Blog Post

Digital Document Management Glossary: Helpful Terms to Know

July 22, 2020

The term “digital document management” refers to a broad industry and the many tools and processes that are included beneath it. While it’s often used to describe the way businesses are using digital tools to create, manage, share, secure, and store their documents, it also comes with a bevy of vocabulary words that can be new to many users.

In order to help keep you up to date on the digital transformation lingo, we’ve put together a glossary of terms that we’ll update as new phrases, words, and definitions arise with the evolution of the industry. You may find it helpful to bookmark this page so you can come back to it regularly.

Digital Document Management Glossary of Terms


An API, or Application Program Interface, is a set of procedures and functions that allow the creation of applications that can access features or data within an operating system, application of other services.


Automation describes the process by which manual tasks can be made automatic.

Axiom Pro

Axiom Pro is our own cloud-based document management system. It helps our customers gain access to and manage digital content from one, central platform.

Audit Trail

An audit trail is a digitized, automated record of users who interact with a secure document. Audit trails are often required to prove compliance with security regulations, such as HIPAA.


In this context, benchmarking relates to the process of recording data to use as a starting place for tracking metrics during a process or project. Benchmarking allows you to evaluate a process by setting a baseline set of metrics off of which you can measure progress.

Business Model

Business Model is one of the types of digital transformation. Business transformation refers to the way a business changes its business model in a way that is more supported by digital tools and allows both profit and use cases to expand.

Business Process

Business process is another form of digital transformation. With business process digital transformation, the internal ways in which things are done like content creation, sharing, and storage are updated to utilize digital technology.

The Cloud, Cloud-Based Computing

The cloud refers to the process of using remote servers hosted on the web to manage, process, and store data in place of an on-premise server network. The Cloud is often used as a way to cut down on the overhead cost of on-premise servers and create an easier-to-use but secure way for users to access the information they need from wherever they are.


Content can refer to many things, but in this context content is a blanket term used to describe documents, email, and other data that is created.

Content Services Platform

A content services platform (CSP) is used by organizations to store, manage, secure, share, and create content from one, single platform or system.


Culture/Organizational digital transformation refers to the way a company makes their digital transformation processes and tools part of the way the company does business.

Customer focus

Customer focus is the process by which the communications and process of your business’ main goal is to keep your customers top of mind.

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation refers to the process an organization goes through when adopting new, digital tools, processes, and systems. The 4 main types of digital transformation are: Business model, Business process, Culture/Organizational, and Domain.


The process of adopting and utilizing digital tools, processes and systems to make traditional and on-paper documentation and storage easier and faster.

Document Management System

A document management system is an online tool that helps businesses create, organize, secure, store, and share documents from a secure, digital platform.

Document scanning

Document scanning refers to the process of taking hardcopy documents like files and forms and scanning them with a digital scanner to create digital copies that can be managed, stored, shared, and secured digitally.


Domain digital transformations are the type of transformation that organizations go through when identifying and expanding to new, digital areas of focus for their business.

Enterprise Content Management

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) refers to the system that preceded Content Management Systems. ECMs were often not one system, but a network of multiple tools used to create an online content management process. Over time, the amount of tools needed to create a system of this level became too expensive and cumbersome and a newer, faster approach was needed.

For information on what the newer, faster approach happened to be, see the definition for Content Management System.


Hosting in this context means the act of storing data on a server, cloud, or a mix of both so that it can be accessed on the internet. Some companies host their own data while other enlist third parties to host their content or websites for them.


Imaging is another word for scanning in this context. A hardcopy image/file/document is scanned to create a digital copy.

Imaging services

Imaging services refers to the set of processes that go into creating digital copies of your documentation. This is a part of what Image API offers to our clients.


Integrations refers to the ability to connect one digital tool to another. There is no one-size-fits all solution and many companies have a few tools they don’t want to move away from. Integrating tools means that one tool from one company and another tool from another company can be connected together so they can work in tandem in one place, instead of having to log into multiple places for access.


KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, refers to the set of metrics set by organizations as goals for success.


Microservices is a framework that structures an application as a collection of services that are highly maintainable, easily tested, loosely connected, able to be deployed independently, and organized around business capabilities.


On-premise means that your servers are located in your office space or a building nearby, looked after, maintained, and controlled solely by your organization’s technicians.


Paper-based businesses or processes utilize hard copies and paper to create, store, and share documentation and information.


In this context a digital platform is a system provided by a company for a group of users on which processes and tasks can be executed online.

Process optimization

Process optimization is what happens when the processes in your organization are examined and improved, whether by the use of a new system or workflow, or a new set or tools or rules.

Records management

Records management refers to the process of storing and managing records online. This can be anything from healthcare records or employee documentation for Human Resources.


The term roadmap is often used to describe a plan of operations from start to finish.


SaaS stands for “Software as a service,” and is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is offered on a subscription basis and is hosted centrally, not hosted by the client.

Unstructured data

Unstructured data refers to data that is not organized in any predefined way.


Workflows are processes by which tasks or procedures are completed. They can also refer to the way that content is created, shared, stored, and secured within a system.

Other Helpful Resources For Your Digital Journey

Now that you have a better understanding of what document management terms and concepts are, you can start thinking about your organization’s roadmap for digital transformation.

To start your plan off in the right direction, download our guide to digital transformation.

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