I was recently in a meeting with a client discussing a document management implementation. I was caught off guard when the client suggested that version control was not needed. I was more surprised because the comment came from someone in the legal area where black-lining and versions are core to the legal review and markup process.
It made me wonder why people go to such lengths to create their own version methods which are very manual and prone to error when core software like SharePoint and other document management / file management softwares now have built in version control.
You have the people who name their files v1, v2, v3, vf or vffinal (I have to admit this used to be me too). You have people who put their initials or some real detailed descriptor of version in the file name.
It's strange that people would do this when inherent versions in systems like SharePoint automatically support major or minor versions just when you click save and allow you to revert back to any version if you realize you should not have made an update, and even see the differences in various versions, or delete any unwanted version(s).
It would seem that with all these capabilities people would be frothing at the mouth to leverage these tools and capabilities but people seem far too often to want to stay in the dark ages when the cotton press is waiting for them.
With co-authoring, Microsoft has taken simultaneous document updates and versions to a new level of allowing multiple people to work on a document at once while still maintaining the integrity of the document and being able to track each person's changes. This would seem to be the holy grail of change management and always knowing no matter what you or somebody else does you can see what they did, and undo any updates if you want, or simply go back to an older version.
It seems people have their hearts set on over-engineering manual solutions because of past horrible experiences where they forgot what version they were working on or lost all the work they had done for a whole day. Scarred by these incidents they don't embrace all the new capabilities that the software firms have gifted us.
I suggest it is time to stop fighting progress and give into the modern conveniences we have been provided by software like SharePoint Online and Office 365. By embracing these technologies we can see another period of enlightenment and heightened efficiency at work!
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FinServ Consulting is an independent experienced provider of business consulting, systems development and integration services to alternative asset managers, global banks and their service providers. Founded in 2005, FinServ delivers customized world-class business and IT consulting services for the front, middle and back office, providing managers with optimal and first-class operating environments to support all investment styles and future asset growth. The FinServ team brings a wealth of experience from working with the largest and most complex asset management firms and global banks in the world.