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The Elements of Content Management Systems That Enable Remote Work

October 25, 2021 Digital Workplace
David Roe
By David Roe

Gartner recently released its Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platform (subscription required). The Content Services Quadrant research replaces the older quadrant for enterprise content management that had been running for years until, at the beginning of 2017, Gartner announced that it was changing the parameter of the research and would no longer refer to content management as ECM but as Content Services.

What Are Content Services Platforms?

In this year’s report, Gartner defines content services platforms (CSPs) as the foundational component in an organization for the management and use of content. CSPs provide a way for employees to retrieve and work with content in a modern, seamless way across devices and organizational boundaries. As such, they are a core component of any organization’s digital workplace strategy.

Content services platforms have been most traditionally, used to satisfy operational, business-centric requirements. They are integrated into other business applications to ease access and consolidate governance and content protection capabilities.

However, as organizations seek to consolidate content and document management systems, they are also used for more collaborative, ad hoc, content-centric requirements. In the digital workplace framework, this is described as integration into the “new work hub.”

It is worth noting, that this year, Microsoft, Box, Hyland, and OpenText have made it into the Leaders quadrant this year, while another 14 systems are spread across the other three quadrants.

The research points out that buyers of CSP technology now have many options that can enable them to implement an enterprise vision of content services. Advances in federation, intelligence, cloud deployment and user experience mean that the market provides a more modernizing set of capabilities than ever before. New content services have never been easier to procure, deploy and implement.

With more and more technologies being brought into the workplace to manage different kinds of content and situations, remote work and management content for remote work should not be a huge challenge. This would seem to suggest that with all these different elements managed from the enterprise, it should be possible to enable remote workplaces.

Related Article: Why Did Gartner Kill the Web Content Management Magic Quadrant?

How Content Services Platforms Enable Remote Working

Craig Boyle is the co-founder and sales and marketing director at San Francisco-based IT service provider Blueshift. He points to a number of components which, he says, enable remote working. He points out that not all content management systems are created equal. They vary in size and scalability, but the general components required for remote working are similar. These include:

  • Granular permission levels
  • Improved security features
  • Improved collaboration features
  • Improved notifications
  • Integration with other systems to make remote connectivity easier

Granular Permissions: These give the organization control over its content. When working remotely, it is vital to have tools that allow for granular permissions so that key information can be kept secure no matter where a team member is working on. This helps to ensure accuracy and prevent fraud. It also gives teams the freedom to access critical data so long as it is necessary.

Security: These features for remote management should include activity logs, user alerts, and advanced security features like two-factor authentication (2FA) to prevent unauthorized access. When teams are spread out across multiple time zones or countries, they must monitor their activity levels. “This gives them the autonomy required to complete their work efficiently and ensure that they are not compromising the security of sensitive content,” he said. “This is especially important since different time zones can mean that access may be available outside typical business hours.”

Collaboration features: For remote workers, content management should include search tools to help find information quickly and easily and team communication controls to help manage content across multiple users. Since communication may be challenging for remote teams, having systems to make collaboration more efficient is key. This might include tools like message boards, and document or task management features enabling people to stay on top of their work regardless of where they are working.

Remote connections: Remote work requires effective communication notifications so that people know what is happening. This includes alerts to let people know when critical content has been accessed or changed and status updates where applicable. Many mechanisms can be used for notifications, such as text messages and emails, but these must be configured in a way that ensures they do not become overwhelming or disruptive. Systems should also give users the ability to configure their alerts to balance the importance of different notifications.

Remote management of content: This is more than just a technical issue. It demands new and innovative approaches to collaboration and communications. However, the rise of mobile devices and connectivity across borders means that many organizations are considering how they might better manage their content from a distance. This requires thinking about what systems can support remote working, such as integrating enterprise content management systems (ECM), collaboration tools, and improved security features.

DAM and WCM Components

On top of these features, there are two important components that Avinash Chandra, founder and CEO of New York City-based BrandLoom, says should be part of any system that is managing content for remote workers.

Web Content Management System (WCMS): A web content management system allows users to manage digital components of a website without former knowledge of web programming or markup languages. A WCMS provides authoring, administration, and collaboration tools to manage digital content. A WCMS handles web content more exclusively. The advantages of it include:

  1. Personalization: A WCMS allows users to customize a webpage with personalized content and design.
  2. Automation: A WCMS improves workflow management and saves time by publishing content automatically.
  3. Scalable: This scalable system allows companies to grow without worrying about surpassing the website limits.

Digital Asset Management System (DAM): With the help of a digital asset management system, users can organize, store, and share digital content effortlessly. A DAM offers a centralized, simple library where clients, contractors, or employees can access digital content. These assets comprise audio, video, creative files, presentations, and documents. It is cloud-based so that users can access it from anywhere.

The benefits of DAM include:

  • Centralized Repository: Content is secure and safe in one place.
  • Effective Brand Management: A DAM lets you manage a branded web portal for users so they can access significant files.
  • Digital Publishing: DAM lets you push digital content to social media channels, third-party distribution services, and more.

All About The User

There is one other major characteristic that content management systems should offer. It should be able to provide a good user experience on any given device. This will allow the user to stay in touch while being offline and while being at home, work, or other location, Ryan Fyfe, COO of San Francisco-based Workpuls, said. Depending on the type of product you have, this may also depend on a separate remote access application used for collaboration or editing files without having to download them again.

The components in a content management system that enable remote working, and allow for much more fluid and flexible workforce arrangements, center largely on:

  • Social media: Integration with social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Using these tools can be very important as it allows for two-way communication with co-workers; ensuring those who need to know about certain notifications are quickly updated.
  • Sharing: URL shorteners such as bit.ly or tinyurl that facilitate easier sharing of long web addresses via social media networks like Facebook where text limitations exist (140 characters)
  • Flexibility: Flexible date ranges — including the ability to file information by year but specify any individual month — to accommodate team members who may not always work an entire week or cycle through hours at their scheduled time.

On top of this the three main factors in determining which CMS is best suited for an organization's inventory management needs are: security, scalability, and edit automation capabilities.

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