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The 10 best document management software to look out for in 2022

Estimates suggest that a huge 60–80% of all business operations are governed by contracts. Without a platform that gives you transparency over your contracts and related workflows, though, information can cause more of a hindrance than a help (think: lost contracts, missed deadlines and human error).

To confuse matters further, more people are working from home as a result of the pandemic. With 70% of companies planning to adopt the hybrid working model, companies now face the challenge of how to manage document access from so many disparate locations. Plus, your employees, colleagues and stakeholders all want access to documents on the go, from anywhere — 77% of business owners reported that they want to be able to access files remotely, from any location.

With your workforce and stakeholders at home offices, how can you ensure you have a safe single source of information truth where colleagues can collaborate remotely?

Document management software lets you offload your manual contract responsibilities so you can focus on other areas of your business. If you’re looking to automate your internal processes, free up resources and maintain a trustworthy source of company data, then you’re in the right place.

Today, we’re taking you through the best document management software options on the market.

Top 10 document management solutions

Avokaado

Best for legal documents and workflow management

Overview

Avokaado’s contract management system lets businesses easily manage documents and related workflows in one single place, improving document transparency and workflow efficiency in the process. 

Pros

  • Comprehensive end-to-end contract management software solutions in one place featuring smart drafting, collaboration, approvals, e-signature, document management, metadata search, and tracking;
  • Share documents with clients for unlimited external collaboration and negotiations via public link, or enable self-serve with white-label webshop;
  • Data-driven document workflow management with Avokaado’s meta-data and full-text search.

Cons

  • You need to use in-doc discussion to request changes, but tracked changes will be introduced shortly;
  • You’ll need to upgrade from the Freemium version to access certain features. See the full list here.

Pricing & free trial options

Starting from the $0 Freemium plan, going up to a Premium (€60/month/user) and Custom plan (quote specific) for large established companies and API users.

 

Rubex by eFileCabinet

Best for smart document organization and going paperless

Overview

eFileCabinet lets your business organize and execute your data effortlessly — from automation and workflow creation to customizability and control, all from one dashboard.

Pros

  • Automated workflows let you program your system to perform certain tasks when specified conditions are met;
  • Basic and zonal OCR (optical character recognition) lets you identify and auto-populate data;
  • Automate file routing for the different types of documents you produce or receive regularly.

Cons

  • Unable to edit documents online slows down 3rd-party collaboration;
  • No standard pricing options available — you’ll need to contact for a bespoke quote;
  • Missing mobile app integration.

Pricing & free trial options

According to their website, you’ll need to discuss your requirements with eFileCabinet to get a custom quote. However, certain sources show three subscription tiers: Advantage ($55 per user per month), Business ($99 per user per month) and Unlimited ($199 per user per month).

 

Microsoft SharePoint

Best for sharing documents internally and externally, across devices

Overview

With Microsoft Sharepoint, you can share and manage content, knowledge, and applications to empower teamwork, quickly find information, and seamlessly collaborate across your organization.

Pros

  • Document edits are saved directly to OneDrive or SharePoint and updated across all your synced devices (PC, Mac, and mobile);
  • Configure how you share files with third parties (sharing only to authenticated users, setting expiration periods for anonymous access, or using groups to manage who can share documents externally);
  • With the Microsoft Flow integration, you can create and implement workflows between different platforms.

Cons

  • The sheer number of tools, features, and integrations can be daunting for teams new to document software services;
  • The platform can require implementation by Microsoft, which represents additional cost and time before you get started;
  • No free trial option when just purchasing SharePoint.

Pricing & free trial options

SharePoint is available in three pricing plans which start at $5.00 user/month, and go up to $20.00 user/month for full document management and sharing features.

 

M-Files

Best for organizing your content by keywords, tags, categories, and more 

Overview

M-Files is an information management platform that lets your employees find and use information more effectively. M-Files unifies systems, data and content across the organization without disturbing existing systems or requiring data migration.

Pros

  • With workflows, you can give assignments to colleagues, follow up automatically, and get documents approved according to company guidelines;
  • With M-Files OCR, drag and drop scanned images to M-Files Desktop and convert your documents to searchable PDFs;
  • In addition to native M-Files clients, you can share and co-author content with your daily tools like Microsoft Teams or Salesforce.

