Enterprise Content Management: The Next Frontier -WebReference- | 5 | WebReference

Enterprise Content Management: The Next Frontier -WebReference- | 5

Enterprise Content Management: The Next Frontier

Implementing your strategy

A unified content strategy needs much more than just a content management system. An effective strategy begins at the authoring stage and ends at the delivery stage and is continually revisited to ensure it continues to meet the needs of authors, content, and customers. When implementing your strategy, you need to assess how authoring, content management, and delivery tools will help to support content reuse.

  ·       Authoring

    Before content can be managed, manipulated, or reused, it must be created. To support a unified content strategy, content must be written so that it can be structured and reused according to the content life cycle. When evaluating authoring tools, give serious consideration to whether you should maintain your traditional authoring tools or move to structured editors (e.g., XML).

  ·       Content management systems

    The most common content management systems are web content management systems. While they support web, and often wireless content very well, they usually donÂ’t support enterprise content. Many well-known web content management tools have moved towards the support of full enterprise content management. However, these ECM tools may support different types of enterprise content. Verify that the tools support your complete spectrum of content. Look for tools that support enterprise content workflow as well.

  ·       Delivery

    Delivery systems have many different capabilities. The content management system may have built-in facilities for delivering content, or you may have to integrate a delivery system with your content management system. Some delivery systems will enable you to deliver to a variety of outputs (e.g., web, HTML, PDF) while others may be restricted to a single output. Determine your delivery requirements and see if your content management system will support them.

Leveraging web skills

Web developers bring an invaluable set of skills to enterprise content management including:

  ·        Web site design

  ·        Portal design

  ·        Categorization metadata design

  ·        Content management repository design

  ·        Workflow design

And existing skills can be expanded to include:

  ·        Element metadata design

  ·        Information modeling

  ·        XML (DTD/Schema and XSL) creation

Web developers can effectively move into enterprise content management to assist their organizations in effectively creating and managing all their content.


Managing your enterprise content using a unified content strategy fits everywhere in your organization, including customer relationship management, the web site, e-commerce, product training and support, and corporate policies and procedures. In fact, if your organization is like most, there are already a number of initiatives underway to address problems related to content creation and management. However, creating content in isolation— and addressing content problems in isolation—solves only the immediate problem and leads to the content silo trap. It does not address content creation, management, delivery and reuse in a unified way, and hence, may compound problems. A unified content strategy is a repeatable method of identifying all content requirements up front, creating consistently structured content for reuse, managing that content in a definitive source, and assembling content on demand to meet your customers’ needs. Enterprise content management is the next logical step in content management and web developers can help make it happen.


Ann Rockley is president of The Rockley Group. Ann Rockley has an international reputation in the field of e-content, content management, and e-learning. She's doing ground-breaking work in the field of information design for content reuse and enterprise content management. She regularly speaks at dozens of conferences around the world on the topic of e-content, content management, and single sourcing. She provides papers, participates on panels, and gives workshops both at conferences and client sites. Ann is an Associate Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication and has a Master of Information of Science degree from the University of Toronto. She teaches enterprise content management at the University of Toronto.

Here's more information on her book "Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy."

[1] This example is reused with permission from “Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy” New Riders Publishing, Oct. 2002, ISBN 0-7357-1306-5

[2] Not shown in illustration, but included on additional web pages.

[3] This example is reused with permission from Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy, New Riders Publishing, Oct. 2002 ISBN 0735713065


Created: April 21, 2003
Revised: April 21, 2003

URL: http://webreference.com/internet/enterprise