cost of softwareWhy are you making the considerable investment in a document control system? There appears to be a direct relationship between the return an organization can expect from the system and the imagination and creativity of those who developed it. If the intent was to make sure the minimum requisite documents were written and accessible, you can expect a minimum return. If, on the other hand, your team asked itself how each system element could best serve the particular process, the returns would be enormous.

This quote comes from the 2002 article Get a Grip on Document Control from auditor Mary McAtee at a time when cloud-based systems were in their infancy and were largely unknown by most people. It was only 3 years after Salesforce.com established itself as the first large cloud computing company.

The core takeaway from the quote refers both to the cost of developing a document control application as well as how well you as a company design and build the application.

The article does not refer specifically to web-based applications but touches on the (then) most popular and accepted method to build a document control system: build it yourself.

How much would it cost to build your own document control application that would enable you to customize documentation the way each of you customers desire? $50,000? $100,000? More?

How much would it cost to maintain, upgrade and patch this application on an ongoing basis? What about the ongoing costs to add new functionality each time a customer asks you to do something your homemade system doesn’t do it? Plus your IT department has to spend time and effort to do all of this work themselves.

Going back to the first line of the above-mentioned quote, the old way of finding new software was to build it yourself even if building software isn’t your main line of business. These days, the incredible growth of cloud-based systems such as DocBoss means you don’t need to spend the time, effort and cost to do this work yourself since it has already been done for you.

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