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How to Make Corporate Content on Mobile Always Up-to-Date
Increasingly, employees access corporate content–that is, the documentation and communication of company information—through their mobile devices, and businesses are struggling to catch up to this trend. In this new weekly series, we’ll explore the opportunities and challenges of mobile-enabled corporate content, and what you should know to set your organization up for success.
It’s a scenario we at Inkling hear of happening over and over, in companies of all sizes. Critical information is sent to employees or third parties via email or a corporate intranet, with mobile devices acting as the catalyst for circulation. But, not so long after the content has been widely downloaded and put into practice, inaccuracies and/or mistakes in the content are revealed. What then?
Business-Critical Information: Handle with Care
Business-critical information is exactly as it sounds: significant information that typically has direct, material financial implications for your business. Examples include product specs, brand guidelines, and internal process documentation, and these pieces of corporate content are often created using a variety of software solutions, with responsibilities and stakeholders spread out among disparate teams and departments. And yet, even though this content is crucial to running your business, it can also be the most prone to human error and mistakes, as it gets passed between teams and software tools. Even employee training content can have dire consequences when in the wrong hands or distributed with errors.
Tracking Down the Typos
Email, FTPs and intranets have made content distribution easy, but they can also cause content fragmentation. Over time, then, various versions of your most important content live in many different places, at risk of being out of date, inaccurate, or worse yet, in front of unauthorized parties. Large, global corporations tend to deal with this issue constantly, reporting significant numbers of employees and partners using incorrect information during day-to-day business activities. Added up, even a small error, such as a numerical typo, can lead to serious financial consequences and inconsistent representation of your company. In the US and UK alone, according to a report from the IDC, employee actions stemming from misunderstanding or misinformation of company policies and processes add up to $37B–a number that could be drastically reduced if companies are able to alter or amend their corporate content.
Despite best efforts to quickly update the information in question, content ‘owners’ are left with the unfortunate problem of retracting and replacing corporate content throughout the organization. Beyond just the inconvenience and stress caused, there are serious implications of distributing business critical content that cannot be updated or protected in real-time. After distributing inaccurate sales playbooks or outdated brand guidelines, for example, your business might continue to feel the consequences for days after the mistake has been realized but before the content has been fixed or recalled.
The Mobile Solution
While often (and unfairly) blamed for careless distribution, mobile devices are, actually, the perfect vehicle for real-time updates. They are always connected to the web and play an increasingly central role in the lives of employees. In fact, “some 95 percent of knowledge workers own smartphones, and they reach for them first to do all kinds of tasks,” reports TechCrunch.
How do you both optimize for the mobile trend and account for the certainty of human error in your corporate content? Enter cloud publishing. Taking into account the need to control authoring and distribution versioning, cloud-based publishing products (like Inkling) reduce the inherent complexity in content creation and distribution by anchoring everything in the cloud. Content creators can rest easy knowing their business-critical information is being accessed by the right employees and outside partners. This so-called “single source of truth” enables total transparency in what is being distributed to everyone, while real-time updates can mitigate costly mistakes and enable critical changes quickly. What’s more, content is protected and strictly permissioned, so you have total control over who sees what when.
All too often, business critical content is distributed through “irreversible” channels, such as e-mail or PDFs, and yet made increasingly visible through mobile use. Cloud publishing platforms introduce fluidity, both in creation and in dissemination, and takes advantage of mobile devices’ accessibility, without giving up security and control. That way, companies can focus less on course-correcting, and more on their delighting their customers, empowering their employees, and growing their bottom lines.
What has been your experience with incorrect corporate content? Tell us in the comments below!
Learn more about how your corporate content might be work on Inkling when you request a free demo of our cloud publishing platform.