The rush is on for companies to make the move to a digital enterprise sooner rather than later. The proliferation of smartphones, the expansion of the Internet of Things and innovations, such as wearable technology, have forced businesses to rethink how (and where) they will connect with their customers.

One area that has received a great deal of attention lately is digital content — and a recent survey indicates that companies are actually losing ground in meeting the digital content readiness challenge. In 2014, a joint survey conducted by the Center for Information Development Management and Data Conversion Labs revealed that 48 percent of the respondents stated that their content was ready to provide support for digital business requirements during the upcoming two years. In 2015, that number had fallen to 44 percent.

Furthermore, the survey indicated that companies are going to need help to handle the change. When asked to name the obstacles that stood in the way of meeting the digital content challenge:

  • 78 percent stated that they had insufficient staff.
  • 56 percent reported that budget constraints were an issue.
  • 40 percent admitted to lacking the knowledge needed to develop digital content.
  • 18 percent stated that a “first try” had produced a negative experience.

A substantial number of the respondents — 68 percent — reported that their customers are requesting searchable content, while an identical percentage reported that their content search capabilities needed to be improved. Another 56 percent stated that customers are requesting learning videos and 40 percent reported that customers are asking for mobile content. Taken together, it is easy to see that customer demands for digital content are outpacing the ability of most organizations to meet the expectations of their customers.

Implementing Sitecore can help businesses meet the challenges of digital content. Sitecore is a true enterprise content management system that allows each organization to deploy it in the manner that best suits its needs. It can help establish an enterprise-wide repository, eliminating siloes of content that are often inaccessible to everyone except the owner. Some of the benefits of a centralized repository are listed below.

  • Consistency can be maintained throughout the organization. Customers will not receive “mixed messages” or contradictory information.
  • Changes to existing content can be made quickly. Instead of having to change a logo, for example, in multiple locations, it can be changed in one location and the updated version will be accessible to all content managers or creators.
  • New content only needs to be added in one location. Creators and publishers can be more productive and focus on providing more content instead of uploading the same files to multiple locations.
  • Providing customers with accurate, timely updates can help improve retention rates.

It is important to remember that the repository does not exist in a vacuum. Sitecore enables you to import and export data to and from other applications, such as your ERP system or mobile app.

Sitecore offers the ability to leverage an integrated engagement solution. Every time a customer has a digital interaction — whether email, using a mobile app or visiting a website — the information is captured to provide a more complete view of the customer. This can help personalize content delivery for each customer, but it also provides analytics to help understand the needs of customers to plan a better strategy.

Simply stated, a Sitecore solution can address each of the major roadblocks reported by respondents to the 2015 survey — insufficient staffing, budget restrictions and lack of technical knowledge. Failing to meet the digital content readiness challenge is not an option for businesses that want to thrive. With a true ECM, such as Sitecore, meeting the challenge successfully does not have to be a daunting task.

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