Authored by Mariam Tariq, Sr. Director, Product Management, Oracle
At Oracle OpenWorld 2017, the Oracle User Experience team administered a survey to learn about how companies are approaching content management across multiple applications. For years, websites and email were the primary channels of interaction for both B2B and B2C companies. Mobile applications later entered the mix along with social networks. But now we also have chatbots, digital signs, kiosks, augmented reality apps, voice-driven devices, and other IOT apps – all of which need content. The intent of the survey was to get some insights into how organizations are managing content across multiple channels and understand any challenges in doing so.
Survey respondents were screened to only include those who had a role in managing content either on the IT or Business side. Over 100 qualified responses were received with about 75% of those in an IT or Development role and 25% representing the Business side. The results offered some interesting insights into where companies are at in their strategies around content.
First off, a majority of the respondents at 49% indicated having a challenge with managing content across channels. 28% said it wasn’t a problem and 23% were neutral (indicating it was not a big problem but still a relevant issue to the company.)
The channels (outside the main .com) for which the respondents indicated content needs to be managed are indicated in the next chart. The responses show that companies are in fact implementing and innovating on new channels of engagement in additional to using traditional ones.
Survey respondents were asked to specify what issues they face related to content management. The biggest issues cited include inconsistency of content across channels and the inability to find content.
The lack of centralized content management contributes heavily to the issues cited. Centralized content is an important consideration for any company engaging its customers across multiple channels. In fact, the survey showed that content consolidation was seen as important by most. Respondents were asked to rate the importance of content consolidation across all channels on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being very important). A fairly high number, 77%, rated this 8 or higher.
The proliferation of engagement channels, along with distributed teams across the organization who need to access the content, necessitates the need for a content hub. A content hub provides a single source of truth for content across all channels. The content hub could curate content from other repositories of legacy content leading to one single place where all managers and developers search for and utilize content. A content hub supports content reuse and should not be tied to a specific channel. External applications would pull content from this repository either programmatically or by business teams searching the hub and copying or referencing the content.
We did see evidence that some companies are taking initial steps towards centralizing content. The survey included a question on how content was managed by organizations for their mobile applications. As many as 36% of respondents indicated using the REST APIs of their existing web content systems to reuse content. An API approach to managing content supports the notion of a decoupled content management system, where content can be managed independent of presentation (most notably embedded in html pages for websites).
However, for this same question on managing content for mobile apps, another 53% indicated using a separate database or cloud storage to manage the content. This is precisely the kind of setup that leads to the content management challenges mentioned earlier. Implementing a central content hub would drive a centralized process for management of content.
Overall, the survey clearly showed that content management across multiple channels is an issue that more companies will have to start thinking about. A content strategy that enables content centralization, decoupled content, and API access to content is essential to achieving an efficient content process across all channels of engagement. This is what we’re supporting with Oracle Content and Experience Cloud. Content & Experience Cloud is not adapted from an existing CMS but built ground up, in the cloud, to support a true multichannel content hub.