Enterprise Content Management: The Next Frontier -WebReference- | 2 | WebReference

Enterprise Content Management: The Next Frontier -WebReference- | 2

Enterprise Content Management: The Next Frontier

A unified content strategy is a coherent content strategy. Organizations can rely on content being the same wherever it appears, providing both internal and external customers with a consistent message, brand, and accuracy. No longer do organizations have to worry about contradicting themselves with differing information; where duplication occurs, it is the same content. Additional benefits include:

  ·       Faster time to market

    Faster time to market is achieved through shorter content creation and maintenance cycles. Authors spend less time repeatedly authoring content because they reuse existing content wherever possible, supplementing it with new or modified content where appropriate. Reviewers also spend less time reviewing content because they only have to review the content that is new or changed; existing content has already been reviewed and signed off.

  ·       Better use of resources

    In a unified content strategy, resources are optimized because the repetitive processes of creation and maintenance are reduced. Because they are required to do less repetitive work, everyone involved in the content creation process can do more value-added work or respond to new requirements.

  ·       Reduced costs

    In a unified content strategy, the costs of creating and managing content are reduced. Less work is required to get a product to market, not only decreasing internal costs, but potentially increasing revenue. Content is modified or corrected once instead of multiple times, reducing maintenance costs. Translation costs are reduced because reusable content is translated only once instead of multiple times; derivatives of that content are eliminated or reduced.

  ·       Improved quality of content

    A unified content strategy helps to improve the quality of content. Content is clearly modeled for consistent structure; increasing its readability and usability. Most importantly, content is accurate and consistent wherever it appears. Issues of inaccurate content, inconsistent content, or missing content are reduced or eliminated.

Creating content once, extracting appropriate content for each of the deliverables, and automatically formatting that content appropriately can significantly reduce costs and speed time-to-market. Organizations we have worked with have identified 25-60% of their content as reusable, with some as high as 80%. Some of that content can be identically reused (no change to the content) while in other cases it can be used derivatively (reuse much of the content but change a portion of it). These results are the same in pharmaceutical, medical devices, finance, insurance, high tech industry, and any other industry we have worked in.

The process

Creating a unified content strategy involves four phases:

  ·       Analyzing existing content and the processes to create and manage it

  ·       Designing information models and supporting metadata

  ·       Creating unified processes to create and manage content

  ·       Implementing your strategy

Analyzing content and processes

Analysis is key to a successful unified content strategy. You need to figure out “what’s going on” with your content, how it’s being used, how it’s being managed, as well as the processes you use to create, publish, and store it. Not surprisingly, you will find that these processes vary across the organization. During the analysis phase, you:

  ·       Determine where it really “hurts”

    To discover where your organization is hurting the most, you need to understand the dangers and challenges facing your organization, the opportunities that can be realized if change occurs successfully, and the strengths your organization can build on to implement these changes.

  ·       Identify your content life cycle

    To implement a unified content strategy, you need unified processes so that everyone involved in developing, storing, and publishing content does it the same way, or at minimum is able to interact effectively with each other and share content. To understand where you need to focus your efforts, though, you need to examine your content life cycle and any issues associated with it.

  ·       Perform a content audit

    Before you can model your content—and subsequently, unify it—you need to gain an intimate understanding of its nature and structure. During a content audit, you look at your organizationÂ’s content analytically and critically, allowing you to identify opportunities for reuse and the type of reuse. The purpose of a content audit is to analyze how content is used, reused, and delivered to its various audiences. You need to understand how information—as well as the processes to create it—can be unified, eliminating the “cut and paste” method many authors employ in their attempt to unify content wherever possible. Once you see how your information is being used and reused, you can make decisions about how you might unify it.

Created: February 18, 2003
Revised: February 18, 2003

URL: http://webreference.com/programming/professional/chap6/1