Data. Documents. Content. They are the lifeblood of the business - carrying
messages and information as they circulate from department to department,
satellite office to headquarters, company to supplier. Successful businesses
learn to build once and re-use many times. That goes for content, as well
Content management is an amalgamation of many different applications with the
purpose of leveraging enterprise- or company-wide knowledge assets for competitive
advantage. The content in question can include, but is not limited to, text documents
and memos, spreadsheets, diagrams, Web-based HTML or XML documents, and images, as
well as moving video files. The documents may reside within a single department in
a single location or reside in multiple departments, enterprise-wide.
Businesses move to content and knowledge management for a variety of reasons, but
as seen in
"A 15-Minute Guide to Enterprise Content Management," the key drivers
are: Collaboration, Compliance and/or Consolidation.
Extending technology to leverage work already done by a department located on the
next floor or across the country means more cost effective business process. Knowledge
and content are created once, but can be reused many times to the benefit of multiple
departments, offices or subsidiaries. Collaboration includes:
Management. Providing a structure for employees (especially customer service
and technical support) to commit knowledge to a document, then manage it such
that it can be stored and easily retrieved on demand.
Integration and Delivery.
Separating the contents of the document from the structure. The information may begin life
as a Word document, but with the right Content Management or Integration Software, its contents can be
converted to different file formats for use in a presentation, on a Web site, or in a printed brochure.
and Extranets. Content is published
to a restricted access Web site, so that only the people you choose can access the site. In the case
of Intranets, it's usually employees in other departments or locations. Extranets are usually for
close working partners outside the company, such as suppliers, customers or affiliates.
Although some industries may not be as regulated as others, the trend is toward
more regulation, not less. The need to manage document lifecycles, provide detailed audit
trails, and secure backup in case of disaster is increasing all the time. Compliance includes:
Management. Managing records across a distributed organization can be
challenging. Today's records management systems often need to work with existing
Human Resources or Resource Planning systems by automatically flagging meaningful
documents, and tracking them separately in the Records Management system, specifically
to protect the long-term business processes of the company.
Consolidation (Classification, Taxonomy, Indexing)
According to the University of California at Berkeley, more than 400,000 terabytes (next
measure up from gigabyte) of email is generated worldwide each year. That doesn't even
include the Instant Message logs, telephone logs, contracts, presentations, spreadsheets, and
other files the average business generates.
The key to document storage and retrieval is
Management. More effective management and storage of content can help stretch the
IT budget further. Consolidation includes:
Taxonomy. The science
of classification according to a pre-determined system, with the resulting catalog used
to provide a conceptual framework for discussion, analysis, or information retrieval.
The data that describes data or content. Metadata adds intelligence to stored documents, allowing
for faster Indexing
and quicker storage and retrieval.
- Workflow. Content Management Systems also manage
the review, revision, and approval process for any piece of content according to
user-defined business rules, often called Business
Process Management (BPM). It has inherent workflow and lifecycle management capabilities to
help achieve this.
For more information on choosing the right content management solution for your
company, please read our Content and Knowledge Management
Go to Bitpipe Research Guide: Content and Knowledge Management.