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. According to Johnston and Bowen (2005) 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" ( p. 133). This paper familiarizes the organization executive and information technology (IT) teams about the purposes for which EDMS is used, describes the key functions supplied by EDMS, and assists the organization to successfully implement and maintain EDMS. An EDMS includes record keeping functionality and the management of documents of informational and evidential value. The scope of an operational EDMS includes multiple elements. These may include 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. Migrating to an EDMS is more than installing new hardware and/or software. The organization must be aware that not only executive support is vital, but the end user's involvement and buy-in is of critical importance as well.
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. The 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 the knowledge held by the organization. One fact in regards to knowledge is that it is intangible, yet it is a part 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 becoming aware of what knowledge it holds and being able to access the same. In a world where markets, products, technologies, competitors, regulations, and even entire societies rapidly change, continuous innovation and knowledge are commonplace. Knowledge and the capability to create and use it are one of the most important sources of an organization's sustainable corporate competitive...