By Christopher McLaughlin, Chief Product & Marketing Officer at global open source content management platform Nuxeo.
Anyone working in digital, or indeed the broader marketing team, would be in little doubt about the importance of content. Good content goes way beyond digital however and is a bona fide essential component of most successful businesses.
That’s because content drives tangible business outcomes. Recent Nuxeo research revealed that 29% of consumers said personalised content from a retailer makes them feel more valued and 28% said it made them more likely to buy again. 42% of UK shoppers have recommended a retailer because of the quality of the content they share.
Making smart and strategic use of content has therefore become a number one priority for many enterprises. Yet the process of developing applications can take too long and can be too prescriptive, hampering speed to market with transformational new services and user experiences. As the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted, a more agile and sustainable approach is now needed if companies are to make more opportune use of their richest information and multimedia assets.
The pandemic and ‘trapped’ content
The need for agility around content services was around long before Covid-19 caught businesses off guard, but lockdown highlighted this even further. If an organisation’s employees, supply-chain partners and customers found it difficult to engage fluidly with content and processes beforehand, this was certainly the case once office premises closed.
Previously, companies looked at content digitisation as a means of continuous business differentiation. How could they pivot activities to respond to new opportunities and keep ahead of competitors with new and exciting propositions? During lockdown, manoeuvrability became a matter of survival. If different parties couldn’t access the information or digital assets they needed on demand to accomplish routine or new tasks, companies’ business operations were directly under threat.
Those companies that were empowered by smart and flexible content access found they were able to progress ably under even these most extreme conditions.
Low code and content management
This has all helped accelerate the rise of low code development, especially in the context of content access, management and re-use. Low code is about giving companies the ability to create and roll out new user experiences without having to engage in long development projects.
It makes developers more efficient, by allowing them to re-use existing components and templates to speed up application delivery. Rather than doing away with the need for developers, low code allows IT teams to make smarter and more efficient use of their time and skills, accelerating the delivery of new functionality.
The realisation that this low-code development approach can be applied specifically to content-based applications is particularly exciting. It paves the way for companies to create new content-based services at high speed. Whereas it might have taken up to 12 months to create a new customer or supply-chain experience the traditional way, development teams with access to a low-code development platform for delivering new content-based services and experiences, can do so within just a few weeks.
Getting maximum value from content
Making this happen requires that two fundamental conditions be fulfilled. First, existing information silos need to be bridged so that content can be unlocked and used in a range of new ways. Second, content needs to be made ‘smarter’ so that it is easier to find, combine, analyse and act on. This involves using smart technologies (specifically AI/machine learning) to enrich the data about content, so that it can be found and exploited more readily.
The tools and computing power to discover more data about content are more widely accessible now than they have ever been. The first step in making progress towards all this new digital agility is to establish a common foundation or ‘platform’ for all of the critical information the business wants to be able to exploit in new and better ways.
Teams need to be able to leverage the content in as short a timeframe as possible in new apps and services. It is here that a low-code content application development platform comes into its own, enabling companies to derive maximum value from content – efficiently and at speed.
Low-code tooling means that organisations with innovative new ideas can pivot more quickly and take advantage of these capabilities more readily. It is the unique combination of core content management functionality and a low-code app development environment that makes this possible: enabling more agility and responsiveness to customer or business needs and putting low code at the core of smart content management.