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Trends and Developments in DMS

In this article you'll find the results of the "Trends and Developments in the field of DMS & RMA". This research mainly concerned the current line towards 'Case-oriented Working' and 'The New Way of Working'. This research provides insight into not only the use of DMS & RMA solutions within the (semi) government, but also into the related culture and underlying behavior. Although a number of the results were within expectations, a few things stand out. For example, at least one third of the respondents still don't work according to Case Oriented Working and almost half don't yet work according to The New Way of Working.

In addition to the results, the interpretations of the results and advice for the future are also discussed.

Research question

The research concerns the use of Document Management Systems (DMS) and Record Management Applications (RMA). The research question is therefore:

"How can you respond to the trends and developments in DMS and RMA for your own organization?"

'Men' in this case are all respondents, readers and interested parties.


From November 2012 up to and including February 2013, the study "Trends and Developments in DMS & RMA" took place. Prior to the study, there was first a short pilot study with five extensive interviews with experts in the field. This pilot was primarily intended to get an idea of ​​the market and what the needs are within organizations. But also what hasn't been investigated from the market before. The questionnaire was drawn up on the basis of these interviews. The contact persons were contacted by telephone and asked to participate in an online survey. Enough responses have been gathered to declare this research credible and reliable (n = 148).

Terms used

The interpretation of the terms Process-oriented Working, Case-oriented Working and New Way of Working may differ between respondents. That's why the respondents received a clear description during the study of what is meant by the terms in question. This is also to ensure a clear picture in the research results.

Process-oriented Working. One works process-oriented, if all steps that are taken in equivalent processes are the same. For example, when an application for a permit comes in, the process is started that's the same for equivalent applications.

Case-oriented Working. Case-oriented Working is a specialization of (digital) process-oriented working. A case is created from the start of the implementation of a process. All information that arises during the handling of the case is stored in the case.

The New Way of Working. The New Way of Working is a collective name for various ways of working smarter, more efficiently and more effectively. Applying Web 2.0, making use of new technologies, experimenting with new forms of cooperation, but also new ways of leadership, less hierarchy, more responsibility, delegating more and leaving more to their own creativity and solution focus. In essence, the New Way of Working comes down to a shift from the focus on the process to the focus on the output: where and when people work, and how, is no longer relevant: as long as there are results.

Own organization

A total of 148 respondents participated in the study. About 80% of the respondents work for a municipality, followed by central government, ministries and education. The size of these organizations consisted mainly of organizations of less than 200 FTE (51%) and between 200 and 500 FTE (30%).

Trends in terms

Almost all respondents were familiar with the terms 'Process-oriented Working', 'Case-oriented Working' and 'The New Way of Working', but striking results came to the fore when the definitions were tested against the organization. It should be noted that only 50% work a little or completely according to The New Way of Working, and only 68% of the respondents work fully or slightly according to Case-Oriented Working.

Trends in culture

The acceptance of the user is important when using ICT technology. The culture of users is a major influence on this acceptance. This research asked a number of questions about the culture of the respondents. These questions are anything but covering: they only give an idea of ​​the culture of (semi-) government IT people.

It's striking that 31% of the respondents are dissatisfied with the control that's being carried out over their digital work. In addition, we see that a good 11% still keep track of their work on a paper to-do list. Finally, we see that people like to have insight into what colleagues are doing: a striking 71% want insight.

The culture within the organizations of the respondents was also examined, whereby the question was asked whether the respondent would like to have insight into what his / her colleagues are doing. This shows that people want to share knowledge (but not everything they do or don't do). This is an important aspect for DMS and RMA: not only the sharing of documents, but also the sharing of knowledge in DMS / RMA is important.

Finally, it appears that almost all respondents do see the benefits of a DMS / RMA. In addition, we see a fairly normal distribution with regard to a correct adjustment of the DMS / RMA: a part isn't satisfied with it, a large part is neutral, and a good part is satisfied. This is one of the few questions in the survey that doesn't show a clear opinion among the respondents. From this we can deduce that no consensus has yet been reached with regard to the personal use of the DMS / RMA.

Trends in systems

Different systems are used by the organizations surveyed: Corsa (27%), Decos (21%), Verseon (14%), SharePoint (9%), Alfresco (8%) and DocMan (5%). In addition, various other systems are used (16%).

The average satisfaction for DMS and RMA system is only 6.4. There are clear differences between the systems used.

This shows that SharePoint (7.6 for DMS and RMA), followed at a suitable distance by Alfresco (7.0 for DMS and 6.8 for RMA) emerges as the best system in terms of user-friendliness. But systems must not only be user-friendly, they must also have the functionalities to help the user with his or her work. This shows that the indicated systems are rated with an average score of 6.5 in terms of satisfaction with the functionalities.

Here we see that also in terms of functionalities SharePoint (7.1 for DMS and 7.3 for RMA) scores the best of the indicated systems that are used.


In addition to the current trends in DMS and RMA, a lot of developments are taking place during this time. A few examples are the increasing flow of data and the growing demand for solutions for new data issues. The question is how respondents' systems respond to this: can the current system still meet the ICT challenges, now and in the future? A number of questions in the study attempted to chart that.

Limited developments

Respondents were asked to clearly state where they experienced limitations in the current system and what functionalities or changes they would like to see again. Many respondents responded to this, and a number of things stood out:

- Links with other systems or administrations. Many respondents long for a better and easier linked system, preferably also connected to the GBA or BAG. Although the latter isn't possible in the near future, DMS and RMA should be better integrated and linked to other systems such as personnel files and annual interviews.
- Working on tablets and / or other mobile devices. Integration across multiple platforms and devices is also a much sought after and clearly frustrating problem for many respondents.
- Simplification of the User Interface. This is often experienced as confusing and complex.
- The search function. This is often still perceived as annoying and not very user-friendly.

Barriers to developments

Approximately 1/3 of the respondents indicated that they would probably orientate themselves in the next 2 years on a new DMS and RMA system. This is a percentage that's reasonably within expectations: it has been 4 years since NEN2082, the norm for case systems and indirectly responsible for case-oriented working, was formulated. But there are also barriers to changing a system. A few examples are:

- Couplings. Almost all respondents indicated that the current links were a barrier to changing to a new system. At first glance this seems quite consistent with 4.1, but nothing could be further from the truth. After all, if you have a system that's linked to your current personnel administration, it would be nice if this were also linked to new metadata. However, the loss of the link with personnel administration is seen as a barrier to a new system.
- Customization. Another major barrier is the loss of customization. Many government organizations still have a customer-specific system, in which it's feared that a new solution doesn't contain the adjustments that the organization requires.
- Costs. Costs incurred are of course a major barrier. After all, given the (often large) investments in the current system and you have to start over in a new system, it feels like a big loss.
- Expertise / training. Another barrier is the loss of all knowledge and expertise in the current system. For a new system, both IT and users must be trained and it must also be demonstrated that the system can meet all expectations.
- Data migration. A final, and certainly not the least important, is the loss of all (meta) data in the current system. Organizations don't want the information from the past to be lost and experience shows that migrating is often a large and costly process.

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