Document Management Software Costs For Your Business

August 10, 2023
Document Management Software Costs For Your Business


Document Management Software Costs For Your Business

Unraveling The Mystery Of Document Management Software Costs

Ever wondered how much a document management system (also referred to document management software, or DMS), might set you back? Whether it would be harmful or helpful for your team? Or what factors contribute to the overall cost of implementing such a system? 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll demystify the costs associated with DMS, helping you understand what you’re paying for and why. 

By the end, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to make an informed decision about the best DMS for your business needs and budget.



What Is Document Management Software?

A DMS, also known as a document organization system or digital document software, is an electronic solution designed to store, track, and archive files. 

It offers multiple benefits, including reduced expenditure on paper storage, improved collaboration, enhanced customer service, and compliance with federal or regulatory mandates.

With a DMS, businesses can improve efficiency, enhance collaboration, and better comply with regulations. 

Key features of a great DMS include:

  • Check-in & out
  • Version control
  • Audit trail
  • Security and access controls
  • Storage location


Document Management Software Pricing Models

DMS vendors typically offer two popular pricing models: subscription hosting plans (cloud) and perpetual licensing (on-premise).

Subscription Hosting Plans (Cloud)

In a subscription model, the vendor hosts the software on its servers, and the company pays a monthly or annual subscription fee. 

This model is beneficial for companies that don’t want to host and maintain their data. The standard pricing structure is per user per month, and is usually based on the number of employees who access the software. 

Cost Range

Low-end options: $10-$20 per user per month

Mid-range options: $20-$50 per user per month

High-end options: $50-$100+ per user per month


Perpetual Licensing (On-Premise)

With perpetual licensing, the company hosts the data on its own servers, so it only needs to pay for the software upfront. 

It may pay a recurring cost, typically annually, for maintenance or support. This model is an attractive option for businesses that are concerned with data security or have complex needs. 

Cost Range

Low-end options: $500-$1,500 for a small business with fewer than 10 users

Mid-range options: $1,500-$5,000 for a mid-sized business with 10-100 users

High-end options: $5,000-$20,000+ for large enterprises with over 100 users


Factors Influencing The Cost Of A Document Management System

The cost of a DMS can be influenced by various factors.

Number of Users

The number of users who need access to the system can significantly impact the cost. 

Most DMS vendors price their software on a per-user basis. Therefore, a small business with few users will likely pay less than a large corporation with hundreds of users.


Amount of Data Needed

The amount of data to be managed is another crucial factor. 

More data means more storage and more storage means higher costs. Businesses with vast amounts of data may need to invest in additional storage or opt for a DMS plan that includes more storage space.



The ability of the DMS to integrate with other systems can also influence the cost. If a DMS has high system compatibility or integration capability, it may command a higher price.


Level of Support Required

The level of support required can also affect the cost. 

Some businesses may need extensive support, especially during the implementation phase or if they have a large, less tech-savvy user base. Vendors often offer different levels of support, with higher levels of support costing more.


Specific Features Needed

The specific features needed by the business will also play a role in determining the final price. 

More advanced features or customizations will likely result in higher costs. Businesses should carefully assess their needs and only pay for the features they need.


Additional Costs To Consider

When budgeting for a DMS, it’s important to consider potential additional costs. 

These may include implementation costs (such as installation and software customization), training costs, and support costs. Some vendors include these services in their base price, while others charge extra.


close up of man typing at laptop with transparent floating icons of documents


On-Premise vs. Cloud-Based DMS Pros And Cons

The costs associated with on-premise and cloud-based DMS can vary significantly.

On-Premise DMS

  • Pros
    • Greater control over data
    • Potentially lower long-term costs
    • Ideal for businesses with specific data security needs or complex requirements
  • Cons
    • Higher upfront costs
    • Requires in-house IT staff for implementation and management

Cloud-Based DMS

  • Pros
    • Lower upfront costs
    • Vendor handles software updates and maintenance
    • Ideal for businesses that prefer not to host and maintain their data


  • Cons
    • Ongoing subscription fees
    • Less control over data


DMS Vendor Pricing

The pricing for DMS solutions can vary greatly among different vendors. 

