Electronic Document Management
Harnessing information technology to manage documents is one of the most important challenges facing I/S managers in this decade. It is important because most of the valuable information in organizations is in the form of documents such as business forms, reports, letters, memos, policy statements, contracts, agreements, etc. Moreover, most of the important business processes in organizations are based on, or driven by, document flows. Electronic Document management (EDM) promises major productivity and performance increases by applying new technology to documents and document processing. The purposes of this paper are to show the value of new technology for managing Documents, to illustrate the variety of ways this value can be realized, to develop some structure for understanding this rapidly evolving field, and to suggest some actions I/S managers can take now to prepare for this revolution in information management. The paper argues that the I/S Department, as the developers and managers of the technical infrastructure for EDM, will be in a position to lead this evolution as major change agents as they did in the EDP and MIS eras, but some specific actions will be needed to assume this leadership role. This paper explores the scope and importance of EDM in more detail, and illustrates how it expands our view' of information management. It is designed to help structure the field by approaching it from three perspectives: technologies that are making EDM possible, the application areas in which business value are being realized, and the roles and responsibilities of several departments that will be involved in developing EDM. The paper suggests what I/S managers can do now to begin preparing for this major advancement in information management.
|Ralph H. Sprague
|Document management, document processing, I/S management