Global research reveals ‘content anarchy’ persists in most digital HQs - The EE

Global research reveals ‘content anarchy’ persists in most digital HQs

New York, United States – New research from Templafy, the document generation platform pioneering the content enablement space, shows that enterprises are suffering from a lack of content infrastructure, putting their business success and reputation at constant risk. Templafy’s content is everything global research report was conducted in the US, UK, Australia and Germany surveying 2,296 full time employees at enterprise level companies.

The report aims to determine the structural and financial consequences enterprises face when they lack automated, integrated technology solutions that support and connect content throughout employee workflows and the US findings specifically uncover cause for concern.

The role of content in the digital HQ

Content is and always has been a critical business asset. But in an increasingly digital-first work environment, now known as the “digital HQ,” content is a business’s direct bridge to its stakeholders, particularly customers and employees. In fact, 84% of survey respondents agreed that content is the most important driver of business success, while nearly all (97%) said content is essential to their organisation’s financial wellbeing. 

As the role of content evolves, so does the definition of content itself. While the majority of respondents agreed they consider marketing materials and legal and financial documents to be content, many also agreed that productivity assets (35%) and classification and metadata (32%) are now considered business content as well. That means businesses need to be thinking about and managing content more holistically across their organisation everything from emails to pitch decks and content-components comprising them like metadata must be governed in some way, otherwise they may face ramifications throughout the entire business. 

Enterprises’ content creation problem 

Managing content has proven to be no small feat: despite acknowledging content’s integral role in business success, companies are not prioritising content infrastructure. Over half (61%) of respondents said their company struggles with content standardisation and added that when creating new materials they are not confident they are using the latest company-approved assets. This lack of consistency and integrity across all business content is called “content anarchy,” and it’s a $25 million (€23.64 million) problem. 

Poor document governance and a lack of content infrastructure causes enterprises to lose thousands of employee hours per year. Templafy’s report found the average employee spends 15 hours per week creating content, and 67% said their company’s process for reviewing and approving content delays other work. To put that into context, at a 1,000 person company, this is 15,000 hours lost per week and over 700,000 hours lost per year. This wasted time leads to lost revenue, with over a third (34%) of respondents reporting they believe their company could increase its revenue by more than 50% if content bottlenecks were eliminated. 

To streamline content in the enterprise and eliminate bottlenecks, organisations need to ensure that contextualised content is being actively served to employees within the places they already work so it can actively support business processes. That way business documents consist of the right pieces of content like the latest logo or legal disclaimer. Without tech solutions to do this, organisations risk jeopardising brand reputation, violating security requirements and losing out on content-associated revenue.  

Security is on the line 

Content anarchy and a lack of document governance pose significant security risks for today’s enterprises. 94% of respondents who work for companies that deal in sensitive client information indicated that having inconsistent, incorrect, or unreliable content shared externally can be detrimental to their business and cause security risks. While 88% of respondents acknowledged security requirements are increasing and believe upholding strict requirements is more important than ever before, the scary truth is that over half of respondents also confessed their company has mistakenly shared a sensitive document with an unauthorised party. So, despite massive investments in security to prevent outside breaches, poor document governance remains a huge cause for security concerns. 

Why is this? 59% claim their company lacks secure, system-wide alignment when it comes to content, and 41% said their company urgently needs a better system to support mandatory document sensitivity classification.

“Content is mission critical to the success of any company, no matter the industry, size or location,” says Christian Lund, co-founder at Templafy. “Historically, static content solutions like enterprise content management (ECM) tools were enough for a company to get by, but in today’s digital HQ it’s simply not possible for users to navigate the exponentially growing amount of enterprise content and data anymore. More content is being created across a plethora of applications than ever before, and that content needs to drive value rather than introduce risk. Enterprises need a solution for these pain points, and we’re confident that content enablement technology is the key.” 

Additional key findings of the report include: 

  • Metadata is introducing meta risk: 61% of respondents agreed a lack of control when it comes to metadata and classification poses a significant financial risk, while half of respondents said the same for business and brand risk. Additional ramifications include damage to reputation (55%), legal fees (51%), legal ramifications (50%), loss of revenue (50%), and a loss of customer trust (45%). 
  • Inaccurate content is proliferating through the sales org, hurting revenue: 82% of respondents said inaccurate or outdated information in content can harm sales, yet a whopping 70% said their team often pulls outdated information into sales pitches and content, including 87% who admit to using Google to search for company images or logos. 56% of respondents said they believe sales pitches and content make it to prospects with outdated information more than half the time. 
  • Poor document governance hinders efficient, accurate brand scaling: 62% of respondents indicated their company struggles with backward compatibility, i.e. making sure that materials and templates in use are routinely updated with the latest information. This means that when enterprises update their branding, it is extremely difficult to ensure those updates are reflected across all existing collateral. 
  • Automation is the answer: During the next 12 months, over half of respondents said their organisation will prioritise document creation automation; 49% said their organisation will prioritise content creation automation; and 48% said their organisation will prioritise consolidation of software. 

Methodology

Templafy conducted the Content Is Everything report online between December 27, 2021, and January 3, 2022. It reflects the opinions of 601 individuals working full-time in the United States at global companies with over 1,000 employees. The survey was conducted at 95% confidence with a +/- 4% margin of error. 

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