Is there anything that technology cannot help you with? It has been growing leaps and bounds and has been providing all sort of benefits to the people who own smartphones or devices on which they can download and install applications that are compatible with their devices. All successful people and organisations have been using technology to its fullest and making the most out of it. With the coming of age technology and mobile devices going a notch higher with each evolution, it has become easy for the users to make the best use of it and use it in almost everything.
Now, did the previous generations ever think of paper, notebooks, files and diaries taking a backseat, while online apps and software being developed for all the documentation and other works? Yes, you read that right! Big companies and organisations don’t need much paperwork anymore, as they can do all of this on their electronic devices. Managing all the paperwork for big organisations can be a task at times which can take a toll on other things as you have to keep looking for documents and papers among all the papers that you have. The online document management system can help you streamline all the papers and manage everything easily. It provides digital solutions to all organisations.
Organisations and companies should consider getting a document management app developed for their enterprise where they can save all their documents, or they should be able to use any such app by other app owners which provides them solutions of managing their documents digitally. In this blog, we are going to emphasise on the benefits of using the document management apps along with the team structure required in developing the app and the features and document management app development cost.
Introduction to Document Management System Apps
The document management system app allows the employees to manage their documents and fetch any documents from any part of the world. All they need is the login credentials and accessibility to the documents. One can store and save all their documents online and track any documents at any given time. It helps in easing out the manual process of writing down all notes and saving them in files and diaries. It is easily manageable with saves on online devices. It also helps in increasing the shelf life of each document as they can be accessed round the year.
Each organisation is transforming digitally and this paradigm shift has been gradual but quick. This form of saving documents is easier as no one can get access to these and can be saved forever. Tiresome jobs like writing down important work on paper, and then storing it and looking for it from different places in the world can become monotonous and quite a big task for any employee or an organisation. To put you at ease and get a rest from all these issues, you can simply try uploading all your documents on the document management system apps in different folders with their names as titles on the folder, so that you can access any document easily without having to figure out which one to access.
You can simply lookup for any file or folder with the name of that particular file and get access to it that very moment. The documents can also be scanned and stored on these applications, as these also come with built-in scanners that allow you to do all of it with ease. Also, you can easily edit the documents and track them from anywhere in the world.
Advantages of using Document Management System Apps
There are a number of benefits that one can draw from a document management app as these do not only help in storing the documents but also allow you to save them for later use or edit and track them. Now, we are going to throw light upon the benefits one can draw from the same:
1- Centralized document management system:
Have you been using the old school messy technology of preserving stacks of paperwork and files of your organisation? Well, it is time to move over and explore the document management system, which does not only allow you to create online and digital documents but will also enable you to keep everything at one place, so that you don’t have to open too many apps or tabs to look up for a single document. It gives you easy access to all the documents which are stored in a central place.
2- Minimum physical storage:
Those are the gone days when you used to store the documents physically in rooms and houses. You can save that space for something better and productive by saving all documents online. The office space can now be used for better purposes with the help of these apps that allow you to simply scan the documents and save them.
Have you ever felt a dire need of someone taking care of only the indexing part of your physical documents? Well, it is a tiresome job and can be monotonous for the person who has been assigned the job. Also, there is a possibility of human error while doing it on a paper as we are bound to do so. However, the document management system apps come with a feature of strong indexing, which will help you organise all your documents according to their page numbers and importance. This is very helpful when you want to look up for a particular document. You can simply look at the index and click on the subtitle of a document that you are looking for.
In case you are still using papers for documenting and stacking for future use, you must know that you are always at the risk of theft or damage since the hard copies are always out in the open. In the case of online documentation via these special apps, you can maintain a total and strict security over your documents and give access to only those who can keep it confidential or have entered in a confidential agreement with you. Furthermore, you can also use a function which gives you the access to check who accessed your documents last or the number of people along with their details who accessed the documents in a certain period of time.
5- Deployment and editing:
There is often a constraint on making amendments to the written documents as it might take a lot of time for you to look for that particular document and making changes in a limited space. In this case, it is easy for the employees to look up for a document with the help of a document management system as they can simply type in the name of the document they are looking for and get the results.
Pricing models of Document Management System Apps
There are two important pricing models of a DMS app, the first one being subscription plans and the other one being perpetual licensing. Now, we will throw some detailed light on both the models below:
1- Subscription hosting plans:
This one is also known as the cloud plan and software-as-a-service. In this case, there is a single vendor who hosts the software on a single server, which belongs to him. The vender has to pay a certain amount annually to keep up his DMS. There are companies that don’t want to host the data of their company themselves, therefore, they look out for vendors who can do it for them. These companies then approach these vendors and pay a certain amount to them in exchange of their services. The vendor sets a subscription price monthly or annually, along with which comes the extra price that the companies have to pay according to the people who can access that data. The vendors offer several plans for users to choose from.
