Document Management System: How is it different from SharePoint?

A lot of organizations these days, are looking at #digitizing their #data #management in order to efficiently manage the truck loads of data that they deal with on a daily basis. Often times they are confused between investing in data management software or a platform like #SharePoint. However, one needs to understand that there is a difference between Data Management and #Content #Management #System.



So, what exactly is a Data Management System (#DMS)?

Simply stated, DMS is a digitized way of creating, storing and tracking all your business data. Using a specialized software to manage data can help you automate all your record maintenance requirements like organizing, securing, capturing, digitizing, tagging and approving your electronic files.


Using a DMS helps you retrieve the right data at the right time, thereby giving a lot of time back to your day that could have gone searching for the required information. You can, thus, use those precious hours where they should be used, in making strategic business decision. Apart from the time-saving benefit of a DMS, other factors encouraging organizations to invest in one are, as below:

  • Enhanced data sharing within the organization

  • Minimized data protection and security risks

  • Effective integration of data with minimized inconsistencies

  • Increased productivity of the data users leading to better and quicker decision making

But, is it the same as SharePoint?

A straightforward answer to that would be “No, it isn’t”. While Data management systems and SharePoint like Content management systems may seem similar in the way that both allow users to access and retrieve a whole lot of documents through a common platform. However, the basic premise on which SharePoint was created was to encourage collaboration on projects which are being worked on by various stakeholders at the same time. The following difference between the two will lend more clarity to this:

  • DMS is essentially a records management solution whereas, SharePoint focusses on contents of the documents required for a specific project or purpose.

  • In a DMS, whilst the properties of the record may change, the actual record doesn’t change. On the other hand, since multiple users collaborate to work on fine-tuning a document in SharePoint, its contents undergo multiple changes and versions constantly.

  • It is crucial to pay attention to access control and managing user rights in a data management tool. However, since SharePoint’s basic functionality rests on collaboration, it works best with minimal complexities relating to access control.

For an organization that’s looking to invest in a solution that’s purely Collaboration-based, nothing beats SharePoint. Some of its advantages over a vanilla document management solution would be that it allows sharing of all types of file formats like Word, PDF, and even large files like PPT, AI, etc. Moreover, since it has the full-text search functionality, it is quite user friendly in terms of when looking for content basis specific keywords and tags.


So, what should you invest in?
It would be wrong to say that there is a correct and absolute answer to this question, as It would entirely depend on your organizations objectives to deploy a data management solution.

If you are looking to implement a basic solution for storage and sporadic file sharing capabilities for your employees, then simple tools for data management should suffice. You could evaluate which one fits the bill for your specific needs.

However, if your purpose of deploying a solution is to facilitate project management, HR tools, web optimization and content management, then SharePoint stand out without doubt.

So, evaluate, weigh, and implement basis your specific business needs and what you think would make your systems and employees more productive.

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