With information pulsating through every nook and cranny of an organization -Reports, records, memos, contracts, agreements, graphs, data files, policy documents, images – document management is critical to all organizations. Two conceptual essentials of a document management system are – people should have easy access to the right information at the right time, and they should be able to conveniently work together on information. To put these in practice however, especially considering the fact that employees are distibuted over diverse locations and often on the road, a system needs to have many specific features. The advantages of using a document management system for your business are:- 1) Easy access to information when you need it.2) The knowledge assets of your company are stored & organized for present and future needs.3) Hassle free legal compliance4) Increased productivity because people can remotely collaborate on information. Select Type of System There are different types of systems available depending on the size of your organization and its needs. You first need to decide which is most suitable for your context. Draw a Features List Based on your company's needs, come up with a list of "must have" features, and a list of "good to have" features. The first list will be the bare minimum you expect from your system, and the second list will be those features for which you may shell out extra, depending on the cost benefit ratio. You can read on to see what features the author of this article feels are essential from a small to mid sized business context. Check for "Must Have" Features Every document management solution should have certain basics to be truly called as such. Make sure you go through the solution and see that these features are included. How Secure is the Application Security is a top consideration because data critical to the company will be parsing through the document management system. Get Shortlisting Now that you have defined your needs and know exactly what you want from your solution, its about time u start looking around for applications themselves. Look for "integrated solutions" because a document management system never works in isolation. The system should offer some scheduling and project management capabilities so that tasks can be set up and resource documents be linked to different milestones. The ability to attach contacts and documents let you keep tabs on what information is associated with what employee, partner or client.