What is a file management system?

A file management system is a technological tool or software that allows businesses to organize documents, records and other data as well as better understand their data and storage utilization. 

Whilst some older, more traditional business owners might still be storing documents in a back room or a filing cabinet, this form of file storage is ineffective in today’s digital world. A file management system is a type of software that is cloud-based and stores digital documents, sorts them into specific categories and allows you to access files in an easy way. 


Who needs file management software?

Businesses, especially large businesses need file management software. Large businesses have a large influx of data, documents and software that are both incoming and outgoing so they need a comprehensive file management system to be able to effectively deal with all their data. 

Although businesses are frequent users of file and database management systems, they can reap the benefits of such software on an extremely large scale across hundreds of employees. 

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Why is file management so important?

An electronic file management system is key for the efficient running of any business. Businesses always have documents that they need to refer back to and store whether it be for legal, commercial or other reasons. 

It is therefore important that you put in place a structure that allows you to manage and organize your files. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a situation where you cannot find the documents that you need, or worse you could end up losing some key documents that you haven’t backed up. 

When you fail to establish a system of file management, you are essentially jeopardizing your business as not only could the loss or misplacement of files, documents and data have very real legal repercussions, it could also affect your customer service and lead to angry customers, which will affect your reputation

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What are the different types of file management systems?

Although file management systems are the most beneficial form of file organization within a business, not all file management systems are the same. It helps to be able to differentiate them so that you can determine which one is best suited for your business needs.

The main difference that you should be aware of is that different file management systems function differently depending on the operating system (Microsoft, Windows…) you are using. We have listed the main types of file management systems below and have provided a quick rundown of what they entail. 


Distributed/network file system 

Distributed file systems work by giving file share access to an array of people, but in a centralized way, as if everything was being carried out locally on a local network, whereas in reality, these files can be accessed on a variety of different platforms and networks. 

This is a system that will also allow you to lock access to documents. Therefore, although you might have granted clients or employees access to view your documents, if you lock the document, they will not be able to make modifications. You get all the benefits of file sharing through a centralized system, but also can retain some control. 


Disk based file systems

Disk based file systems are a way of storing files on a physical disk. This could be anything from a traditional hard drive, a USB or a DVD disk. These are obviously less collaboratively friendly and are simply used when you need to keep records on hand. If you do not need to modify your business documents, or have some age-old data and records that you cannot get rid of or destroy, but you know you will no longer need them for anything, you can upload them onto a disk. 


Special purpose file systems

Special purpose file systems are basically systems that are not covered by the categories of distributed/network file systems or disk file systems. Essentially they rely on specific software for specific functions. On the whole, most businesses will not need to use this form of filing software. 


Advantages of file management system

Cost effective 

This is a benefit that many people overlook, as they assume that a digital system is going to be more expensive for them as they need to buy the storage space and the digital subscription to such organizational systems. Although this is true, most people don’t consider the costs of physical file management when they make this assumption. 

When you commit to a physical filing system, you need to pay not only for a space to keep the documents and records, but also for things such as filing cabinets and the physical paper and printing costs. Moreover, if you have an extensive amount of physical paperwork and documentation in your records, and people need to regularly access them, you might need to pay the wage of an administrative assistant to send documents and files when needed. 

When you look at the two scenarios and add up the costs, the initial cost of storage space and subscription that you pay for a digital file management system is far less than a physical system of file management. Many companies also offer a free trial so you can see if their storage system is the right solution for your company. 



Even if you have the most reliable employees whom you feel you can trust, with a physical filing system you run the risk of human error. This risk is greatly reduced with digital systems. 

When you use a digital filing system, you can rest assured that everything will find its way to the right place and documents will be easy to find. Even if there are mistakes, it can be easily identified on a computer, whereas the act of going through all the physical boxes of records can be an excruciating waste of time. 

Plus, with a physician file management system, documents can become damaged from weather conditions, humidity or even fires, which is not a problem with online file management. 



As the pandemic highlighted, people are not always able to go to the office and physically come to work, which would make their jobs extremely hard if they needed to access physical files. However, when things are online, files can be accessed from anywhere, which makes everything far more efficient and convenient. 

Moreover, the ability to share documents and collaborate on them with other employees and clients makes the entire process more convenient, which in turn allows employees to get more work done and creates a more efficient system. 


What is the best file management system?

A file management system will save you money in the long run, it will also make your employees’ lives easier and improve collaboration with clients or partners. That being said, what is the best file management system? Dataintell.

Our comprehensive system offers you everything that you could possibly need in a file management system. Our systems offer centralized storage for your files. It includes an integrated search engine tool that allows you to easily search through all your files so that you can find the documents you need in no time. 

Here are the key features of our file management system

  • A search engine that allows you to use charts to filter your search, sort and find your data based on intelligent insights and metadata, etc. 
  • A project wide view of all the files related to it regardless of if they are located in across multiple storage 
  • An instinctive dashboard that provides you with an overview of your biggest storage variations, most active projects, file utilization, duplicated files, etc.
  • A user-friendly interface for maximum productivity


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