Cons

Pricing & free trial options

As mentioned, you’ll need to contact M-Files for a quote. You can get a free trial though and request a demo based on your requirements.

 

Templafy

Best for keeping all office documents aligned with your company’s image and internal branding

Overview

Templafy is a content enablement platform that aligns workforces and enables employees to effortlessly create on-brand, high-performing business content faster.

Pros

  • Send documents to both internal and external users across devices with no file size limits;
  • Dashboards with real-time tracking let you collect and analyze performance data for each document;
  • The Templafy document organizer software lets you analyze your most popular templates to get a better grasp of what your employees need.

Cons

Pricing & free trial options

You’ll need to contact Templafy with your specific business needs to get a custom quote. It’s estimated, though, that prices start at roughly $320 per month.

 

PandaDoc

Best for building, customizing and populating error-free documents quickly

Overview

PandaDoc offers an all-in-one document automation software to streamline the process for managing, collaborating on, and eSigning proposals, quotes, contracts, and more.

Pros

  • Instant notifications (when recipients open, view, comment, or complete actions) help your team to manage document updates;
  • PandaDoc’s document analytics report on recipient behavior such as total time spent, times viewed, last view, PDF download, and if any links were clicked;
  • PandaDoc’s flexible and reliable workflow automation app gives you complete control over who has access and editing permissions to every document and every template you create.

Cons

Pricing & free trial options

From $0 for the Free eSign plan and free trial options on the Essentials and Business plans.

 

ContractWorks

Best for increasing document visibility across your organization

Overview

An easy-to-use, contract management system for businesses who need a quick way to understand and manage contract obligations.

Pros

  • With unlimited users, you can grant access to everyone who needs it without hidden additional costs;
  • The intuitive and easy-to-use interface means you can onboard staff and get up and running immediately;
  • Employees can self-serve the contract data they need with administrator-controlled access to folders and documents.

Cons

  • If you need the added functionality of document authoring/creation then be aware that ContractWorks doesn’t offer this;
  • A lack of in-built collaboration features makes real-time contract negotiation difficult;
  • The unlimited users pricing structure won’t suit all small teams and companies that require minimal users.

Pricing & free trial options

ContractWorks has three pricing schedules each featuring a different number of allowed documents and electronic signature licenses (all billed annually and with a free trial):

  • Standard: $600 per month
  • Professional: $800 per month
  • Enterprise: $1000 per month

 

DocuWare

Best for document importing and handling capabilities

Overview

DocuWare digitizes and secures your information to flow effortlessly between your decision-makers — anywhere, on any device, and at any time.

Pros

  • Quickly classify documents and index information in just a few clicks
  • Automatic notifications before a contract expires, an invoice is due or a document’s legal retention period ends
  • DocuWare Cloud lets administrators optimize the OCR engine for performance or accuracy based on current business needs

Cons

  • A lack of transparent pricing options makes it hard to compare against other options on the market
  • No mobile application
  • Lack of integration options, e.g. Dropbox Business, Google Drive and Gmail

Pricing & free trial options

You’ll need to contact DocuWare for a custom quote and discovery call. Rough estimates suggest that a DocuWare Cloud instance for four users and 20 GB of storage will cost you $300 per month. A larger instance supporting 40 users and 100 GB of storage costs closer to $1,500 per month.

 

Concord

Best for the flexibility to work with third-party tools like Word and Google Docs

Overview

Concord’s cloud-based document management software lets you upload unlimited documents so you can keep a true system of records for your company that also adapts to your retention policy.

Pros

  • Intuitive, easy-to-follow interface, similar to Gmail
  • Concord’s History tab gives you a breakdown of versions, comments, and a full audit trail for the document you’re viewing or editing
  • The Discussion feature acts as an internal chat function that lets your team collaborate in real-time through comments, messages, and track changes

Cons

Pricing & free trial options

From $0 for the free pricing plan and free trial options on the Standard and Pro plans. For the enterprise option, you’ll need to contact Concord.

 

Onit

Best for AI-assisted document editing and management

Overview

Onit is a legal workflow and business process automation software with functionality to support all phases of document management including simple and easy to use check-in, check out functionality.

