Do you know what document control software does? Can you tell the difference between document control and document management? These types of software may be similar, but they’re designed to fulfill different roles. Understanding that difference and the unique benefits document control products offer your business can help you use such solutions more efficiently.

What It Is

First of all, understand that document control software is not the same as document management software. Although both support your business by assisting with document-related tasks, they do this in very different ways. Document management software helps companies to organize and access data. This assistance may include scanning new paper documents to create more accessible digital versions. Document management products make collaboration easier and speed up document-dependent workflows. They also help both human users and third-party software search and wield the data in each document faster and more efficiently.

Document control software helps businesses with these same issues but from an industry-specific standpoint. These programs allow your business to meet specific legal requirements, particularly in regards to security and ethics. While document management focuses on organizing data in a relatively general sense to support the business, document control is far more involved. It helps users track different versions of documents, for example, and keeps data visible.

Food, healthcare, accounting, and other many other industries face stringent document handling and storage regulations. Having a clear and thorough paper trail can clear a business of many different charges, including embezzling, fraud, and customer data mishandling. Failure to maintain records in accordance with industry regulations not only prevents businesses from proving their innocence, but it also brings harsh financial penalties.

How It Helps

Visibility and organization are probably the two most significant elements of document control software. The concepts are intertwined. Organized data is intrinsically more visible than scattered documents. Visibility, however, is also about history. Not all document management systems allow users to review changes and access earlier versions of altered documents easily. Document control software almost always does, because this is an essential element for auditors, ethics investigators, etc. By keeping thoroughly and readily accessible records protects businesses and their customers at the same time. This software protects a business’s reputation, but document control systems support users’ security, too.

Document control software features more advanced and specific security controls than most document management products as well. These features are especially important as new data privacy laws, including the EU’s new legislation, come into effect. Features go beyond in-house organization and add protections for shared data, remote access, and other vulnerabilities. The system’s complexities prevent a single document from revealing the entire database. It isn’t a treasure chest full of data outsiders can access with a single key.

Legal document handling and storage requirements may feel like a burden, but document control systems help you turn these extra costs into a benefit. Keep your business secure, your data safe, and your customers happy. Document control software protects you and gives you the sturdy foundation you need to expand.