More and more companies are realizing the strategic value of content services for digitalization and corporate success. According to a current study by Forrester Consulting, commissioned by Hyland, 74% of decision makers surveyed in Germany attach “high” or “high” priority to content services in the context of their digital transformation efforts.
However, the full potential often remains untapped. The study examined the state of corporate content management strategies and the role of modern content services in achieving digital goals and improving customer and employee experience. The survey, in which more than 400 ECM decision makers in Germany, Australia, the USA and the UK were asked, was conducted for the third year in a row.
Content management vision and actual operations do not match
In the past three years, the goal of using Enterprise Content Management (ECM) has shifted from achieving back office goals such as adhering to guidelines when storing data to strategic goals such as delivering differentiated customer experiences and enhancing employee shift productivity.
In addition, more than ever, businesses need flexible, reliable and secure access to content in order to communicate with internal and external stakeholders. However, content operations are only in line with this vision in a shrinking minority. For example, less than a third of respondents (29%) stated that sharing content with external stakeholders is easy. In 2019 the proportion was 41%.
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Turbulence reveals weaknesses
Only 16% of decision makers surveyed worldwide stated that their businesses had not been negatively affected by the pandemic. In the field of content management, the events of the past year have shown that there is a lot of catching up in important business areas:
- Switching to remote work: Remote access to company content had to be provided almost overnight. This posed challenges for businesses: 30% reported problems finding critical information, 26% had remote teams having difficulty accessing internal systems or storage, and 38% said time wasted searching for the information they needed.
- Increased complexity in managing content: With the expansion of remote work, the volume of data exchanged has grown exponentially, and with it security concerns. 31% of companies lack coordinated governance and 32% suffer from too many content management systems, resulting in uneven distribution and content protection.
- The collapse of paper-based processes: paper-based and manual processes, the digitization of which has been delayed until now, fall apart when employees cannot process them on-site in the office. 30% of respondents said they had difficulties migrating their content and 32% integrating into newer systems.
Given the current challenges, companies are re-evaluating their content management and digitalization strategy. Decision makers judge their digital transformation efforts more significantly than they did a year ago. Less than half (48%) of companies rated their initiatives this year as “fully successful” or “very successful,” which equates to a decrease of 10 percentage points.
Companies realize the potential of customer experience
Excellent customer experiences are an important factor in setting yourself apart from the competition. Among all decision makers who believe that content services can improve customer experience, 56% said that content services help them better deal with customer inquiries. 53% indicated providing customized customer experiences, 37% being able to securely exchange correspondence and forms, and 45% more efficiently distributing marketing, sales or technical support materials.
More than half (53%) of decision makers who believe that content services can improve employee experience say that teams use content more easily as a source of data and information and that the processes for creating, securing, and simplifying data storage or deletion are compliant (52%).
Content services provide precise functionality and APIs, most of which are provided in a flexible software platform. They make it possible to create content applications rich in documentation or processes. Modern content service platforms are replacing and expanding the monolithic ECM clusters of the past two decades and are the answer to the growing demand for cloud-based platforms that enable remote access, content editing and process control.
Investments in content management are increasing
As they did twelve months ago, decision makers continue to view content services as a way to modernize their content practices and advance digital goals.
It can be assumed that the pandemic will have lasting effects on content management strategies and content-based operations. Although more decision makers than last year reported budget constraints, the majority will maintain or intensify their investment in modernizing their content management practices over the next two years, with 68% of corporate officials in Germany intending to reduce the increase in their content management budget. their own in this period. This is about 20 percentage points higher than the international average. Moreover, companies in Germany plan to step up their investments in the following areas in order to respond to current trends:
- Cloud-Content-Plattformen: 52%
- Mobile work applications and functions: 50%
- Analytics and AI: 50%
- Automate manual or paper-based processes: 48%
On average, business process digitization (49%) and cloud computing (49%) initiatives have been accelerated due to the pandemic. Cloud-based applications and services are more suitable for exchanging information between internal and external stakeholders and a decentralized workforce. Digitizing core processes, which has been a major driver of content management investments in the past, is becoming more important as companies seek to replace all remaining paper-based processes.
“Last year rocked businesses: The entire workforce had to move into the home office practically overnight. Many decision makers have had to painfully feel that business processes and content do not automatically follow suit and that the Their content strategies are being re-evaluated.” “Agility is more important than ever. Companies have to react quickly and be able to adapt entire processes, products or even business models in a short time. Technology that can be easily and flexibly adapted to new conditions and individual requirements is critical in this environment. It is gratifying to see that decision makers have realized the potential of modern cloud content services and want to prioritize mobile solutions and process automation in the future. “
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