You might have read or heard about Bitcoin, which is a digital currency revolutionizing the world of finance by making it easy for anyone to transact and exchange funds without having to rely on intermediaries like banks or any other financial institutions.
However, a lot of people have still not either heard of blockchain or are not aware of the benefits of this technology that underlies Bitcoin.
Blockchain technology can play a very important role in records management and it is becoming clear that it has far-reaching implications for authenticating and securing an intellectual property at lower cost and higher efficiency.
Every day, employees at different organizations, companies, and institutions handle and process millions of documents. While many deal with documents in digital format in today’s world, some are still using paper as well. The documents can include payment receipts, invoices, contracts, purchase receipts, delivery notes, financial reports, and a long etcetera of heterogeneous information which is not always easy to catalog.
Many organizations, companies, businesses around the world have expressed that document management is one of the biggest headaches for them nowadays. The methods that are being used currently do not always allow the detection of duplicate information, so it is not surprising to find two employees using the same document at the same time, with different versions. Errors like these can lead to hopeless disorganization.
Moreover, employees often misplace documents which puts at risk the security of the data. According to well-known firms like Coopers &Lybrands and Nucleus Research, research carried out has shown that more than 50% of an employee’s tasks focus is on searching and distributing documents and more than 5% of the documents recorded in paper end up getting lost along the way.
As you might have guessed, such inefficiency and errors can prove to be damaging to the productivity of any company or institution.
Can digitization be the answer?
All these problems have led to generalized chaos which has turned to digitization to find a solution. It is worth noting that more and more companies around the world are implementing a document management system that allows them to automate a large chunk of the work.
An efficient document management system can help recognize the documents, understand the content of the document by using artificial intelligence algorithms. Combined with an EnterpriseDocument Management (EDM) strategy, this can help overlook and manage documents so that they can be easily found.
However, digitization can present a number of problems. Guaranteeing at all times the security of the documents and the integrity of the information is not always possible because documents in a digital form can be copied and modified by anyone who is able to gain access.
While it is not easy to find a simple, secure, and verified document management system, the ones that you might find will often be expensive and will require some involvement of a third party.
Blockchain Technology for Document Management
Blockchain technology has the potential to change the way we manage documents forever. In simple words, Blockchain is a digital ledger of transactions that is distributed across a network or computers. If we can use Blockchain technology for recording and managing documents, it would not only make it impossible to change, hack, or cheat but we can also say goodbye to any human errors.
Blockchain technology is already being used in the finance sector as many financial institutions are using it to ensure the integrity of financial transactions. The technology has use cases in food and logistics, even in social media.
When it comes to document management, Blockchain technology can be used to verify and validate all the documents entering the system and who can access them.
It is worth discussing some of the many unique advantages of Blockchain technology. Private blockchain networks can have different customized security definitions that determine who can participate. The technology offers complete decentralization and so the parties of the network will be able to decide what the rules are.
One of the biggest advantages of Blockchain technology is cutting costs. Blockchain processes do not require third-party intermediaries, auditors, or legal professionals to verify data, which means that document management can be made more efficient and less expensive.
Fewer parties involved will mean a faster turnaround. Processes that can take days waiting for verifications and validations from different parties can be completed in minutes with the help of Blockchain technology.
Blockchain technology also offers a high level of security. In addition to this, with fewer participants, there is less chance of things going wrong. Blockchain can effectively eliminate handoff points which are often where things go wrong.
While Blockchain technology is still relatively new, many large financial institutions have already successfully implemented it. The technology will have far-reaching implications in almost all industries. Even a small business document management system can make use of the technology to save costs, achieve better efficiency, higher security, improved transparency, flexibility, and competitive advantage above all.