IMS Tech Blog

Records Management and Document Management: Using SharePoint for Better Collaborations

How much time do you spend looking for the documents you need? You may not realize it, but on average it accounts for 6 weeks of your time each year. In addition to that, as much as 30% of your employee's time is spent looking for lost papers.

This is a huge hurdle that you need to overcome so that your team can be more productive with a smoother workflow. To get started, you should consider a document management software.

Now, this is different from a records management software, which we will outline. Also, we can help you get started managing your documents by using SharePoint.

What is Document Management and Records Management? 

Records Management SolutionsManaging documents within a company is basically the reduction of lost or wrongly filed documents. It allows employees to find and retrieve documents faster.

The main goal is organization. When documents are organized, people can be more efficient thanks to a smoother flowing work process. It also means less space is required to store the documents.

Records management includes document management and more. It is the way that all records within a company stay organized.

So, in addition to what we just discussed, it also includes categorizing and identifying records to be stored and cataloged. It establishes a system for maintaining records a specified amount of time.

How are they Different?

At this point, the picture of how document and record management are different should be starting to come into focus. If you are still struggling, we have five more key areas to help you understand the differences between the two.


The software for document management, or DMS, helps users use and manage their documents. There is usually one main library that multiple users can access. This makes it easier to collaborate.

Record management software, or RMS, helps users comply with statutory regulations pertaining to the storing and maintaining of data. This software is focused on storing the required data for the required amount of time.


When it comes to document management, the method of storage needs to be one where users can "check out" a document to work on, and then save the new version.

Records usually need to maintain their original version to comply with regulations. These records also follow a storage system that keeps them indexed in a series. Usually, the method of storage is dictated by external regulation and not the organization's internal policies.

Document Management Automation 

Automation makes document management a much easier task. This could be the mass capturing of the latest version of documents. Then any captured information is placed or updated in the main library.

These systems also help automatically manage the security of documents. It ensures that the right people can access the right documents, at the right time.

For records management, automation helps to standardize the process no matter what form the data is in. It also helps protect both the data,and the form in which the data comes in. The goal is to maintain the highest quality, in case the company is audited in the future.

Document and Records Management Security

Both document and record management software give you a certain level of security. The main difference is that while security in document management is desirable, it is absolutely essential for records management.

Typically, document management requires a password for access. The goal is to maintain a certain level of security, while still allowing for easy access to those authorized.

Records management may need to be compliant with DoD 5015.2 standards. This regulation sets the standard for the US National Archives and Records Administration.

Disposal for Documents and Records

Disposal for documents happens when that document is no longer needed during the business cycle and processes. These documents could be destroyed or turned into records.

When it comes to destroying records, this is strictly regulated by law, which applies to both when, and how the records are destroyed.

When it comes to public bodies though, the records don't get physically destroyed. Instead, they are converted into a format compliant with NARA.

Using SharePoint

sharepoint server integrationIf your company is looking for a document management system, then consider SharePoint. Microsoft has created a software that helps companies organize and manage their documents.

SharePoint is already a built-in system of Microsoft Office 365. You won't have to worry about integration into your current systems. It also provides a better method for collaboration than options like Dropbox or Google Drive.

Document and Records Security 

Trying to secure your documents through email is impossible. First, you are blasting out emails across your company, making management clumsy. Second, email is not secure.

It is much better to keep your secure documents nicely hidden behind a firewall. This way employees can access the documents while at work, but outside entities cannot.

Another great advantage is single sign-on. With one sign-on account, you limit the amount of security breach possibilities. Otherwise, your employees have multiple login credentials to multiple systems and software. The more access points, the more possibility for breach.

Version Control 

If you currently use email as your method of version control, then SharePoint can help. By using SharePoint, an employee can "check out" a particular document, make any necessary edits, and then check it back in.

This will help maintain the most accurate and up to date version in your main database. You won't have to worry about having to find the latest version of a document as it gets emailed back and forth among employees.


SharePoint lets you automate the workflow process by taking the manual labor and guesswork out of employee access approval.


One of the best features of SharePoint is the ability to collaborate across different devices and locations. Synchronization protocols aid in ensuring that every edit to a document gets logged and saved to the cloud simultaneously.

This lets employees work on a document at the same time for collaborative purposes.

Start Managing Your Documents and Records 

If you haven't thought about how your company manages both documents and records, then you are overdue. Depending on the industry you are in, you may not need to have both documents and records management.

Document management will help you in your everyday business processes. While record management is for how you will maintain and keep documents to comply with government regulation after you stop working on them.

If you need a document management system, consider using SharePoint. This document management system will easily integrate into your business.

If you would like to start managing your documents and records with our help, you can get started by contacting us today.

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