Many municipal organizations are now facing new and unique challenges when it comes to document management. For instance, even cities and towns that previously adopted such software platforms as a means of making it easier to handle their various important files may need to overcome some new hurdles as time goes on.

One such situation recently arose in Wahoo, Nebraska, where the local and county law enforcement recently proposed a document-sharing agreement to better understand each other's situations, according to the Ashland Gazette. The Saunders County Sheriff's office made a change to a new police-specific document management platform in 2016, discontinuing the previous efforts to share files between the departments.

Early last year, Wahoo Police made a switch to the same system, allowing them to potentially restart the document-sharing effort, the Gazette reported.

Finding a solution
The two sides of the issue recently reached an agreement for how they would share documents across these two platforms, and are now waiting for county supervisors to sign off on the deal, the report said. By storing records on the same server, the ease of sharing information would increase dramatically between the two departments.

"It allows two-way communication, so I think it's a win-win," Saunders County Sheriff Kevin Stukenholtz told the newspaper.

Why it's important
The ability to store and share important government information is vital to municipal operations, whether that data is being shared between workers in a single department, across multiple departments or with the general public. Many cities and towns are therefore hiring archivists to help them get a better handle on the issue, according to Public Source.

In Pittsburgh, for example, this has been a years-long process that hasn't come to an end, but city archivist Nicholas Hartley noted that the increased effort is a positive because it shows that cities are finally thinking about documents in a way they never have before, the site said.

When municipal decision-makers can find a document management solution that works for them – including backfile scanning plans that help them handle years, decades or even centuries of important papers – they may unlock levels of operational efficiency they've never experienced before.