How these changes point to the adoption of content automation
Two inventions drastically changed how society communicates and shares information: the printing press and the internet, and they continue to impact both our personal and professional lives. Our need for content has not only given rise to The Wall Street Journal online and Netflix but also changed how banks, pharmaceutical companies and car manufacturers publish their content, such as statements, product labels and user manuals.
Enterprise content publishing continues to evolve, so I’d like to discuss the major paradigm shifts affecting what content is encountered and how and when it’s consumed. Those responsible for creating, managing and publishing enterprise content in its various forms may want to consider the potential upside of these changes. They will help you improve your work and ensure it ends up in the right format, delivered to the right people via the right channel at the right time.
So let’s look at the seven paradigm shifts in enterprise content publishing:
1. From print‐centric to digital‐centric: Most organizations’ processes and systems are geared toward creating and distributing print documents. Digital transformation demands that enterprises adopt processes, business rules and solutions specifically designed for a digital ecosystem and a digital-first strategy – or in many cases, even a mobile-first strategy. Content automation is the bridge to this transition and will help you successfully inform, engage and build trust among both internal and external stakeholders.
2. From ‘What You See Is What You Get’ (WYSIWYG) to ‘What You See Is What You Mean’ (WYSIWYM): One considerable drawback of WYSIWYG is that it saddles content creators with the mundane, low value duty of formatting content. So in a financial firm, for example, highly paid analysts spend a chunk of time frustratedly fumbling around with fonts and design elements. Instead, these analysts should be focused on authoring high-value content. With content automation, they create modular content that can be assembled and reused in various document templates, depending on the audience and purpose. Content automation technology reduces complexity and allows subject-matter experts and designers to focus on their respective core responsibilities.
3. From monolithic documents to structured content components: Traditional content creation processes piece together long, static blocks of content into a document. When a portion of that content is needed elsewhere, authors must search for it and then copy and paste it into the new document. This approach is time-consuming, error-prone and risky because the author doesn’t know if the content is current or compliant, and personalization is difficult. Content automation makes it easy to create content components tagged with XML metadata and kept in a central repository (CCMS) for version control. When authors need a specific piece of content, they can search for it easily using the tag to pull in the up-to-date, compliance-controlled content module. Structured content components dramatically improve author efficiency and reduce the risk of publishing outdated material. Content components also support omnichannel publishing, creating a content module once that is and simple to personalize, regionalize and deliver across print, web, mobile and more.
4. From a linear content workflow to content collaboration: Traditional, print‐centric and unstructured content processes follow a linear workflow. Author A drafts a document and sends it to Author B to embellish. Eventually, the draft makes its way to the legal department, which delays the process while they add or revise the required ‘small print.’ This approach doesn’t foster collaboration among content creators, significantly extending the content production cycle while wasting time on low‐value, back‐and‐forth communications. With content automation, multiple, role-based workflows can be preconfigured so that authors and all required reviewers can work on their respective content components simultaneously. For example, an analyst creates a document incorporating a content tag for a legal disclaimer, while the corporate attorney revises the disclaimer at the same time, independent of other content contributors. Reviews and approvals are faster, increasing the efficiency of the entire content creation stage to accelerate time to market and promote right‐time, revenue‐creation and cost‐reduction objectives.
5. From no document schema to taxonomy and metadata: The tagging of content empowers companies to deliver highly personalized, compliant content to external audiences. Rather than creating monolithic, one-time documents, companies can create templates that leverage content tags and follow prescribed business rules. Automation makes it possible to generate content on the fly to meet right‐time standards. Not only is this approach highly efficient and cost-effective, but it’s also the only approach that makes personalization at scale possible.
6. From paper/monitor to bring your own device (BYOD): The proliferation of digital content has coincided with the widespread adoption of laptops, smartphones and tablets. Most digital content is now consumed on mobile devices. At the same time, the workforce is becoming more mobile, choosing to work from home and in locations other than the traditional office. A content automation solution enables the paperless, digital authoring and distribution of content via multiple mobile devices.
7. From multichannel publishing to omnichannel publishing: Digital content is eminently more portable and adaptable than print content and is now the leading consumption format due to its granularity and multi-device scalability. To meet users’ right‐place expectations, companies need the flexibility to deliver accurate, consistent content through existing and emerging channels as quickly and easily as possible. Content automation is a force multiplier, streamlining the traditional multichannel process that requires a one-to-one effort to create content for each channel to a one-to-many effort for omnichannel, meaning the ability to create a piece of content once and publish it to all channels simultaneously, without compromising format or design
Use these seven paradigm shifts to guide your evaluation of and investment in a content automation platform, taking a crawl, walk and then run approach to its implementation. Start with a small step, such as implementing a single document type or channel. Learn from any mistakes, improve the process, and then add more documents, users, locations and channels. A measured deployment allows your organization to set realistic expectations, maintain stakeholder buy-in and support, and increases your chances of realizing maximum value.
With Quark Publishing Platform (QPP) NextGen, you’ll be able to address all seven enterprise publishing paradigm shifts and take a closed-loop approach to content lifecycle management. From content creation to consumption, we can help you automate all the associated processes to improve the effectiveness and ROI of your enterprise content.