Version control versus DMS
Do you need a Document Management System (DMS) for good version control? Not really. A DMS ensures that all documents are centrally available and that your document flow is efficient and well-organised. In that respect, version management is one of the most important functionalities within a DMS. Conversely, you can use a version management system without having a DMS. Think of a word processor or spreadsheet application with a built-in version control system.
Tips for proper version control
Good software is an important starting point for adequate version control, but it takes more than that. You must also have rules that are consistent and that leave nothing to be desired in terms of clarity. For example, you can specify that the date should be added to the beginning of the file name, that the file name should contain the most important information so that it is immediately clear what a document contains, or that the file name should include a numbering system for the various versions.
Information architecture is also important. Different versions can circulate if files are not structured properly, so you must have a good system for classifying folders. Finally, access permissions are important: only the right people should have the rights to change a document.
Version control with Workspace 365
Workspace 365 brings version control to the digital workspace by placing an easy-to-use “shell” (or interface) over SharePoint, OneDrive and the file server. All these platforms are united in the digital workspace, with many features available within the dashboard. Like SharePoint version management, which allows you to view, retrieve and delete old versions. This works as follows: within the interface, you see a document, you click on Version history and you get an overview of the different versions with version number and editing date. Another convenient feature of Workspace 365 is that documents are automatically synchronised to every device.
With Workspace 365, you have one document application for all your documents, regardless of where they are stored. This partially solves the information architecture problem. If organisations work with SharePoint, OneDrive for Business and a network drive, it is not always clear where employees should store documents. Now you only have one document application, so it is much easier to set up a good information architecture and – above all – to comply with it.