Meeting the challenges of digital transformation and content strategy
Over the past two decades, IT professionals have strived to advance their organization’s digital transformation goals. When the pandemic hit, the pace of this progress accelerated.
Suddenly, every challenge had to be met by digital transformation – these were the only solutions that were still feasible and safe to implement. And with only a short period of time to respond to the full disruption, organizations had to act quickly.
This rapid acceleration in moving to remote environments has reshaped the priorities and challenges of digital transformation. Today, remote and hybrid working models have been proven to deliver significant benefits (such as allowing companies to expand their talent pools), which is why the UK government is proposing to give all employees the right to request flexible working when starting new jobs.
But with so many employees permanently remote or choosing a hybrid working model, the new obstacle to digital transformation is the growing proliferation of content businesses are experiencing and how they can manage their digital content safely and efficiently. .
What is Content Proliferation?
Content proliferation occurs when organizations allow users to create, duplicate, and leverage unmanaged content to support their day-to-day business.
Digital content assets have grown, creating a cumbersome and difficult-to-manage mass of information. The proliferation of content makes it difficult for end users to find what they need and increases the risk of information being stored in insecure locations, which is of particular concern with ever-changing government privacy regulations.
Organizations must overcome the challenges of content proliferation that negatively impact productivity and increase compliance risks by updating their content management and governance strategies to keep pace with their other digital transformation efforts.
As organizations explore how they integrate, migrate, or remove content into their operations, one hurdle faced by decision makers is how to integrate unstructured data into their applications. Dispersed workforces need this information to be available and accessible to employees, customers, partners and systems through many access points, such as Microsoft products.
Most organizations have content distributed across shared drives, email, collaborative tools, VPNs, and other locations. In trying to manage this proliferation of content, organizations face these main hurdles:
1. Migrate to the cloud
Content storage has changed to support organizations’ work-from-home infrastructure and the desire to reduce operating costs. Enterprises are now reporting greater adoption of cloud solutions. According to Gartner, global spending on public cloud services will increase by 26.7% in 2021 as CIOs and IT managers continue to adopt cloud-delivered applications, such as software as a service (SaaS).
Leveraging the cloud offers organizations a more cost-effective and flexible way to make content accessible. However, without effective content governance, cloud storage only adds to the challenges of content proliferation, which is why 69% of organizations express concern about security risks introduced by employees working from home.
A successful and risk-free cloud migration must begin with understanding the breadth and depth of an organization’s data landscape. IT managers need to know how data is exchanged and changed across cloud and on-premises storage to predict the impact of cloud migration on applications and systems. Adopting a change analysis process that automates the discovery of how data is generated, stored, and used in the business can address this challenge.
2. Lack of information governance
Current information governance processes are insufficient given the increasing proliferation of content. As organizations attempt to identify, encrypt and monitor access to all sensitive information, in an ideal world, companies should have complete confidence that their governance provides effective oversight of how information is classified and managed.
Companies need to be confident that their content strategy improves productivity and meets internal policies and external regulatory requirements. For example, the identification and protection of personally identifiable information (PII) across all geographies is of particular importance, especially given the growing importance of regulation around the world (such as in China, the United States and in the EU).
Organizations need an open, flexible, and scalable architecture to handle large volumes of content. Content management solutions should automate the information governance process to securely manage the lifecycle of enterprise content and determine who can access, view, and modify information. Users must be able to comply with corporate governance and government regulations while accessing the content they need.
The ideal solution establishes policies and procedures for content and sets standards for complete lifecycle management to streamline processing and response times while ensuring regulatory compliance.
3. Neglecting the employee experience
Organizations tackling content proliferation during their digital transformation efforts must consider the impacts on employees and seize the opportunity to improve user experiences.
A central goal of any content strategy should be to enable people to do their jobs, access services, and complete tasks more efficiently while mitigating the risks associated with the misuse of information. Remember that improved user experience ultimately results in increased productivity as workflows are streamlined and automated.
To have a people-centric content management strategy, organizations need tools with built-in user interfaces to locate and manage the information they need. Users can gain control and awareness by having a centralized, modernized point of operations for reporting, searching, viewing, and navigating records.
Without the time-consuming and stressful manual processes of content management, employees will be much happier and more productive.
4. Need for automation
Business process automation is a priority for IT leaders as they evolve their digital and content transformation strategies, but it often leads to hurdles in determining what and how to automate. For example, external approvals and process exceptions are tasks that are normally handled by email and would benefit from automation efforts. With these automated tasks, productivity can increase as employees reallocate their time to more valuable work.
Supplier invoice processing and financial reporting are also important opportunities for automation. Automatically capturing and systematically processing large volumes of digitized paper-based financial information is possible with an automated content management solution. With automation alleviating some of the complexity of these processes, companies will have a streamlined path to financial reporting.
Content management is more important than ever for true digital transformation
Today, many companies are turning to digital transformation to improve their responsiveness to ever-changing economic and regulatory landscapes. At this point, businesses must accelerate digital business or risk organizational success.
As they navigate this increased pace of change, it is important that a robust content management strategy is implemented to address the above challenges so that organizations can access the full benefits of their content assets. and mitigate the risk they can introduce when left unmanaged.