What is Content Experience?

Content Experience Chaos

In many modern digital organizations, content is the lifeblood of the business—but has our view of content management kept pace with the rapid changes that are already underfoot?

We used to live in a world where all enterprise content was cleanly managed on premises by IT using one approved solution from one vendor, inside a handful of repositories. Life was relatively simple as adding workflows, approvals and security was centralized, consistent and predictable.

Sales desires wide product collateral distribution, customer support offers multi channel detailed product information access, while the back office offers process friendly digital capture methods to meet time sensitive regulatory requirements. As the amount and importance of digital content exploded, so did the infrastructure needed to manage it. Whether through corporate acquisitions, or simply the desire to bring a new tool or approach in that was better suited for emerging requirements, the landscape of the content stack has grown, fragmented, consolidated, expanded and evolved. Analysts have even changed the category name from ECM to content services platforms, or CSP, in an acknowledgment of this shift.  

Companies are no longer simply using one content management solution from a single vendor. Lines of business and traditional IT are deploying a number of different solutions, approaches and architectures to get the job done.

This means great things for companies with content at their core, as choice creates flexibility — but it also creates chaos, inconsistency and a lack of visibility. This evolution of the content stack and combination of moving parts can create a pretty nasty outcome.

New requirements from a more impatient and demanding business user is driving IT to implement multiple solutions leading to vendor rationalization (that is often anything but rational) creating complex systems and inconsistency across hybrid deployment scenarios (private cloud, public cloud, and both) that result in:

  • Poor experience for your internal or external users — customers, partners or employees
  • Security holes and gaps created by the crazy architectures and number of moving pieces in the stack
  • And then, with the chaos all of this brings, productivity takes a plunge. It’s hard to even keep things stable, much less plan for the future across all groups you support.

Managing this chaos is required if your content is critical. It requires us to look at things more holistically, through a different set of lenses:

  • Customer experience – understanding and managing the performance and adoption of the apps used to interact with content
  • User behavior – seeing what people are doing with content, implementing behavioral security, and quickly dealing with audit
  • Sustainable operations – ensuring that the environment that content lives in can handle load changes over time, and giving proper visibility into usage at required level and groupings

For this reason, this holistic view of content experience better captures how organizations need to start thinking about content management—with the interests of multiple stakeholders in mind—and with the view toward fully understanding how users are interacting with content and what that behavior signals. Organizations that adopt this mentality are better positioned to respond to the dynamic changes in regulation, increasing expectations from users, and the growing concerns about content security that are already wreaking havoc and creating operational complexity. This is what content experience tracks and why it is so important.