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Document Management Specialists

History

The earliest form of documents were paper scrolls. The Greeks' and Romans' system for storing and managing scrolls was an original method of document management. They organized and maintained these scrolls on open racks for easy access. Centuries later, innovations such as file cabinets, paper document filing systems, and typewriters made documents easier to create, organize, and access. In the 1980s, the introduction of computers gave rise to software programs that were capable of creating, saving, and printing documents. The growth of the Internet and the World Wide Web in the 1990s brought about electronic document management (EDM) systems. With EDM systems, companies can store, index, and retrieve files in various formats. 

Many industries are now required to manage and control their documents according to government regulations. For example, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was instituted by the federal government in 2002 in direct response to a series of corporate and accounting scandals that had occurred. The act aims to protect consumers and investors by mandating companies establish internal controls and reporting methods for their operational documentation. It specifies such aspects as methods for maintaining and storing business records, including electronic communications. 

Document management specialists are hired to monitor government regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley to make sure their company's document management technologies and techniques are legal and that their content is secure. This is a relatively new profession and will continue to grow as current federal regulations change and new laws are introduced regarding corporate document management.  

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