Implementation Strategies for Electronic Document
Management Systems (EDMS)
An electronic document management system (EDMS) is a computer-based system used to track and store electronic documents and/or images of paper documents, electronic documents, and other knowledge used by the organization. This paper's purpose is to familiarize the organization executive and information technology (IT) teams to the purposes for which EDMS is used, describe the key functions supplied by EDMS, and assist the organization in successfully implement and maintain EDMS. According to Johnston and Bowen (2005) and for the purpose of this paper, EDMS is "…an automated system which supports the creation, use and maintenance of paper or electronic documents and records for the purposes of an organization's workflow and processes" (Johnston & Bowen, 2005, p. 133). An EDMS includes recordkeeping functionality and the management of documents of informational and evidential value. The scope of a fully operational EDMS includes the whole of documents, records, methods, procedures, tools, knowledge, means, and persons with which an organization operates and fulfils its requirements to preserve evidence of its activities, maintain its memory, and preserve its knowledge. The components of EDMS include the capture, integration, indexing, storage, retrieval, distribution, security, workflow, collaboration, and publishing of the organization's knowledge base.
The concept and definition of knowledge is a good place to start when referring to EDMS, as all organizations should seek knowledge and every aspect of its usefulness. First known use of the word knowledge was around the 14th century and according to Merriam-Webster (n. d.) knowledge is the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association. In the context of the organization and EDMS, knowledge is the information gathered and stored by the organization and its employees. The quality of this knowledge is not possible without access to all sources of knowledge held by the organization. One fact in regards knowledge is that is intangible, yet it is staring at all organizations, regardless of size. For example, Cheema (2010) states that "…intangible assets are rapidly becoming an important indicator of the organization's future performance" (p. 7). Considering this, every organization faces the challenge of knowing what knowledge it holds and being able to access the same instantly. Knowledge and the capability to create and utilize it are the most important sources of an organization's sustainable competitive advantage. In a world where markets, products, technologies, competitors, regulations, and even entire societies change very rapidly, continuous innovation and knowledge that enables such innovations have become important sources of such competitive advantage.
In general, businesses maintain knowledge information in three forms: paper - generally regarded traditional...