News

Issuing a content advisory

2003-06-17
By Carly Suppa,

Excerpts from ComputerWorld Canada, May 2, 2003.

As the corporate Web site has transformed into the virtual meeting ground where many a customer meets a supplier for the very first time, Web information on public-facing sites has never been more crucial to making a good impression.

But for many organizations across the country, keeping information fresh and current has been allowed to "slip" while more crucial IT functions like security and network connectivity continue to take up the majority of the network administrator's time.

So what is the secret to success? How do organizations keep the IT focus on critical tasks behind the scenes while maintaining a pristine, polished image on display? While many solutions have tried to solve the enigma, industry experts agree that enterprise content management is imperative to a company’s prosperity.

Despite the turbulent economic times, electronic data is growing at an overwhelming pace, and corporations are beginning to take a good hard look at how to deal with this surge in information, according to a 2002 study by San Jose-based research firm Gartner Inc. The outfit found that content management — sometimes referred to as the trough of disillusionment, for its complex reputation — ranked second in its annual CIO survey last year, second only to security. And for good reason: content costs money to create, maintain and search; content can drive revenue by enabling the enterprise to sell it or use content to attract customers; and it enables the so-called real-time enterprise bringing the right information to the right people at the right time, Gartner said.

However, without proper management of your content, getting information to those who need it is not easy, said Connie Moore, a vice-president with Washington, D.C.-based Giga Information Group. She explained that with the dawn of the Internet boom, many businesses rushed to create a presence on the Web, and in doing so, developed in-house content management systems that just don’t make the grade with today’s information overload.

"What this has led to is a bottleneck in the IT organization where the Webmaster is involved in getting stuff published," Moore told Network World Canada. "However, handling content is not an IT function. It is a business issue. What content management systems allow you to do is let the business people be responsible for their content creation, the review and approval and the content publishing. It gets IT out of that process, meaning companies can save substantial amounts of labour."

Although content management systems can bring forth the control over information and contribute to business revenues, poor content management or none at all can also prove disastrous for an organization.
iUpload conducted a study surveying 49 companies to learn more about content management practices. The company found that by not being able to manage content efficiently cost 34 per cent of the companies surveyed between $1,000 and $5,000 per day. Seventy-two per cent cited customer dissatisfaction as the leading cause for lost revenue.

Giga’s Moore recommends finding a vendor that can provide a holistic approach to content management, one that supports various content technologies. While best-of-breed solutions can offer more fine-tuned functionality, "generally speaking, you are better off to have an architecture for managing your content types and approach it form an overall perspective rather than bringing in point products," she said