Simple steps for tackling enterprise content management

image of woman placing sticky notes on whiteboard for enterprise content management article

Digital transformation cannot wait for an organization, a team or an individual to be "ready"—not in today’s rapidly evolving world where consumer and customer behaviors are impacting all industries and businesses. No matter the industry, one change that’s constant is the content we want to consume, as well as where and how we consume it. Because of that, organizations need to establish a process to ensure they’re serving up information to their audience when, where and how they want it.

To do this successfully, understanding what enterprise content management (ECM) is and what to consider in order to build out a simple road map will help businesses seek out the right opportunities to address their unique content management challenges, as well as continually improve and update their strategy and technology as needs shift.

It’s not enough to "manage" content. The ability to access the correct version of a document or record is important. Content must be managed so that it is used to achieve business goals.
Association for Intelligent Information Management

Defining ECM

Enterprise content management represents the organizational principles that precede the actual technology or processes that inform the management of said content. As the Association for Intelligent Information Management (AIIM) notes, it's "the systematic collection and organization of information that is to be used by a designated audience," whether that's customers, executives, readers or other end users.

The dynamic combination of strategies, methods and tools that AIIM notes is key to an organization’s success—it means bringing together the right technology, the right workflows and the right team members across digital, technical and editorial focus areas in order to make everything function properly and harmoniously. If organizations can establish all of these "rights," they can then truly focus on reaching and surpassing goals instead of rejiggering day-to-day operations.

Of course, selecting and establishing all the different elements to make an organization’s ECM environment successful isn’t a light lift. Businesses today are faced with changing consumer and customer behaviors, interests and demands, and this is causing websites (and the content that lives on them) to become even more complex and dynamic than ever before.

To provide an exceptional user experience—and one that establishes long-lasting loyalty—organizations need to go above and beyond to bring together the necessary content, technologies, services and partners. If they do, they’ll be set up with a flexible, efficient operation that can readily adapt to meet new business needs.

How to approach ECM transformation

Digitally transforming quickly doesn’t mean organizations need to scratch everything and start fresh. In fact, a complete overhaul of current systems, processes and workflows is rarely needed with the right partner.

Businesses can move forward in their digital transformation efforts at a pace that’s comfortable for them by keeping in mind two basic (but essential) phases in establishing an ECM road map:

  • Assess & identify opportunities: First, organizations looking to make changes in their ECM process need to take inventory of their current systems, workflows, content and more to determine what’s working—and what isn’t. This doesn’t mean reworking the entire structure; organizations can identify a starting point—and then specific opportunities to follow—that will move their business forward while consistently and continually updating their strategy and technology. As part of this, digital, technical and editorial teams should join forces and determine what’s needed to best support their path forward. Conversations around technologies, partners, services and more need to happen during this initial stage as well. 
  • Streamline & future-proof operations: Once the right solutions are established and teams with the right skill sets are formed, organizations can focus on tweaking and fine-tuning their processes to streamline and future-proof operations—for tomorrow and five years from tomorrow. For example, this could include automating certain stages of a workflow, ensuring your architecture is set up for easy integrations, or reducing the amount of review cycles to make the content development and publication process more efficient. This phase requires ongoing, continuous management and monitoring to ensure that the organization is adapting in real-time to avoid any massive overhauls down the road. 

Brightspot is here to help

Brightspot reduces time and effort for ECM by combining advanced tooling and streamlined processes, delivering sites in a fraction of the time it traditionally takes. Our Content Business Platform is designed to scale to the demands of some of the largest sites in the world, supporting millions of digital assets through millions of pageviews. It’s also flexible and customizable and offers the support organizations need as their specific digital strategy and priorities evolve.

Mattress Firm, for example, was looking for a solution that would help better organize and mature their content creation in order to help educate consumers about buying mattresses. In addition, they wanted to increase brand awareness and test new content types and channels to reach customers in new ways. In partnering with Brightspot, Mattress Firm gained a headless technology solution with Brightspot’s homepage syndication model that helps the company more easily feature relevant content on their Daily Doze blog; Brightspot’s intuitive interface means certain team members are empowered to set up pages to promote various initiatives as well without help from IT. Finally, the team now has distinct workflows set up as well, which allows both for more efficient content creation and avoids wasted steps along the way.

To learn more about ECM and the simple steps you can take to get started, contact us today to book a demo and see Brightspot in action.

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