One thing to keep in mind is that the mess and disorganization that companies suffer without a document management system is different from the mess of a paper filing cabinet. It’s not about where the files are stored, it’s about how they are stored and accessed. A successful document management system is not a location but a framework. And this framework, more often than not, should be understood as a workflow.
Document management systems need to accommodate both strict user provisioning as well as version control. Both of these criteria can be met by a workflow that surrounds the documents, only granting access under certain conditions, and maintaining a full audit trail into any and all changes.
Workflows are subject to conditions that sound like “if this happens, then we want this other thing to happen.” For document management systems, this means that “if the requester has this role or is in this department, then we want them to immediately be able to access x, y, and z category of document.” But the document management system may also have some safety measures: certain documents may be “locked,” and new versions may trigger approvals or escalations.