Content is the bedrock of every business today. It’s consumed, created, utilised, and relied upon by industries everywhere, which is why effective content management has become so important.
For organisations in highly regulated industries, stellar content management is especially crucial. These businesses need organised, traceable, and transparent processes to abide by stringent requirements imposed by government bodies and industry standards.
For Pharmaceutical companies it’s their regulatory documents, pharmacovigilance reports, clinical study reports, and health authority correspondence. For Financial Services organisations it’s their financial statements and reports, loan and mortgage agreements, and risk assessment reports.
Business critical content requires more than just somewhere to be stored and forgotten about.
What is a Content Services Platform?
We have previously explored all you need to know about what a Content Services Platform is in-depth in our recent blog, so if you’re just discovering CSPs for the first time it’s definitely worth a read.
But at its core, a Content Services Platform, a term coined by Gartner in 2017, is the successor to Enterprise Content Management systems.
They provide a cloud-based, centralised repository for storing and managing all types of modern content, connecting all information across an organisation. CSPs gives you the ability to scale as the volume of information in an organisation grows, and are typically configurable/customisable to allow organisations to develop tailored applications and processes on; often through the use of low/no-code.
Content Services Platforms offer businesses a way to truly manage their content, distribute it, collaborate on it, and use it in more productive ways; rather than just store it.
The Benefits of a Content Services Platform
The era of Content Services Platforms came in response to a fundamental change in the way businesses wanted to operate, and how content could be a driving force behind that change. Today, the path to operational excellence is through collaboration, connectivity, transparency, and efficiency.
So what benefits can a Content Services Platform bring to an organisation looking transform their content management? Let’s take a look:
1. Connect or Eradicate Silos
At Generis, we’ve been breaking down silos for a number of years, both in terms of siloed repositories, and departmental silos. Our ultimate goal is to help businesses see the benefits of enterprise-wide connectivity through a centralised repository, with all content and data connected and accessible from any person in any team with the right permissions.
Storing content in multiple separate silos means employees waste time searching for and retrieving specific content, it inhibits visibility across the organisation, hinders collaboration between teams when sharing and editing documents, slows down projects, makes version control a challenge… we could go on and on.
A CSP allows you to centralise content in a unified system, streamlining access, and improving collaboration, search and retrieval, so all functions of the business have instant access to the content they need to perform their tasks.
2. Defeat Content Sprawl
Content sprawl is somewhat of a silent killer to an organisation, it’s the result of a lack of centralisation and standardisation for the storage of content. Often, different teams, departments, or even individuals end up independently managing their own content repositories using several different storage tools or systems. This all leads to the proliferation of content silos and an overwhelming accumulation of files, documents, and data.
When this happens, organisations are faced with search and retrieval challenges, lack of version control due to countless outdated and duplicate documents, no information governance, and poor collaboration due to ineffective file sharing.
By implementing a Content Services Platform, organisations can make use of a single repository where all types of content can be stored. This centralisation removes the need for employees to turn to their own solutions like Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box. A CSP provides advanced search capabilities that enable quick and accurate retrieval of content from across the organisation, so users can spend less time searching.
An ideal CSP will also come with robust collaboration features that allow teams to work on content simultaneously, edit documents in real-time, and track changes; reducing the need for back and forth email threads and multiple versions of the same document. But more on collaboration below.
3. Improved Collaboration
Above, we’ve touched upon some of the main reasons why a Content Services Platform improves collaboration, such as a centralised repository for users to access the information they need, and features like real-time editing and co-authoring. So below we’ll dive into a few different examples.
Firstly, we all know what it’s like to have multiple versions of the same document, all with slightly varied names that, at the time, we thought would help us remember which is the most up-to-date. Well, a CSP helps ensure that everyone is working on the latest version of a document thanks to version control features. Version control prevents conflicts and confusion by allowing users to track changes on a master copy, revert to previous versions, and maintain a clear history of document modifications.
Along side this, a good CSP offers predefined collaboration workflows that guide the content creation and approval process. These workflows help streamline tasks and ensure that content moves smoothly through the collaborative cycle. They also include task assignment features so users can assign specific creation, edit, and review tasks, with notifications to keep users informed about task statuses and updates.
A good CSP doesn’t just help foster collaboration, but makes collaboration more secure; a must for regulated businesses. CSPs provide granular access controls, allowing administrators to define who can access, view, edit, or comment on specific content. This ensures that employees can access all they need to do their work and nothing more.
We’ll dive further into the security and compliance benefits below.
4. Increased Security and Compliance
For organisations in regulated industries such as finance, pharmaceuticals, and energy, a breach in content security or a failure to meet regulatory standards can result in severe consequences; legal penalties, reputation damage, loss of trust, compromised patient safety etc.
Effective content security and compliance measures ensure the protection of sensitive information, maintain data integrity, and demonstrate the organisation’s commitment to upholding ethical and legal standards, which are crucial for building and sustaining credibility in highly regulated environments.
Aside from access controls and permissions, CSPs also maintain detailed audit logs that track user activity related to content, such as access, updates, and sharing. These logs provide an audit trail for compliance purposes and allow for complete traceability of who did what, where, and when.
A CSP built with compliance and security in mind will also allow organisations to define and enforce retention policies for content. These policies ensure that content is retained for the required period and automatically disposed of when obsolete, helping organisations abide by GDPR and other regulations.
5. Reduced Costs and IT Burden
Cost reduction is important across the business, and even though the benefits to end-users are abundant, and at an enterprise level there is a lot to gain, it can often be difficult to convince decision makers to sign new contracts due to the costs involved. But don’t worry– CSPs actually offer substantial cost savings.
By centralising content management across the entire organisation, a CSP reduces the need for multiple disparate solutions, and the cost required for their subscriptions, maintenance, and general upkeep. Plus, by reducing the number of different systems used in the business, you’re streamlining your IT infrastructure and making your employees day-to-day work a little more simple.
Plus, less additional training is required compared to having multiple systems, and while training is vital, it’s still time taken away from productive work. You can lessen the burden on IT and tech support teams because the systems are user friendly, and the information that every individual needs is easily accessible.
Many of the overall benefits of a Content Services Platform, such as streamlining processes, enhancing collaboration, improving compliance, and simplifying content management, all lead to an increase in productivity and efficiency. And as we know, time saved on repetitive tasks, searching for information, and collaboration challenges all translate to substantial cost savings (and improved overall operational effectiveness).
As cloud based services, many CSPs offer varied pricing structures to suit different requirements and use cases. At Generis, we have a one-user, one-license pricing policy, which means if customers expand their use of the CARA Platform, bringing aboard more processes and use cases, then they don’t need to purchase additional licenses – one license covers it all.
Learn more about how the CARA Platform’s Enterprise Content Services can help your organisation combat silos and content sprawl, and improve collaboration, security, and compliance.
Or get in touch today to see a demo of the platform in action.