Change is coming, and it’s coming in the form of a recalibration of many aspects of our lives.
For the past few years, digital transformation has been on the map for many businesses. They planned and, slowly, started to implement the necessary platforms and services to digitally transform their business processes.
The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated many businesses’ digital transformation efforts, especially since more people were using the Internet than ever before and many of their customers now preferred to use digital channels to do business.
One of the essential parts of an effective digital transformation strategy is implementing a document management system (DMS). This offers businesses a variety of benefits including saving time and making their business processes more efficient.
Blockchain technology promises to improve document management systems significantly. While it offers the same benefits, it enhances them and, because of the way it works, makes document storage and management more secure.
But how can blockchain improve document management systems? In this post, we’ll look at this question in more detail.
What is Blockchain?
The best way to think about blockchain is to think of it as a database. Now, a typical database stores data in tables which makes it easy for users to query the data and find the information they’re looking for.
The significant difference between a typical database and a blockchain is the way the data is stored and structured. Unlike a traditional database, data in a blockchain is stored in groups or blocks.
Every time a new data entry is made, it’s written to the block and once the block is full, it’s chained to the previous block. It’s for this reason that it’s known as a blockchain. When new data is then entered, it’s written to a new block until that block is full and then chained to the existing blockchain. This cycle then continues for all data in the future.
The benefit of blockchain technology is that it creates an exact timestamp every time data is entered into the blockchain. As a result, data entries are fixed in time and can’t be changed. So, you can almost think of it like a brick wall where every time you place the brick, you write something on it. Once a new brick is cemented on top of it, that writing is fixed and can’t be changed.
This provides better transparency and blockchain’s distributed nature makes it less vulnerable to security threats. In fact, there have been hardly any cases where a blockchain’s security has been breached.
Why Is Document Management Important?
As mentioned above, digital document management plays an integral part in any business’s digital transformation efforts. This is simply because maintaining an efficient record-keeping system can be challenging when physical documents are used.
Often, businesses need off-site storage facilities to store and manage their documents and for smaller businesses, paper records can become overwhelming to manage. So, switching from paper to a digital document management system, makes the entire process more efficient and streamlined.
Some of the benefits of a document management system are:
It saves space. Over time, paper documents can take up a lot of space. In contrast, businesses can store thousands of pages per gigabyte of storage space.
It’s secure. To protect paper files, it’s often necessary to store them off-site and have a backup of every file available. This effectively doubles the amount of storage space needed and isn’t practical for most businesses. In contrast, digital files can be kept in secure storage like cloud storage providers or physical hard drives.
It saves money. Not only does it reduce the costs occasioned by storage, but it also reduces the cost when it comes to copying, scanning, mailing, and career services.
It saves time. When businesses save digital copies of their documents, it makes it far easier for them to find the documents they need when they need them. In contrast, paper copies require extensive searches through hundreds of files just to find one piece of information.
It’s easily accessible. When documents are stored electronically, they can be accessed from anywhere by anyone from one central data hub.
How Blockchain Can Be Used in Document Management?
Now, the question is how blockchain can improve document management. Some examples where it can be used by a business to improve its document management system include:
Storage. By using blockchain technology in a document management system, it allows businesses to store and protect their data and documents in an immutable way. This guarantees that documents can’t be tampered with, and every action taken on a document, from its origin through to accessing the document and making the changes to the document, is traceable. This, ultimately, ensures that businesses ensure their documents in the document management system are safe.
Sharing. Sharing documents is one of the main ways in which documents are used for business purposes. For example, documents are shared through email or by giving certain employees access to central storage for collaboration. By using blockchain technology in the document management system, businesses can eliminate the risk of data corruption or unauthorized access while still guaranteeing safety and reliability standards in the exchange or sharing of documents.
Tracking. This is a vital part of an effective document management system. When using blockchain technology, any action performed by users within the system, like the creation, alteration, signature, delivery, and receipt of documents can be tracked and certified.
Scanning. This is also a process that’s quite often used in business operations. Blockchain technology allows businesses to certify the reliability of any paper document during the scanning process. It can also generate a physical sticker QR code to certify compliance with the digitized version of the document registered on the blockchain.
Printing. Printing documents is an integral part of any business’s operations. It must print everything from invoices, quotes, and contacts. Blockchain technology allows businesses to ensure the reliability and authenticity of printed documents by inserting a special QR code during printing which makes it possible to add a link to the digital version of the original file. In this way, the genuineness of the printed document is guaranteed.
E-signatures. Blockchain technology allows businesses to integrate advanced encrypted document signature features into their documents. This makes the acceptance of contracts, offers, or invoices simple, reliable, and legally verifiable. This, ultimately, reduces the risk of disputes and eliminates errors and security problems.
Ultimately, when using blockchain technology in a document management system, it provides the same benefits as a traditional document management system but enhances them in several ways.
For one, it guarantees all that documents in a document management system comply with GDPR and other privacy regulations and legislation and respects the confidentiality of all the information contained in the documents.
In addition, it reduces the risk of errors, unauthorized access, and disputes while, at the same time, allowing businesses to track every action on a contract. All these features mean that blockchain ensures better data protection while making document management more efficient and streamlined.
The Bottom Line
For any business that wants to implement a digital transformation strategy in their operations, it’s essential that they implement a document management system. It saves them time, it saves them money, and it makes them more efficient because all their information and documents are available instantly and securely.
When these businesses use blockchain in their document management system, they can greatly improve the benefits they’ll already enjoy.
For more information about blockchain and how it can improve document management, visit our website, or contact us for more details. Papeers is an all-in-one software solution that makes document management easier and more efficient. It integrates blockchain technology that guarantees transparency and reliability of activities like scanning, printing, archiving, exchange, approval, sharing, and signing of documents.
PaPeers is a project developed by Mangrovia Blockchain Solutions. Active on a global scale, Mangrovia Blockchain Solutions specializes in the design, development and integration of advanced distributed technology solutions applied to the supply-chain, fintech, energy, marketing and major industrial sectors.
For more information about blockchain and how it can improve document management, visit our website, or contact us for more details.
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