Pros

  • Native collaboration and document negotiation
  • Prebuilt actions include base code that requires no code to configure into workflows and solutions
  • Customizable analytics dashboards with simple drag and drop functionality.

Cons

  • With no advertised prices, it’s difficult to gauge what the financial commitment is
  • Onit is less of a standalone document management system as it also covers business process management (BPM), sales, human resources (HR), compliance, and IT, which you might not need
  • Unlike some of the competing platforms, you won’t be able to do any document authoring within the Concord interface

Pricing & free trial options

Prices start at roughly $3,000 per month according to various sources, but specific packages will require an Onit quote.

 

How to choose the best document management software in 2022

With so many options on the market, choosing the right document management software for your business might seem like a daunting task. You’ve probably got far more important things to do than scroll through endless pages of features and technical specifications.

To help you with that decision, we’re going to run through some of the key headings you should take into account when comparing different providers.

Storage location & size

If you’re looking for a single source to capture your documents, then a cloud-based contract management solution is the way forward. With the cloud, you can access your documents wherever you are in the world, on any device, at any time.

Usability

There’s little point in investing in document management services if no one enjoys — or wants — to use them. Usability should be high on your list of needs because it determines how quickly your employees start making the most of the new functionality. An intuitive, responsive interface is a must if you’re going to get people on board.

Document sharing and collaboration

Look out for platforms that offer real-time collaboration tools that suit your internal team and those external to the business. The right document collaboration functionality could be the difference between signing a document off on time, or not.

Version control

Version control is effectively a log of all changes made to a document over time. For those documents with many contributors, this is a critical tool that lets you track changes and revert to older versions if needed.

Search and metadata function

Some of the above platforms featured OCR (optical character recognition) search, which is essential if your business is dealing with different contracts across departments. OCR makes the content of an image or PDF searchable, saving you huge amounts of time.

Electronic signatures

Look out for an electronic document management system with integrated eSignature functionality. With this in place, you’ll be able to request and approve signatures without ever having to leave the platform.

Workflow automation

With workflow automation, you can dramatically increase the efficiency of how your documents are passed between colleagues at different stages of the contract management process. Opt for document management solutions that let you customize workflows to your team’s preferences.

User permissions

The last thing you want is a document in the wrong hands — it could spell disaster in terms of reputation and security. User permissions let you control who can and cannot access certain documents to keep your business safe.

Mobile functionality

In today’s world, mobile is everything. You’ll want to make sure that your platform of choice offers a truly mobile-friendly user experience. Having the ability to access documents on the go — without sacrificing user experience — will increase your productivity even further.

Data security

Storing documents electronically and on the cloud can bring issues of security to mind. Luckily, many leading platforms offer encryption and compliance tools, auto-updates, backups, security audits and advanced custom security options. Be sure to do your homework and find a vendor with these features in place.

Universal format support

It’s not just Excel spreadsheets that make up your document library. You’ve probably got videos, website scripts, images, and much more. Therefore, you need a platform that can store all different file formats in one place.

Price

As you’ve seen in our run-down of the best document management software for 2022, prices depend highly on your requirements and the size of your business. Typically, the higher the price, the more advanced functionality you’ll get. Free trials are a perfect way, though, to get a sense of whether a platform is the right fit for your business.

Integrations

Look out for a platform that already works with the various platforms you’re already using. Whether it’s a CRM or document creation software, having the integration already in place will save you a whole lot of hassle. Most providers list their integrations on their website, or you can contact them for specific queries.

Document template library

A document template library, featuring some of your most commonly used documents, could save you a lot of time, energy, and resources. With a template library, there’s no need for you to reinvent the wheel — you can start drafting in just a few clicks.

 

Grow your business in 2022 with the right document management software

As new year’s resolutions go, getting a better grip on your document management is high on the list for businesses globally.

The opportunity cost of not managing your documents in one location could be devastating — lost agreements, data breaches, missed deadlines, errors, and ultimately reputational damage.

Investing in the best document management software platform is a must for time-strapped companies. After all, there’s so much more to be focusing on than manually managing documents and contracts. With the software in place, you can hand off your document management to an automated platform that will provide a trustworthy single source of data for your business records.

2022 is the year to say hello to automated document management!

18.11.2021

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