Some vendors provide transparent pricing information on their sites, while others prefer to give a specialized quote, as companies’ requirements for software tend to vary. 

It’s important to get a specialized quote to ensure you’re only paying for the features and services you need.


DMS Cost Examples

To give you a better idea of the costs associated with different DMS, here are some examples:


This enterprise-level DMS is available from about $2,500 per year, including installation and professional support, with no further license costs. All plugins and tools are included free of charge.


Microsoft SharePoint

This widely used enterprise-level DMS can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud. The cost of a SharePoint license can range from $5 to $35 per user per month, with a minimum of 100 users. The charge for customizing and deploying a SharePoint solution can vary widely depending on the complexity of the solution.


Google Drive

This cloud-based DMS is part of the Google Workspace suite of products. The cost of a Google Drive subscription can range from $6 to $25 per user per month, with a minimum of 5 users. The cost of customizing and deploying a Google Drive solution is typically lower in comparison to an on-premise solution.



This DMS can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud. The cost of an M-Files license can range from $20 to $50 per user per month, with a minimum of 10 users. The cost of customizing and deploying an M-Files solution can vary depending on the complexity of the solution.



This cloud-based DMS offers a range of pricing options, starting from $300 per month for 4 users. The cost of customizing and deploying a DocuWare solution is typically lower in comparison to an on-premise solution.


Quadient Impress

This cloud-based DMS offers several variations in its software to tailor a solution to your goals. Qudient is a vendor that provides specialized quotes due to the depth of its intelligent software options. These plans usually start around $10,000 and can go up to the hundreds of thousands.

Remember, these are just examples, and actual costs can vary based on your specific needs and the vendor’s pricing structure.



Importance Of DMS Costs And Prices

Understanding the costs and prices of a DMS is crucial for several reasons:

Budget Constraints:

The acquisition of a DMS can significantly impact an organization’s budget. By considering the cost of a DMS, organizations can determine if the solution is within their budget and allocate resources accordingly.


Return on Investment (ROI)

The expenses for the software must also be weighed against the potential return on investment (ROI). Organizations must calculate how the DMS will improve productivity, efficiency, and compliance, and how these improvements will affect the bottom line.



The cost of a DMS must be considered in the context of scalability. Organizations must determine if the cost of the DMS is affordable for the long term as the organization grows and expands.


Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

Not only the initial purchase price is important, but also recurring fees which include maintenance, upgrades, and support. The total cost of ownership (TCO) of a DMS must be observed to ensure that the solution is affordable in the long term.


The Best Document Management Software For Your Business

Choosing the best DMS for your business involves considering your specific needs, budget, and total cost of ownership (TCO). 

It’s not just about the sticker price; you also need to consider the return on investment (ROI) the system will provide. 

A more expensive system with advanced features and excellent support might provide a better ROI than a cheaper system with fewer features and poor support.

Some document management systems are developed for specific industries. A niche DMS may be pricier, but could pay dividends.

Starting your business with a DMS that’s designed to support the specialized operations in your industry could help lessen the learning curve within your team. 


Why Lineage is Your Go-To for Document Management Solutions

Throughout this guide, we’ve explored the costs associated with document management systems and the factors that influence these costs. With this knowledge, you’re now equipped to make an informed decision about the best DMS for your business. 

At Lineage, we’re committed to helping you find the right document management software for your business. Our solutions are designed to provide maximum value for your investment, ensuring you get the features you need without breaking the bank.

Maybe Quadient Impress, or Inspire, is right for you. Many Lineage customers have found operational ease and client success in these cloud-based DMS solutions after incorporating them into their document and customer communication workflow.

Ready to take the next step? Fill out our contact form today, or give us a call. We’re here to help you navigate the world of document management software costs.