Getting to the Future-state of Content with Content Services

The volume of content generated in today’s business environment is extraordinary. Invoices, reports, communications — structured or unstructured — it’s only getting harder to handle. Whether it’s a hospital network managing patient information, an insurance company handling claims, a mortgage lender reviewing loan applications or any other area of enterprise, organizations thrive when they can effectively leverage their content.

In today’s environment, every industry has experienced the sharp increase in data and the pain points that come with it.

Is it securely stored?

Is it accessible to who needs it, when they need it?

Can your organization scale and extend their solutions for handling the content?

With exponentially more content to oversee, enterprise leaders see the need to evolve their solutions. For many, the answer is to shift away from on-premises solutions and toward cloud-rooted applications built on content services platforms. When deployed effectively, these platforms support a full realignment of content- and process-related practices designed to prep your organization for the future-state of content.

Content Services Platforms vs. Enterprise Content Management (ECM)

Thanks to leaps in cloud technology — better security, more transparency, processing power for AI and analytics, elastic scalability — solutions that once seemed impossible now come standard in many offerings.

But just as the technology itself has changed, so has the way the industry discusses it.

ECM: A History

In late 2016, IT research and advisory firm Gartner announced it was retiring the term “enterprise content management” in favor of “content services.”


Because the all-encompassing, massive central content repositories that were once the goal of many organizations have given way to more efficient, modern systems enabled by the cloud.

The Future-state: Content Services Platforms

Content services platforms denotes a new generation of agile technology that uses modular and cloud-based applications that work across content repositories and systems. Organizations that embrace these systems report more efficiency, better productivity and a host of other improvements. Content services platforms enable users to not only share content, but to improve processes and create efficiencies.

How to Embrace the Future-state of Content with Content Services

In order to achieve the many benefits of content services platforms, it’s critical to select the right partner. The best partners will guide you through the process and help chart what your organization’s optimal, most resilient content future looks like.

In “Bringing Harmony to Enterprise Content in the Cloud Through Content Services,” we’ve compiled an extensive walkthrough of the discovery, vetting and deployment process of a content services engagement, as well as best practices for measuring success and guidance toward the future state of content services. Here’s a brief summary of that process.

Step 1: Assess

Identify the content you have on hand. Every business has “unknown unknowns” within their content and related practices. Perhaps there’s a trove of HR content that lives on an old server, or maybe cross-departmental teams struggle to collaborate. Neither of these scenarios are ideal, but they are perfect examples of the type of unknown you are trying to uncover as you audit your content.

This information gathering and assessment stage of your capabilities will help you triage the problems that need to be solved and shape the questions you will ask potential partners.

Step 2: Vet

Vetting the right content services solution or provider can make or break the results. Because the vetting process often includes making critical decisions on cloud migration, it’s important to ask the right questions.

Step 3: Implement

A content services partner can guide you toward the right cloud architecture option to power your solution — whether it’s a small proof-of-concept or a full overhaul of your content systems. An excellent partner helps make the process of transitioning to a new system as seamless as possible, but stakeholders still have work to do. They’ll need to:

    • Prepare for implementation
    • Establish KPIs and gather historical metrics
    • Conduct user-acceptance testing (put your new solution in front of everyday users to uncover critical issues, errors and process lapses that can make or break a deployment)
    • Create an “exit strategy” for offboarding old systems
    • Determine thresholds for iteration and changes to implementation

Tip: Lean heavily on your partner for this step, which establishes specific criteria for what to do when a solution doesn’t work as expected.

Step 4: Measure

Is the new solution doing its job? No matter how large or small the implementation, it’s important to follow best practices for measuring success.

    • Measure established KPIs
    • Evaluate impact on the business as a whole
    • Look for soft benefits, such as new tools within the platform that help users do their specific jobs better
    • Engage with external stakeholders and peers who were not originally involved; ask them to share their reactions

Step 5: Iterate in the Future

After a successful implementation, you may choose to expand the strategy or scale it to other locations or teams. As you do, keep the future state of your content in mind and make sure your partner has a long-term vision for their solutions.

Future-state: Content Services’ Constant Evolution

Today’s most advanced content services platforms dynamically connect content and streamline workflows, but these systems also help your smartest people focus on building the differentiators that set you apart.

As you consider what your future looks like, remember you’re placing much of it in the hands of your cloud partners. Applications like machine learning and blockchain once seemed far off, but filing those innovations away as “not yet” has put many organizations behind on digital transformation and technology changes.

The best path forward is to find the right partner with the right track record of content and process management success. Hyland’s content services platform, delivered via the Hyland Cloud, is a market leader and empowers organizations with proof-of-concepts that can be deployed within a department or on a modular basis. No matter the scale, Hyland and Kiriworks can help you fulfill your organizational needs.

Want more details? Download the full guide: Bringing Harmony to Enterprise Content in the Cloud Through Content Services.

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