2- Perpetual licensing:
It is also known as on-premise monetization model. This model is for the companies who can host the data on their own servers and don’t want their data to be shared with another party. Therefore, they have to pay to any vendor for their servers to save their data, in fact, they can purchase the software themselves and use it for saving their data. This model is more effective for companies that have to safeguard their data and protect it from any sort of illegal activities.
Features to be integrated into a document management system app
A document management system application needs to have a feature that can offer you the ease of use and enhance your experience. Until you have a system that is integrated with the best features, your app will not be able to please the users, therefore, you must list down the features you want to integrate in your right in the beginning. Take a look at the basic features you must install in a document management system app:
1- Document input
This feature enables the users to scan their documents with the help of an in-app scanner in the app itself and upload them on the document management mobile app. This can have a mix of both the paper and digital files and folders. There are innumerable sources from which you can input your files. These sources include the likes of:
- Inbuilt scanner
- Phone scanner
- Manual paper uploads
- Bulk uploads
- Mobile applications
- Web services
2- Document tracking
This feature is essential as it allows the users to track view all documents by just entering the name of that particular document. You can pull out a document by entering its path and check when was it last checked into and updated, also you have the authority to witness the name of the person who last accessed the document.
3- Sharing of the document
A team leader who has the access to the documents can easily share any of the documents with his team with the help of this feature.
Users might want to look up for a document by just entering the name of the document in the search bar. This saves you time by easily looking up for a file by entering the name and fetching the details.
5- Check-in check out
This feature lets the team members use any document, view any document or work on them without having to erase any data or replacing it with something else. The team leader can easily see which team person has worked on the document and who it is checked out to at a particular point of time.
One of the most important features, this alerts the document manager get notified if any document is checked into if any changes are made or any additions are made to it by the teammates.
7- Controlling several versions of the document
A user might get confused within a lot of documents if it is edited and saved each time any change or addition is made to it. This feature is a solution to this problem as all the versions are saved on one single document. One can simply go back on the previous versions to see the document without any editions.
8- Back up and restore
In case of a disaster or eradication of all the documents from a system, this feature lets you get a back up from where you can get the document back and work on it again.
9- Digital signatures
The digital signature on any document allows you to process any documents and validate them.
These applications are fully indexed for better search results which help in increasing the performance of the app.
Some parts of the documents are non-permissible, and the document owner would not like anyone else to access it. This feature allows the document owner to put restrictions of viewing and usage for other users.
With the help of metadata, users can get specific keywords for their search to make it easy for them to look up for any document.
13- Importing the document
This allows the users to import the document on their devices and servers, which can further be shared with a team, who are enabled to work and edit the documents as per their needs.
Additional feature of a document management system app
Although the above-mentioned features are the basic features whose presence is utmost needed in the document management apps, it is also advised for the owner of these apps to have these additional features which will enhance the overall experience of the users.
All documents that are uploaded on the DMS need to be in a certain format to enable users to edit it. Therefore, an in-app scanner is essential as users can easily click a picture of the document, scan it with the help of the scanner and upload that document on the application.
The productivity of the users and documents has to be increased, which can only be done with the help of a task manager that enables you to schedule your tasks and re-share your documents at a given time.
Converting into PDF
Each document that you upload on DMS can be converted into a PDF format, making it easy for you to edit it and making further changes as per the requirements.
This feature enables the users to convert the file into any format including, Word, Excel, PDF, etc. without having those native apps.
You can integrate your Outlook email accounts to the app and get all your documents on your mail without having to set up a separate account for the same.
This feature enables users to set an alarm or a reminder for a document. The reminder intimates them about a specific document at a certain time.
While there are many DMS that allow only a single document upload at a time which becomes time-consuming and monotonous for the users. Therefore, you must provide users a solution for the same by allowing them to bulk upload data at the same time.
Advantages of a Document Management System App
1- Easy access
The Document Management System apps are not like the traditional method of saving documents wherein it becomes difficult to carry the bulk load with you to places. With these apps, all you need is a modern browser, which enables you to install the app, upload documents and access them from anywhere in the world.
2- Synchronisation with the internet
The users should sync their documents with the app which allow them to access these documents even without connecting their device to the internet. This enables the users to make changes to the documents anytime.
3- Access from phones
These apps are not just meant for laptops and computer systems. The users can install the apps on their mobile phones and access it easily from their phones and tablets. The offline access can also be given to the users, which allows them to search for a document and make changes by simply using their phones.
4- Metadata enabled
Since your DMS is enabled with metadata, you can categorically search for any document by just entering a keyword. This saves users a lot of time.
5- No size limit
These apps allow the users to upload documents of any size, removing any file size constraint.
Development process for building a Document Management System App
Here are the steps that you should follow while developing a document management system app:
1- Conceptualization: The first thing is to develop a concept around which your idea works. You have to figure out who your target audience is going to be and certain demographics including their age, gender, sex, etc. You have to make a complete architecture of your app and the work around it going further.
2- Consulting the app development team: Secondly, you have to get in touch with the mobile app development agencies, who will hold discussions with your team and help you guide through the entire procedure. This stage also includes setting up a timeline so that you can work through it and manage to develop the app on time.
