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    Content Management

    3 Reasons Not to Store Documents in Line of Business Applications

    Line of business (LOB) applications are essential to the processes that run your business (financial planning, customer relationship management, accounting, etc.). But one thing you shouldn’t be relying on your LOB applications for is document management.

    A common mistake we find is that organizations are using LOB applications to store business-critical documents in addition to the critical data they are primarily designed to handle.

    You may be tempted to store documents in your ERP, CRM or HR management systems. Here are the three reasons doing so is a roadblock to optimum document management, and could create serious headaches down the road.

    1. Finding Documents Is Difficult

    Many line of business applications store documents in a way that makes finding them later a challenge. Documents are usually “attached” to a single screen within the LOB application rather than being indexed in multiple ways for easy retrieval. Unless you know exactly where that document is stored in the application, finding it can be a challenge.

    A dedicated document management system like SharePoint Online indexes documents in multiple ways and stores them in a centralized repository, enabling users to easily locate them via a quick search. This is a big deal for organizations with high volumes of documents that need to be retrieved with any kind of frequency.

    2. Line of Business Applications Lack a Robust Document Management System

    Most LOB applications aren’t built with document management in mind. They lack the breadth of functionality in which document management systems are designed. Without the key components of a robust document management system like machine learning and batch capture, managing documents in LOB applications is inefficient and cumbersome. Just having a screen from which to view all of your documents is not something LOB applications offer.

    3. Future Migrations Will be Challenging If Not Impossible

    Switching or migrating LOB applications? Migrating stored content out of the application can be a painful or even impossible undertaking. In some cases, documents are stored in a proprietary way that makes pulling them out difficult. This can complicate the upgrade process and even lead to data loss.

    It is important to remember that while the data in line of business applications serves as the “source of the truth”, the documents that contain that data are not meant to be stored there. In other words, keep the data and the source of the data separate. Doing so will maximize your productivity, safeguard against data loss, and avoid many hassles.

    If you have questions about how to synchronize line of business applications and document management systems, reach out. We have two decades of experience in helping organizations store the right information in the right place!

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