reduce Physical Storage Space
  • Access Documents Anytime/Anywhere
  • Enhance Document Security
  • Improve Regulatory Compliance
  • Speed Up Document Retrieval
  • Boost Collaboration
  • Increase Productivity
  • Scalable As Your Organization Grows
  • Quick and Easy Access to Documents 24/7

In business, time is a limited resource. Employee resources saved from manual paper filing, storage, and retrieval tasks can be redeployed in other areas when utilizing a DMS. Furthermore, the ability to quickly access data may increase teamwork and lead to innovative ideas. With electronic storage, vital documents are protected from natural disasters like storms, fires, and earthquakes.

Types Of Document Management Systems

The two major digital DMSes are on-premise and cloud-based. Both aim to serve the same purpose, but they do it differently.


An on-premise DMS involves using your own servers and storage as well as performing maintenance in-house. The user is also responsible for data security, so it’s vital to perform frequent back-ups. While owning everything can be great, it comes with an enormous upfront cost and continual upkeep requirements. It’s also up to you to ensure there’s a backup plan in place.


This type of DMS is hosted by a provider, who makes it accessible to your organization online. Cloud-based solutions usually involve a monthly or annual fee but cover all maintenance and software updates, at a fraction of what you would pay to maintain an on-premise solution.

You don’t need a comprehensive IT team to keep your DMS running properly with a cloud-based solution. You can access your DMS from anywhere the internet is available, and files don’t need to be backed-up since they automatically save in the cloud. There are also no upfront costs.

How To Choose A DMS?

In short, there’s no one-size-fits-all DMS solution. What works best for you depends on the nature of your company. There are things to take into account when making a selection, however.

Flexibility Is Key

While almost all organizations handle documents and records as a part of their business, no two are identical. For example, both a medical practice and accounting firm must adhere to industry-specific regulations, but how they’re expected to meet those requirements may be different. That’s why it’s crucial to select a DMS vendor that understands your industry and the unique challenges it faces.

Integration Matters

At its most basic level, the aim of document management is organizing and streamlining various everyday administrative tasks. Consequently, a system that’s incompatible with your current software is ineffective.

You know you’ve got a good DMS when it seamlessly works with your core business processes. With a quality DMS in your corner, keeping everything consistent throughout your organization is a breeze.

Decide How Involved You Want To Be

With an on-premise DMS, it’s up to your IT team to manage access rights, handle software patches, make hardware upgrades, and keep the system running effectively. A cloud-based system, however, frees you to focus on other things. Support and maintenance are outsourced, saving you time and money. When you need assistance, an expert is always available.

Will It Increase Productivity? 

For years, document management entailed placing paperwork into cabinets with seemingly never-ending rows of folders. As workers become increasingly mobile, having a system where files can be accessed safely offsite from mobile devices is critical. A cloud-based DMS enables employees to access the files they need to get the job done no matter where they’re located.

Security Is Paramount

In the digital age, data breaches can lead to lost productivity and customer dissatisfaction. When selecting a DMS, its ability to safeguard the data you keep is paramount. Cloud-based DMS vendors implement data-protection measures that can be beyond the financial and human resources of the average business using an on-premise solution.


Your DMS Partner

At SmartVault, we provide comprehensive, easy-to-use document management solutions that help you streamline everyday business processes with a centrally managed, cloud-hosted system. Even better, you can rest assured knowing our services are backed up by cutting-edge security and support.


Affordable Quality 

It’s easy to assume the right cloud-based DMS solution for your organization is beyond your budget. With SmartVault, that’s not the case. We offer three affordable, value-packed packages to suit all types of businesses.

All plans include:

  • Secure file sharing
  • Unlimited storage
  • Unlimited collaborators
  • Secure client portal
  • Custom branding
  • Mapped drive

To learn more about our pricing visit our pricing page.

Let’s Team Up

Choosing a document management system doesn’t have to be challenging. Contact SmartVault to learn how we can help you get a handle on your documents.