3- Functions: You have to select the features you want to include during this step. Since each feature has its own benefit, you must make sure of the features to include and that will give utmost benefit to the users. Unnecessarily adding too many features can lead your app in becoming complex which might result in the users losing interest.
4- Designing: The next step includes the designing of the logo, style, font and colors. Herein, you have to make sure that the app looks appealing and attracts the users. All applications enter a win-win situation if the design of the app is aesthetically pleasing.
5- Development: This is one of the most important stages wherein, the mobile app developers put their skills to test and work on the development of these apps. The app developers build native or cross-platform apps, therefore, they work accordingly. If they are developing an app for Android, they should have proper knowledge about the language they will have to use, similarly, an app for an Apple device will need the developers to have a complete understanding of coding.
6- Testing: The most important step in any app development process is testing the app and looking for any loopholes. These loopholes have to be fixed before actually launching the application.
7- Launching: This step involves launching the app among the people on the App Store and Play store. After the app is launched on the respected platforms, it is up for installs. It is important to launch it after good marketing of the product so that the users are aware of it before launch. Also, it is a good practice to launch it after arousing the interest of the users.
8- Maintenance: It is always a good practice to include this step wherein you have to check the feedback of the users and try to implement the changes accordingly. It is also important to update the application every once in a while and make changes to enhance the performance.
Team structure required to develop a document management system app
It can be a long and tedious task to develop a document management application, therefore, it is important to choose the best app development team that can help you do all the work, while you concentrate on other work. Here is a list of the team members that are essential in developing an app:
Project manager: He is the person who looks after the overall project and gets in touch with the client. He holds meetings with the clients and understands their needs, according to which they can take the project further. The project manager also assigns the duties of the team.
Android, iOS, front end and back end developers: They are the technical masterminds behind the development of the applications. The app developers should have the technical know how of the apps and should know the programming language for developing Android apps. The ones who work on iOS apps should know how to do the coding.
UI/UX Designers: They are the ones who make an app creative for the users. It is because of the design that the users get lured and download the application.
Testers: The quality assurance experts test the application and only after it is successfully tested, they can launch the app on the app store.
Tech Stack required for Developing a Document Management System App
1- Visuals: Jaspersoft and Microsoft BI
2- Analytics: SSAS, BO, Essbase, Crystal Analysis and SAP
3- Database: Mongo DB, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Cassandra, HBase and CouchDB
4- Query tools: Apache Pig, Flume and Sqoop
5- Platforms: Force, Linux, Windows and Openstack
6- Real-time analytics: IBM, Spark, Hadoop, BigData and Cisco
7- Cloud: Azure, AWS and Google Cloud
8- Push notifications: PushEngage, Push.io, Urban Airship and Push Woosh
9- Phone, SMS and voice recognition: Sinch, Twilio and Nexmo
Cost of developing a document management system app
The cost of developing an app might differ from development team to team and the location the developers are based out of. It is difficult to give an accurate rate of developing the app, however, you can get an estimate of its development. Take a look at the factors that contribute to the price of app development.
1- Features: An app should be full-fledged with all essential features to make more people attracted towards it so that more people download the same. If you are planning to launch an app with basic and advanced features, you must be well prepared to spend a good amount of money on the same. However, if you are planning to make an MVP, you will have to spend considerably less money. It is recommended for the startups to get an MVP made initially and keep adding on features going forward.
2- Location: It is important to know where the mobile app developers are based out of, as the geographical location of the developers and the team plays an important role in deciding the cost of development of the app. It might be very tricky to pick the developers as they are generally based out of different and far off locations. You must know that the developers based out of the U.S. will charge you much more than those based out of Europe and Asia. Further, we will share some important data and figures to help you calculate how the price of these developers vary from region to region:
- U.S. based developers charge from $50 to $250 per hour.
- European app developers charge from $30 to $150 per hour.
- Indian developers would charge their clients from $15 to $80 per hour.
3- Time spent on the app development: The developers who work on an app charge differently according to their fixed rates. They are sometimes based on hourly rates and are paid for the amount of time spent on app development. The clients will have to pay the developers accordingly. If a startup is trying to get a basic app developed, the time taken into making the same would be reasonably low, therefore, they would have to pay less as compared to those who have app developers working on their projects for several months and more.
4- Design and complexity: The app should be appealing; therefore, the developers should spend time its design and nature of functioning.
There is always a scope of better product with enhanced and unique features when it comes to a document management system app. If you are planning to invest in such an app and think there are already a lot of apps that are doing well among the masses, you might also hit the jackpot, as there is always a room for more. You have to make sure to get the best pool of talent on board, for which you should connect with a mobile app development agency that has experts who have ample years of experience and expertise in the same.
Rahul Mathur is the founder and managing director of ARKA Softwares, a company renowned for its outstanding mobile app development and web development solutions as well as specialized in Android and iOS app development. Delivering high-end modern solutions to all over the globe, Rahul takes pleasure in sharing his experiences and views on the latest technological trends.