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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

8 Insights about ECM for the CIO

12:51:00 PM Posted by Oscar Berg , , 1 comment
1. Everything is content

“Everything that is intended to communicate something is content (text, numbers, pictures, sound, video). Content is what is contained within a web page, document, graphic file or a record in a database. Content is not to be confused with the media that carries it, the paper that the text is printed on, or the web page that presents it. Content is the encoded message, the contents of a book, document or mp3 file. The book or file is simply a container. The same content can be re-purposed and/or reused and put in different containers.” (From the post "Content Essentials")

Simply put, everything humans produce that is intended to communicate something is content, whether it is information and/or feelings that the receiver is intended to experience.

2. Content is the monster under the bed

More and more people produce more and more content while very little of the content is disposed. The content is produced with different applications, formatted differently and stored and distributed on multiple locations. Much of the content is unmanaged, outdated, incorrect, redundant and insufficiently described to be easily found and managed. All together, this makes it harder for people to find and use the content they need when they need it.

3. It costs not to find content

There are several costs of not finding content, such as time and effort spent on looking for content, costs occurring from to the inability to perform tasks correctly due to incorrect content, costs for reproducing content, or costs occurring from not being able to perform tasks to that the content is not found at all. These are unacceptable costs that an enterprise needs to deal with and avoid.

4. The value of content is determined when it is used

"Added value is often connected to the end of a process, i.e. when a product is finished (i.e. “produced”) it is ready to be consumed, as an end consumer product or as input to another process...///...the process perspective can help us calculate a net value of content based on the gap between the costs of producing the content connected to the value it brings to its consumer." (From the post “Perspectives on the Value of Content”)

5. Context is king

“Content can inform and create experiences for the content consumer. Information is something that exists only in the consumer’s mind, a result of cognitive processes. This insight makes it natural to think about who the consumer is or might be when producing content...//...Context is what surrounds the content, helping the content consumer to understand what the content is about, who created it, what its intended use is, and so on. Content that is used to describe other content is commonly called metadata. The metadata enriches the content with descriptions that put the content in a context and makes it easier to understand and use for the content consumer. Context is king, an absolute necessity for communication to be successful.” (From the post "Content Essentials")

It is essential to consider the context (user, need/task, location, culture…) in which the content is to be used when ensuring that the right users get the content they need when they need it. And the content itself must be placed in the right context (relationships to other content) so that it can be found, perceived and interpreted correctly by the right user. The content also needs the right metadata to be managed and delivered in the right way with IT.

6. Valuable content must be managed as other assets

"...investing in producing content assets that nobody or few experiences is most often a waste of resources. It also means that if we have invested in producing a content asset we should make an effort to re-use it in different products and channels for maximizing consumption and generation of value. Digitized goods like content are unique because it is relatively easy to re-produce them for re-use" (From the post "A portfolio of content assets")

7. Content Management is a means for Information Management

“The fields of Business Intelligence, Document Management, Records Management and so on are all about both Content Management and Information Management. Although they are taking different perspectives on communication processes based on the type or nature of the content that is to communicate the message, they share the same goal - to ensure that the intended receiver(s) gets the right information or experience in the right time. In other words, they are all about Information Management. And, they are all about Content Management since the process (content) needs to be managed if the content is to be handled and delivered in a secure and efficient way to the intended receiver.” (From the post "Information Management & Content Management")

8. Every enterprise needs a strategy for managing its content

“Knowing where you are, where to go, and how to get there is a basic requirement in orientation. Any strategy includes these components. Many enterprises do not seem to do this basic orientation when it comes to ECM. Maybe it is because of an uncertainty about what to address in such a strategy?” (From the post "Components Of An ECM Strategy")


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