Organizations are buried in content. Some content is important, some is out of date, and some content is vital for an organization to survive and thrive. Content management can provide great help in ensuring that your organization gets the most value out of its content.
Managing content is similar to all the things that accumulate in your house. The longer you live in one place, the more things you accumulate. Most families don’t have retention policies in place for their personal things. They don’t write policies and procedures regarding furniture, electronics, or other things that they meant to fix several years ago and they are now gathering dust in the closet. At some point in time, the closet needs to be cleaned out or there will be no more space in a closet and then in the house.
Why do people decide to get rid of the stuff in their houses? It might be because they’ simply decided that they own too much or they are tired of paying extra money to keep things they are not using at a storage facility or they ran out of space in their house or they have been urged by a family member to stop what looks like hoarding behavior or they’ve decided to downsize and move to a smaller house. Whatever the reasons, the decision to divest themselves of personal goods leads people to donate their goods to a charity or hold a massive yard sale or maybe both.
Organizations do not hold yard sales. The content stored in organizations is frequently, but not always, in digital form. Enterprises are better at replacing outdated computers and worn out desk chairs than deciding which pieces of content are no longer relevant to running the business. Many organizations may not even really know how much content they own or where it resides.
Cleaning Out the Content House
Organizations need enterprise content management to keep their content fresh and to get the most value out of it. They need to clean out their content closets and their information garages from time to time.
Enterprise content management is not a new concept. Companies have been accumulating information for years and managing their content has been a part of business functions in many organizations but not in all organizations. For many, content management has been designed by IT departments and driven by regulatory requirements. It’s concentrated on compliance, with meeting the rules imposed upon them from outside.
Regulatory compliance remains a huge factor in doing business, and enterprise content management plays huge role in ensuring that organizations meet compliance requirements.
When it comes to handling inactive content, companies need to consider archiving by which he means retiring the content rather than keeping it. Retention schedule would greatly help in this task.
A Content Management System (CMS) would help to automate the process of content management. Human element is also very important in content management. It is important to humanize the experience of working with content.
The humans interacting with content could be employees, customers, suppliers, partners, and regulators. For content management to succeed, people must enjoy a digital and, an experience-based interaction. Behind the scenes, a content management system should organize content so that content findability is enhanced without too much work on the part of the person seeking information.
Breaking Down Information Silos
One barrier to content usability is information silos. Today’s content users do not want to constantly switch from one silo to another or from one user interface to another. Multiple systems are simply not intuitive and do not foster the collaboration needed to effectively run a business. So, a content management system should concentrate on changing the silo mentality, breaking down silos of content, and digitally connecting them.
Silos started with people. They store data as their department, their piece of the enterprise, thinks it should be done. They don’t take a holistic view of content. As the result, content ends up in many different systems.
It is important to manage content in place, where it is at the moment and add value to it in a modular way. To add value modularly, you need to think about the difference between different types of content. Modular content management lets you use content you need in real time.
A major change in the content management landscape has been digital transformation. It’s no longer just dealing with regulations. Newer technologies, such as cloud computing and mobile devices, put unprecedented pressure on those responsible for content management. The IT challenges are real and enterprise content management can provide significant assistance in the process.
Digital transformation affects all organizations. Think of the things people used to do in person that they now do online. The retail industry has been hugely affected by technology. Online ordering, price comparisons, product reviews, and mobile payments are now the ordinary way people buy books, electronics, household goods, and almost everything else. Even groceries can be ordered online and delivered to your door.
Digital information, with no paper equivalent, is increasingly the norm for enterprise content. It can be stored in multiple locations by numerous individuals working for different departments. Digital information creates interesting challenges for content management.
The world is becoming more and more digital. Medical records are transitioning to electronic versions. Many patients can now contact their doctors electronically, ask questions by email or in a secure forum-type environment, and view their digital records. Travelers routinely get their airline boarding passes delivered to their phones and choose their hotel room digitally before their arrival in the hotel lobby. Tickets for movie theaters and concerts have gone electronic. Restaurant reservations have also become a digital activity. Any digital activity implies content management.
Not just the consumer commerce is experiencing digital transformation. Regulatory agencies expect reports in digital form. Suppliers and manufacturers communicate digitally and complex supply chains are managed, controlled, and updated with digital systems.
Sensors track delivery trucks so that the trucking company knows where they are and when shipments are expected to arrive at their destination. Retailers and wholesalers alike use digital data for product improvement; fast and tailored distribution to stores, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities; and trend tracking.
Digital transformation makes businesses to become more agile. It is through using digital content in an agile way that allows companies to respond quickly, identify new opportunities, discard what is not working, and find new avenues of profitability. Access to information with the immediacy of digital data gives those who understand it an enormous competitive advantage.
Even though the digital transformation is real, paper documents have not disappeared. Many organizations continue to maintain paper repositories.
Organizations make the best effort on automating and removing paper documents from core business functions and processes.
One example is clinical trials in the pharmaceutical industry. Clinical trials are essential to the new drug approval process and even 10 years ago were usually paper-based, with patients filling out diaries by hand. Today, those paper accounts have largely been replaced by electronic patient reporting to capture information, which leads to more timely and accurate responses by the patient and higher quality data for the pharmaceutical company to analyze.
However, there are still a lot of paper-based documents.
Even though paper documents are digitized somewhere during the workflow sequence, they begin as paper and are often stored as paper.
Organizations are moving from paper documents to digital, but this shift is not complete. Thus, a content management system must acknowledge the existence of paper documents.
Security is foremost in organizations. Part of content management is ensuring that sensitive data is secure in an organization. This means identifying content and its access permissions accordingly.
Safeguarding content is important on both the consumer and the enterprise level. Today’s content is more distributed than ever before. It is not locked up, secured, and then made compliant. Instead, content exists, and sometimes is created outside the enterprise. However, organizations must secure content.
Security is also a function of compliance. Compliance must be in place for all systems. Keeping up with what constitutes compliance and with updates in regulatory requirements should be mandatory.
What about business rules? Every organization has some business rules, and enterprise content systems must conform to these rules. However, even though rules sometimes seem hardwired, they can change and systems need to change when rules change.
Impact on Enterprise Content Management
Digital transformation profoundly affects enterprise content management. Cleaning out the information closets starts with identifying what the organizations needs today and what no longer needed today but might be needed in the future.
Organizations must execute a set of strategies to ensure the content clutter is under control. Enterprise content management is not simply a technical issue. It is rooted in the human element.
Becoming a digital enterprise and building a digital platform comes with the territory of digital transformation. Still, essential elements of content management must be addressed. Determining value of stored content is extremely important.
Galaxy Consulting has over 20 years experience in content management. Please call us today for a free consultation.