Every day, thousands of businesses worldwide are boosting productivity, saving costs, and earning better returns by moving from paper-based systems to paperless digital solutions that amplify the daily grind.

Document management systems can easily integrate with your existing solution and improve workflow efficiency. But that’s too ‘90s! Integrating multiple third-party solutions and configuring them to work together creates chaos and might slow down the ERP solution. On top of that, these legacy systems can result in compromised security, compliance risk, unorganized databases, cluttered network drives, etc.

Even amidst all these challenges, managing documents is essential, and going digital is the only solution. Using a customer portal for document management in Dynamics 365 is one of the best options. In this article, I will explain why.

You may think – why not integrate Dynamics 365 rather than a customer portal. I will answer that too in a proper way.

Before that, let’s look at the technical definition of document management, why you need it, and why you should get rid of legacy systems.

What is Document Management?

Document management is a set of practices that defines how businesses manage, store, and track their data. This data can be in various formats like emails, images, documents, etc. However, the principle of document management remains consistent.

A document management system is software that helps businesses manage documents. Here, they can store documents, categorize them, retrieve, share, edit, track, and do a lot more activities. Document management systems help control access and protect sensitive information.

The common components of document management include:

  • Storage

    It provides a centralized location for storing documents from where authorized users can easily access them.

  • Annotations

    Allows adding notes and comments to the document without a need to edit it.

  • Version Control

    Tracks and records the new versions of the documents so that you can view history and restore it if required.

  • Audit Trails

    Enables authorized users to view the log of who edited or viewed the documents and when.

  • Security and Access Control

    Ensures only limited authorized users can access the documents.

These components play an important role in securing your business’ information. Hence, it’s essential that you choose the right solution for managing documents.

Why You Need a Proper Digital Solution for Document Management

The question you might be having is, “Why should I spend money on a separate tool when I can purchase the cloud storage and store documents there?”

Say you have a law firm, which means you likely handle hundreds and thousands of documents daily.

There’s a murder case that’s similar to the one from 5 years back. To solve this case, you need data from the previous case. You can look for documents on Google Drive. However, it may take up a lot of time if you don’t know the proper names or the location of the documents/folder. Even after having it digitally stored, you can end up losing potential productive hours.

Likewise, if you have a proper document management system, you can create a central repository of your existing content and get rid of the digital clutter. You can easily access the information and focus on your work. Share documents with opposing counsel or clients. Limit access to the documents. Search the documents quickly thanks to indexing and categorizing capabilities.

In simple words, a document management system makes it easier to handle documents, in many ways, automates the workflow. However, you should avoid adopting legacy systems. Here’s why:

  • Outdated Technology: These old-school solutions are not prepared for change. Using them is like using Excel sheets in the world of Slack and Trello for project management.
  • Security Concern: Modern solutions are updated continuously to meet the latest threats. However, traditional systems find it difficult to adapt because of their nature and thus leaves room for vulnerabilities.
  • Compatibility Issues: Legacy systems support documents and file formats up to a point. It means you’re stuck with formats that your partners, customers may not be willing to use.
  • High Maintenance: These old systems come at a low price, but with time, the expenses increase. The support and updates for outdated technologies are costly as it takes more effort for developers to continue maintenance and updates.
  • Poor Customer Experience: It’s difficult for you to communicate with your customers who keep moving with the latest technological advancements. Up of that, the 3rd party solution may lack customer-centric features, making it difficult for customers to access, collaborate, or communicate with you.

You shouldn’t go for outdated or third-party integrations. So, what should you do?

Solution: Bring in a customer portal. Well, you can also use the native Dynamics CRM for document storing. But I won’t suggest that to you because it has limitations.

Originally Source: https://www.crmjetty.com/customer-portal-d365-document-management/