Document Management: an Enduring HistoryDocumentation, in some form or another, has existed for millennia. Indeed, clay tablets from the royal houses of Mycenean Greece, are some of the earliest surviving files on record (dating to approximately 1450 BCE). The tablets reveal stock counts of chariots, animals and food belonging to the ancient palaces. It is clear that even in early advanced civilizations, systems of documentation were firmly in place.

In the modern era, as the digital transformation continues apace, how we store and organize the vast number of documents produced has become more important than ever. The history of modern document management tells a fascinating story of how new technology is adapting to the needs of its users.


The Beginnings of Modern Document Management

In the late 19th century, business and organization paperwork began to grow rapidly. Amidst this increase in documentation, the problem of how to organize and store documents for future reference arose. The file cabinet was devised as an ingenious solution to this problem, housing documents in card folders which could be organized according to the desired criteria, such as date or alphabetical order.

Document Management: an Enduring History

For the better part of the of the 20th century, document management meant physically storing documents and paperwork in these file cabinets. Although revolutionary for its time, the file cabinet had its drawbacks: the files took up enormous amounts of ever-expanding space, and were vulnerable to disasters such as fire or flood.

When electronic document management systems (EDMS) were developed during the 1980s, they signaled a major increase in the capacity to capture and store documents as computer and server technology required far less space than conventional file cabinets. Powered by the uptake in PCs and servers in the workplace in the 1990s, a digital revolution in document management was underway.


Current Trends

With continual efforts to digitize and improve upon this process, new solutions have emerged for the office. Of course, paper still plays a vital role in many industries, so printers and scanners are required to streamline the digitization process through document capture. Modern multi-function printers (MFPs) facilitate this important stage in effective digital document management, whereby paper documents are copied in digital format.

Of course, the faster an MFP can scan, the quicker the document can be digitized, uploaded and stored. Samsung’s MFPs can reach impressive speeds, many featuring a Dual Scan Document Feeder (DSDF), allowing users to scan both sides of the document at high speeds. For example, the MultiXpress 7 series X7600 can reach impressive duplex scan speeds of up to 240ipm.

Document Management: an Enduring History

What is more, Samsung Printing offers an array of applications and solutions designed to make document management more efficient and intuitive. Dynamic Workflow and Document Workflow Core allow users to store documents more efficiently by integrating multiple functions into pre-programmed automated workflows.

With Document Workflow Core, users can set up automatic workflows that utilize Zone-OCR (optical character recognition) technology to automatically identify and translate scanned character images, then categorize documents according to barcode, caller ID, or metadata. Dynamic Workflow app allows users to create their own workflow as well, but by combining functions of different Smart UX apps. In addition, the Smart Scan plugin for Dynamic Workflow app, optimizes scanning by automatically correcting images to enhance quality and readability.


A New Era

Recent digital developments herald a new age in document management, as businesses and organizations embrace flexible working.

Document Management: an Enduring History

Document management systems are moving towards Cloud technology, digitally storing documents via the Cloud. Offices no longer need their own internal server, further freeing up space and protecting documents against damage. Samsung’s Cloud Connector Core (part of Business Core suite), seamlessly guides this transition to the Cloud, by allowing users to scan directly to the cloud from the printer.

Document Management: an Enduring History

In today’s world of global offices and flexible working hours, there is even greater demand for IT infrastructures to support collaborative work through their document management systems. Apps such as Send Anywhere for Printer make it easy to send scanned documents from the printer to any mobile device, desktop or even another printer. Thereby assisting in swift and secure document sharing to peers and colleagues via either a cellular or Wi-Fi connection, without the need for servers, logins or registration.


From file cabinets to MFPs to serverless storage, the history of document management signifies the efforts of administrators to ensure their documents are organized, preserved and secured for future reference. With Samsung Printing products, ensure that you are not left behind by the ever-shifting evolution of document management.


This history of document management was written with reference to:

JoAnne Yates, Control through Communication: The Rise of System in American Management, John Hopkins University Press, 1993

William B. Green, Introduction to Electronic Document Management Systems, Academic Press Inc., 1993