Content takes many forms within an organization – from credit card applications to manuals, employee manuals to product safety data sheets. Content is more than just documents; it fuels experiences, is the focal point of many processes and, if left unchecked, exposes companies to financial, regulatory and brand risks.
Businesses on their digital transformation journeys this year will need to develop a strategic roadmap for content services to simplify the way they manage, govern and transform their use of explosive volumes of content. Follow these steps to revamp your content services strategy and become a content-driven business:
1. Discover and digitize content across the enterprise.
While some organizations have, in large part, captured and digitized paper documents in archives, many companies have not made much of their content discoverable and actionable. File shares, SharePoint and Teams site usage have exploded as more employees work remotely. Unmanaged, sensitive and valuable information contained in documents, images, spreadsheets and more on these file shares and sites contributes to lost productivity and increased risk. Organizations are missing out on opportunities to glean valuable business information from this content when it is not being managed or governed.
Digitizing your content is the key first step in your content services strategy. Digitization is not just the act of capturing and digitizing documents in digital form. The true digitization of this information allows you to discover what content exists, what it contains, and understand what value it presents to the organization. The digitization of this content extracts valuable metadata, allowing the organization to enforce policies to best manage and govern content – it may contain personally identifiable information and should be redacted when used. This process also allows the organization to identify if the content is redundant with other sources and helps eliminate costs. Additionally, the organization can use digitized content to automate processes, including content-rich processes involving complex interactions between humans, content, systems, and processes, such as employee onboarding, audits compliance and opening a new bank account.
2. Deploy a content services solution to both govern and put content into action.
Digitizing your content is only the first step in transforming your business content services strategy. The goal of organizations should be to make their content actionable – and the way to do that is to use a content services solution that can both govern content and make it accessible to people, applications and processes. in need.
Modern content platforms provide an open, flexible, and scalable architecture that enables organizations to better manage and use existing content located across the enterprise. Federating access to disparate content sources makes it easier for organizations to centralize access without having to migrate content to a single repository while minimizing the online impact of business applications and employees.
In today’s privacy-conscious business world, content service solutions must help organizations manage that content to meet regulatory compliance and privacy requirements. This includes enforcing policies to effectively govern the use of content, on the fly, based on what the content contains. This also includes taking specific actions, such as writing sensitive or personally identifiable information, when content is viewed and used by different people in the organization. Governance of this content also requires automation to manage both the lifecycle of this information and the handling of requests, such as capturing and handling a delete request. This allows organizations to more easily locate and manage sensitive content in order to comply with data regulations – such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) – and to easily manage requests for removal rights, if and when they arrive. This can help organizations avoid heavy regulatory fines, while increasing their credibility and positioning them as a good corporate citizen.
3. Make sure your content services can cover a hybrid IT environment.
Organizations are increasingly looking to deploy applications on-premises, in private and public cloud and multicloud environments to better meet customer needs in today’s uncertain business environment. According to the Flexera report, 93% of companies have a multi-cloud strategy and 87% have a hybrid cloud strategy. The interoperability of a hybrid IT model has been particularly important with the rise of remote working due to the pandemic, as it allows content and data to move between private repositories and public clouds as workflow and business needs change. In addition to keeping up with the movement of content across the enterprise, a hybrid model also lowers the costs of ownership for organizations compared to companies that operate in a fully cloud environment.
Many organizations are now entering the digital age by deploying a modern, cloud-centric approach to managing their content. Cloud-centric strategies are important for modernizing your business and enabling businesses to take advantage of the resiliency, scalability, and agility of the cloud. However, many organizations have multiple content repositories, both on-premises and across multiple clouds. Companies therefore need to ensure that their content services can cover a hybrid IT environment.
To operate in a hybrid IT environment, organizations must locate the data they host, assess its risk and value to the organization, and determine where and for how long it should be kept. The data must then be either migrated to the cloud or kept on-site according to its needs. All of this can be achieved with the right content services solution that spans the entire hybrid IT environment for end-to-end governance and comprehensive content management. Once these steps are taken, businesses can realize the cost savings and flexibility of leveraging a hybrid IT model while ensuring data security and compliance.
As content continues to grow profusely in today’s business environment, it should not be unleveraged or unmanaged and should be treated as a modern information asset to move the business forward. By following these three steps to modernize your content services strategy and IT infrastructure, organizations can ensure secure collaboration, accelerate business processes, and eliminate information silos while increasing productivity and reducing risk by ensuring that information is available when and where people need it.
Kyle McNabb, Senior Vice President of Product Marketing, ASG Technologies