The ECM world is plagued with abbreviations, concepts and terms whose limits seem to be extraordinarily confusing. Every day, we talk more and more about records management, but few people really know what that term refers to and how it’s different from document management. We’re going to try to sort out the confusion by explaining two fundamental aspects that make them different.
“Records” and “documents” aren’t the same thing.
A document can be a record; but not all documents are records. “Records” talk about the management and the activity of the business, which means that they’re normally subject to law, whether it be for their conservation, their format, or prohibitions against changing content once they’ve been created.
Not all document management software can help you with your records. Document management software is normally more concerned with permitting access and recovering documents that are in a digital format by multiple users. This software usually allows for collaborative work with documents; but not all software can guarantee special treatment for documents that are related to taxes, employees, contracts or anything else that might need special treatment.