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by martin owen  |  August 4, 2022

The Role of Content in Compliance

Content Complexity

Raise content compliance awareness across your organization to better “COPE” with challenges

A lot of organizations struggle with context complexity and regulatory compliance because they haven’t centralized their content operations. They also tend to miss the larger picture in terms of planning and adopting the right technology to help them efficiently create and manage compliant content with speed and scale.

Thousands of pieces of content, whether customer-facing or not, live in numerous enterprise systems. Ensuring it’s all compliant is further challenging because so many people across functions are involved in creating, reviewing, managing and distributing it. But compliance for content management is a key consideration, especially in highly regulated industries like financial services, healthcare, pharma and government.

Quark is aware of the risks of lawsuits, financial penalties, business disruption, lost revenue and reputational damage caused by failing to act in accordance with government laws, industry regulations, or prescribed best practices are too real and too great to ignore. Interestingly, a study from Ponemon and Globalscape reported that noncompliance is three times more expensive than compliance when you look at the costs: $5.47 million to comply versus an average of $14.82 million to not comply.

Because Quark is in the content technology business, working with customers who must meet certain compliance standards, we decided to sponsor a webinar with Compliance Week on “The Role of Content in Compliance” with featured speaker Kathleen Pierce, principal analyst at Forrester who specializes in content strategy and operations. I’d like to touch on a few of the key ideas she shared that resonate with me.

Foster a culture of compliance

In the webinar, Kathleen explained that content operations and compliance professionals are natural partners who should work together to create and maintain a risk model with links to the laws and regulations that govern your industry and therefore your company by country and region. Ideally, compliance should be built into every stage of content lifecycle management: planning, creation, collaboration, assembly, publishing and analysis.

Watch for the danger in content combinations

Kathleen also noted in her presentation that there isn’t a lot of unique content within an organization. Rather, content tends to use and reuse the same underlying information and messaging in many different ways. Compliance challenges tend to arise when existing content is combined or recombined using manual processes with a lack of reviewer bandwidth. Indeed, copying and pasting pieces of numerous documents into a new one is time-consuming, multiplies the likelihood of errors, and makes personalization difficult.

Consider adopting modular content for reuse and scale

Traditional documents are linear and monolithic, but modular content is componentized (broken down into segments that can be text blocks, data, images, slides, etc.) and tagged with metadata so it can be combined and reused dynamically. According to Kathleen’s presentation, modular content is the only way to “COPE” with content complexity and compliance, meaning “create it once and publish it everywhere.” Exactly! Don’t rewrite when you can reuse for omnichannel publishing to increase accuracy while reducing time to market.

Evaluate available technology tools

Kathleen has worked in the content realm for almost 30 years and has seen the technology landscape evolve throughout that time. In her presentation, she reminds organizations that they don’t have to “limp along with outdated tools.” Of course, we couldn’t agree more since we provide content creation automation and intelligence software to help companies accomplish their objectives, including compliance.

Content is complex business. It’s also costly – not only in terms of general production costs but also when you factor in the rules and regulations that must be followed for the greater good. For example, Life Science Reader reported a statistic that it costs between $800 million to $1.2 billion to bring a new drug to market, and 25% of this cost is associated with meeting regulatory content requirements. And again, we’re not talking about customer-facing content. Regulatory agencies like the FDA issue citations to pharma companies for inadequate or lack of proper standard operating procedures (SOPs) for production and process controls. They also are cited if the revisions to those procedures are not documented properly.

Measuring risk and maturity across all your content functions is really important, as Kathleen noted in her presentation. And with the right platform, you can enable a whole range of centralized and decentralized content creators to deliver content assets more quickly, accurately and cost effectively while adhering to compliance requirements.

I’ve only covered a few of the highlights from Kathleen’s informative presentation with lots more practical advice about how to build compliance into your content and organizational culture. You’ll want to watch the replay of “The Role of Content in Compliance” here.

And to learn more about Quark Publishing Platform (QPP) NextGen and how it can help your subject-matter experts author modularized, reusable and compliance-controlled content within a universal, enterprise-wide taxonomy, request a demo.

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