Creating and publishing business-critical content is complicated, cumbersome, and expensive. This is especially true when it comes to large, complex documents subject to corporate or government regulation, such as financial reports, pharma labeling, legal and technical documentation, and government legislation. These documents must be delivered securely, often via multiple channels, both physical and virtual, including digital documents and web pages in addition to print. On the receiving end, expectations for timely (or even immediate) and accurate information have increased significantly. As the pace of business continues to accelerate, the requirement for compliance-controlled omnichannel content also accelerates, so organizations must be nimble to comply, meet consumer demand and stay competitive.
Componentized content (or “intelligent content”) provides organizations with this agility. Componentized content is designed to be modular, structured, reusable, format-agnostic, and, most important, adaptable. Because content components are reusable across multiple formats and channels, organizations can accelerate time to market. Creation, editing, and review time is reduced, making processes more operationally efficient and cost-effective. Perhaps most important, errors, omissions, and inconsistencies are all reduced, and regulated content can be more easily controlled and updated. This minimizes legal, regulatory, security, and reputational risks for organizations.
Traditionally, componentized content required specialized authoring tools and content management systems, along with expertise in tagging content using standards such as XML and DITA. These tools were used by dedicated technical writers, thus isolating content creation from the subject-matter experts (SMEs), introducing errors, and creating new types of roadblocks and inefficiencies – all of which negate key benefits of componentized content.
In today’s modern, digital-first enterprise, low-code/no-code tools are being placed in the hands of those SMEs and other business users, mitigating the aforementioned inefficiencies. In recent global IDC research, 26% of respondents told us that non-technical people within the business are users of low-code tools, and 41% told us that non-technical people within the business are users of no-code tools (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: Non-Technical Users of Low-Code/No-Code ToolsSource: IDC, Future Enterprise Resiliency & Spending Survey, Wave 5, June 2021, N=796
In another survey, we asked decision makers if their line-of-business (LOB) workforce will get directly involved in automating aspects of their own work in 2022. Almost half – 45% – of those decision makers told us that the LOB workforce is already automating their own work, and another 42% indicated that they will be doing so. We asked those folks about the key requirements for employees to be successful automating their work, and 25% ranked “easy to use tools” as the top prerequisite (source: Future of Work Global Survey, IDC, April 2022, N=1126).
Publishing is following suit. Today, low-code and no-code tools are available to put modular, componentized content creation, assembly, and management for compliant omnichannel publishing in the hands of business users and SMEs. In many cases, these content automation tools offer a familiar user interface, such as that found in Microsoft Word. No DITA or XML expertise is required – XML tagging is automatically generated in the background. Metadata is generated automatically, so SMEs can concentrate on sharing their knowledge, not rearchitecting a 1,000-page document into document components or multiple versions. In addition to authoring capabilities, modern solutions provide a centralized, cloud-based content repository to manage component reuse and version control while connecting it to the wider content ecosystem.
A common theme that IDC hears from business and IT leaders is the belief that we now live and compete in a digital-first world. Customers, partners, and employees are asking: “Is there some digital-based capability/enhancement that could improve our lives and achieve desired outcomes?” As we enter the era of the digital-first business, agility is paramount. It’s time to put intelligent, agile content into the hands of your business users and SMEs, so they can deliver more up-to-date, compliant, and accurate information more rapidly – and deliver competitive differentiation to your business.
Organizations ready to make the shift to “intelligent content” should consider the Quark Publishing Platform and its low-code/no-code componentized authoring tools as well as its collaboration workflows, component management, assembly, omnichannel publishing and content analytics. It’s time to thrive in the digital-first world.