The History of Document Management:
How did computing change the future of Document Management?
January 18, 2022
In the last “History of Document Management” Blog, we discussed the vertical file system. Today, we will discuss how computing changed how people interact with data.
Filing Cabinets were a game-changer for document management, but after their widespread use, it became clear that they had serious drawbacks. The biggest of these drawbacks was that businesses were inundated with filing cabinets, taking up valuable office space. With the invention of personal computers, it became possible that the potential solution to the problem of piles of documents was on the horizon.
The Dawn of the PC
Computers had been in development since the early 1900s, but it wasn’t until 1951 that Lyons Electronic Office (LEO) became the first computer to run a routine office job. But computers were still a long way from looking like what we use in the office today. In the 1970’s that the first personal computers were developed, but their widespread use in offices wouldn’t be seen until the 1980s.
With computers came the availability of digital document storage. Important files could be kept on the computer without taking up as much space in a filing cabinet. Despite the potential of storing files on computers, they started with some serious organizational drawbacks.
- Too New & Expensive- Personal computers were still relatively new, so there weren’t as many options as we have today for storage. Having a lot of computer storage could potentially be very expensive.
- Lack of Shared Access– Files were linked to their specific computer. Employees would not have access to a file unless they were using the computer that stored it.
- Unstructured Data- There was no standard for organizing files on a computer, causing digital documents to be scattered and difficult to locate.
- Not Secure (Yet)- Storing files on computers was so new that there was very little security, no version control, and no way to audit changes.
For many years these drawbacks had to be dealt with because the technology was still new and constantly evolving. It wasn’t until the 90’s that an effective and user-friendly system for managing documents on computers became widespread. In our next “History of Document Management” blog, we will discuss how Electronic Content Management Systems (ECMS) changed the way businesses used computers to store their documents.
How can DOMA help your business manage documents?
DOMA Technologies is an experienced digital solutions provider for a wide range of transformative cloud technologies. Whether you’re just getting started with digital services such as document scanning or looking to implement more advanced automation and AI tools to manage your files, we are here to answer any questions you may have.
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