Content Matters More to New, High-Profile Investments

The explosion of mobile, cloud and social technologies has ushered in a business renaissance, forever changing how work gets done. While businesses rush to invest in these areas, they often overlook the vital role content plays, specifically how teams access content and how they interact with content in each of those environments. These interactions can make or break strategic, costly investments.

Mobile strategies: Content matters in a mobile world because the lines between work and home have blurred. We're always on and we're always working. As a result, businesses will soon be investing upwards of $1.3 billion annually to equip employees with mobile devices, according to Forrester. However, these investments will fail if we leave content trapped in on-premise ECM systems or SharePoint and don't provide the secure, synchronized access to content to truly make mobile devices applications where work gets done.

Cloud technologies: Content matters in a cloud world because as cloud applications make workers more agile while lowering costs, these investments will fail if we force employees to navigate multiple cloud applications to find and work with content. For example, when you put the sales team on a cloud platform, like salesforce.com, how will they access content for proposals, contracts and quotes? If the content isn't embedded right there in that app, and still easy to work with, you'll add layers of complexity and cost.

Social business: In a social business world, content matters because dialogue in employee, partner and customer communication occurs around content, which is needed to resolve problems or perform tasks. According to IDC, companies spent about $1 billion on "Facebook for the enterprise" technologies in 2012 and will spend $4.5 billion over the next five years. These investments will fail if we make it difficult to surface, use and modify content.

What's at Risk?

Whenever teams, processes and content intersect, disruptions can happen. And content hazards cause many of those disruptions and create risks to the business. They frustrate employees, annoy customers and partners, erode your brand, increase costs and even worse, stall revenue.

When teams and content collide.
Anywhere teams and content intersect, you have a potential content hazard. Why? Because content too often exists in silos, trapped in various systems, on hard drives and in email folders. Tasks don't get done when the right content isn't at hand. Teams don't succeed when its members can't easily share content. What's the default today? We spray email and pray we get answers. One more email can't hurt, can it?

When processes and content collide.
When content meets a business process, it doesn't take long before pain sets in. What works for processing a few contracts a month won't scale when the business processes tens or hundreds. Poor visibility into the process creates more headaches, and fax and paper still play a major part in contract, employee onboarding and other processes.

When content explodes.
When it comes to content, the word "more" says it all. More repositories. More systems. More content types. Teams can't keep up with the explosion of documents, email, faxes, digital files and paper files. Mobile devices only compound the problem. To get work done, employees dump all the content they think they'll need onto thumb drives, email attachments or free cloud-storage applications. The perfect storm for content to evade privacy, security or IT guidelines.

When employees get frustrated.
Consumer products have dramatically raised the bar for businesses. Employees expect business applications to be as easy to use as consumer applications. Yet, frustrated employees find it necessary to make end runs around business systems to get work done, especially when that work involves sharing content. So employees use consumer-class file-sharing products for business-class problems. Work gets done, but it's done outside the security controls and policies you've established to protect intellectual property.

When content isn't on the checklist.
While businesses rush to exploit cloud platforms and mobile technologies, they often fail to take the long view. Seamless access to content must be a core strategy as you move to adopt mobile devices or migrate to cloud apps. Otherwise you create another content hazard. What's the default today? When we can't access the content we need, we have no choice but to do it the hard way-navigating multiple systems, blasting email, resorting to paper.

When someone says old-school ECM.
Adapting to change almost always means overcoming new content hazards or clearing the way for new content flows. Legacy enterprise content management (ECM) systems are inflexible, making it difficult to quickly and cost-effectively launch new technology and business initiatives. What's the default today? Waiting for the latest release of the product, negotiating steps (and costs) that only serve the legacy ECM system vendor—forcing teams to use applications that don't have "user experience" in their vocabulary and postponing-or even canceling—initiatives because of cost or implementation timelines.

Business-Class Content Cloud Services

What's the answer? Business-class content cloud services. Unlike consumer-class cloud storage and file sharing, business content cloud services are built specifically for the rigors of business teams and how they work with others inside the organization and outside, including customers, channel partners and vendors. They come ready-built to automate business processes and tasks and to make it easy to work wherever work needs to happen with cutting-edge mobile technologies and automatic content synchronization. Lastly business-class content cloud services pass the most stringent third-party security audits, especially SSAE 16 & SOC 2. These audit reports cover more than just the data center where cloud applications live; they cover the entire stack of cloud service delivery, including mobile apps. Analysts indicate that 72% of businesses will be requiring the SOC 2 audit report because of its requirements for additional privacy, security, confidentiality, integrity and service availability.

SpringCM is a leader in content cloud services for the enterprise. Enterprises need to do more than store and share content-they need to put content to work. SpringCM helps enterprises and government agencies solve content-related problems that stand in the way of optimizing revenues, cutting costs, and mitigating risk. For additional information, log on to www.springcm.com/contentmatters.

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