In recent years, many government departments at all levels have seen their budgets slashed, and leaders are being forced to get more creative with how they approach various aspects of their operations. One way in which many choose to do so is by adopting document management platforms that allow them to transition to paperless processes that are both public-facing and helpful behind the scenes.

In certain instances, this kind of investment can be kick-started with document preservation funds from sources including the state government, according to the Long Island Herald. In Rockville Centre, New York, the public library recently received a grant of $10,000 to electronically preserve hundreds of thousands of documents – from newspapers to maps, minutes from local government meetings and so on – dating back to the Reconstruction era that had previously been stored in a disused room in the basement.

What to consider
When local governments are looking for ways to free up precious space and cut ongoing costs related to maintaining vital files, document management is often a good idea because of the convenience such platforms can immediately provide, the report said. With automated workflows and other processes in place, people can gain access to information contained in scanned documents from anywhere, on demand.

The big need
While towns can spend large sums of money on this kind of effort, the long-term benefits of making such a switch often come to the fore sooner rather than later, according to Newsday. And increasingly, as these options become more readily available to government agencies at price points that make sense, just the fact that document management frees up so much storage space for other needs makes it a worthwhile investment for cities and towns facing both budgetary and square footage crunches.

"It's still worth it because you can recoup that space and use it for other productive means," Ralph Kreitzman, executive director of the Nassau County Village Officials Association, told Newsday.

Of course, government leaders need to consider their budgetary constraints and the benefits adopting document management will provide them in the long term, including not only quick and easy access to vital information, but potentially hundreds of freed-up man hours.