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Content management in the modern organisation


Part 3 of 3

Keep going at it

So you now have implemented an awesome content management system. You did everything right, you had your employees involved with amazing and continuous training. You had vendors and partners and consultants that helped you implement one of if not the best technological solutions. All your business processes has been analyzed and optimized and your integration points are flawless. Your system is stable, fast and within budget, everyone is happy, in short, you have a kick-ass system. Now for the bad news, your implementation is not finished. In fact, your implementation will never be finished. We live in an ever changing world, and your organizational views, strategies and vision will change. Your content management implementation will have to evolve to keep up with these changes.

It is not that daunting to keep up to date however, here are a few simple things you can do:

  • Regular audits, even in the best technological system things can go wrong. You need to do regular audits on your implementation and hardware to ensure they function correctly. In essence a content management system is a database linked with a file store to keep track of your content. In the same way that you have a DBA to keep your database healthy and current, in the same way you need an administrator to keep your content management system healthy and current.
  • Get feedback from your employees on a regular basis. Is the system still supporting their role in the company? Are there new improvements they want to see? Make sure that the knowledge that is generated through the content system is current and current. The strategy needs to be driven on a continuous base, content management must be part of the company culture for the best results. Ensure that a healthy level of collaboration between employees are maintained at all times, when collaboration breaks down, there will be a problem with your content management vision.
  • Stay up to date with the technology, spend time to research new features and functions and evaluate what new benefits there are for your organisation.

The way we do content management is set to change from an application centred implementation to a service centred implementation. I’m not sure how long it will take for this change to happen, and whether it will be a gradual or an explosive change, but it will change. The signs are already there, we are hosting more and more of our back-end services in a cloud somewhere, and this trend is set to continue. Content management and information management is also set to change, here are a few examples of what is already available:

  • Amazon, any business or person can sell stuff on Amazon. We don’t know how the data is stored, how the interactions with different business processes on Amazon work, all we know, you upload your products, you monitor the sales and  your content is created. Your sales process is now a service, where you don’t have to worry about any of the back-end processes, you are just using the service as it is available.
  • Google search, how the data is stored and indexed, we have a vague idea, we know how the prioritization works, but most people just know they type in the search string, and the results are there. Your information process is now a service that is hosted for you by an external party.
  • Facebook, again, we don’t know how the data is stored, we just know that all our personal information is available, and we can share with others what we deem proper. Just imagine you combine Facebook with your in-house identification system (AD, LDAP) and all of a sudden you have an identification service, and not an identification application.
  • Twitter, how the backend works is not important, the important thing is you can send messages to your employees, outage messages can be managed by this, new product details can be send to your distributed sales force. Your in-house messaging is now not an application for you to manage, but a service for you to use.

Then there is also the hardware, with next generation devices is taking a bigger share of the market than predicted a few years ago. These devices include tablets, smartphones and virtualization. How will these devices influence your content management vision and strategy, and how will it affect your business going forward. All these questions and answers will keep on changing and moulding your content management solution to best serve your organisation. It affects how we interact with content, information and knowledge, and what we do with it.

To summerise, there is no template available of how you must do content management. Every and each instance will be different, with many variables involved. The one thing that is certain, in the modern enterprise content management is a critical component in achieving your organisational goals. How you do it however is up to you, there are examples, theories, best practices and lots of consultants to help, how you implement is also up to you, you have vendors, partners and studies to help you. There is no black and white way of doing it, there are rather lots of shades of grey, but the one thing that will be constant is that content leads to information leads to knowledge leads to decisions. Decisions lead to more knowledge needed, leads to more information needed and that leads to more content being created. To be successful, this must be managed.

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