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

Enterprise Content Management: The Next Frontier -WebReference-

Enterprise Content Management: The Next Frontier

Web content has become the primary vehicle for communication with customers and employees. The requirement for effective web content, comprehensive and up-to-date web sites, and the growing volume of web content have resulted in more and more organizations implementing web content management systems. However, as web content has become better controlled organizations have realized that their organization develops and must manage much more than just web content. TodayÂ’s businesses are overwhelmed with the need to create more content, more quickly, customized for more customers and for more media than ever before. They need to control their enterprise content and determine how to leverage their web content to address all their customer information and media needs. Organizations are now turning towards enterprise content management. The role of web content will not be diminished as organizations move to enterprise content management; rather web content will be integrated in the complete enterprise unified content strategy. This article introduces the concepts of enterprise content management, identifies how web content can be integrated into a unified content strategy, and the tools and technologies required to support enterprise content management. This article also looks at how the skills for web content management can be leveraged to support enterprise content management.

The role of content

A typical organization has multiple content creators who design, create, manage, and distribute information. Virtually every department within an organization touches content in some way. For example there are:

  ·       Multiple content creators within the organization

    ·       Marketing/Communications

    ·       HR

    ·       Engineering/Product development

    ·       Technical publications/product support

    ·       Training

    ·       Customer support

  ·       Creating numerous information products

    ·       Brochures, product information sheets, proposals, press releases, speeches, presentations, annual reports
    ·       Employee training materials, policies and procedures

    ·       User guides, online help, reference documents, application guides

    ·       Product specifications, design documents, test plans

    ·       Regulatory materials

    ·       FAQs, customer support materials

    ·       Classroom or web-based training

  ·       For multi-channel delivery

    ·       Paper

    ·       Web

    ·       Wireless

  ·       For multiple content users

    ·       Customers

    ·       Suppliers

    ·       Channel partners

    ·       Employees

Too often, content is created by authors working in isolation from other authors within the organization. Walls are erected among content areas and even within content areas, which leads to content being created, and recreated, and recreated, often with changes or differences at each iteration. We call this The Content Silo Trap™. Content silos can have detrimental effects on organizations, resulting in increased costs, reduced quality, and potentially ineffective materials. While it has been possible to more effectively create, manage, and deliver web content, the web content process has created a silo in most organizations. Web content managers frequently have to take content originally designed for paper and convert it to HTML or take files created in authoring tools designed to create effective paper-based materials not online materials. Not only do they have to convert content to HTML, the content often has to be rewritten and redesigned to ensure that the web materials are effective. This is a time consuming and often onerous task. If content originally designed for the web needs to be reused in paper the process is reversed and often just as onerous. Some content management systems make it possible to repurpose content into multiple media, but content is not optimized for the media reducing its effectiveness for customers.

Enterprise content management and a unified content strategy can help your organization to avoid the Content Silo Trap, reducing the costs of creating, managing, and distributing content, and ensuring that content effectively supports your organizational and customer needs. Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is the creation, capture, delivery, customization, and management of content across an enterprise/division. 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 customersÂ’ needs.

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

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