Definition: Document Management

Pronunciation: daw – kyoo – muhnt ma – nuhj – muhnt


Document management or document management system (DMS) refers to the use of a computer system and automated software to store, track, and manage electronic documents and images of paper-based content.

Document management: meaning, history, and evolution

Considered as an antecedent technology to content management, DMS is known for providing companies with enhanced security and faster disaster recovery.  Let us now explore the meaning, history, and evolution of DMS.


DMS technology allows organizations to store information digitally in the cloud or server. Companies generally opt for a document management system to ensure that the data stored is secure and accessible. Given below are some benefits of using a document management system.

Increases security: data security is a prime concern for any organization. A document system management ensures that sensitive information is protected.

Faster document retrieval: a document management system makes retrieving information easy. Important documents can be stored and accessed easily from anywhere.

Disaster recovery: protecting and tracking information becomes easy when disaster recovery and data backup plan is included in the DMS. The information remains immune to disasters such as fire, hurricanes, or floods.

As per an article on Record Nations, “More than 70% of businesses would fail within three weeks if they suffered a catastrophic loss of paper-based records due to fire or floods.” 

History and evolution

In the 1980s, various companies began developing digital mechanisms with the aim of storing paper-based contents, which included printed documents and photographs. This was followed by a revolutionary step in the history of DMS: electronic document management (EDM).

Developers began designing the earliest known forms of EDMs to record electronic documents. EDMs were capable of saving and managing any file format. They also provided the necessary tools to manage workflow, collaborations, and audits.

Today, EDMs and DMS are used interchangeably and mean the same things. DMS forms a crucial part of content management. While document management systems can be used independently, most companies integrate them into their content management environment.

Integrated document management

The technology that enables a company to store, preserve, dispose and capture documents are referred to as integrated document management. Integrated DM encompasses varied information assets such as documents, images, instant messages, graphics, videos, and web pages.

Document management specialist

An IT professional engaged in monitoring and organizing a company’s DMS is a document management specialist. They may work as independent consultants or may manage a team of technicians and document specialists within an organization.

Related articleThe ultimate guide to digital asset management (DAM)

How to use document management in a sentence?

Given below are examples of using the term ‘document management’ in sentences. 

  • In the past, opting for a document management system for small-sized companies was considered expensive.
  • A start-up needs to have a proper document management system in place to protect sensitive information from leaking.

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