In creating its taxonomy, a company might begin with a survey into what information exists and what is needed and of interest to people inside and outside the organization. It is also helpful to assess how vendors, partners and employees view the organization and how, in that context, they might seek information. Such a process must involve key stakeholders and knowledge professionals working in collaboration with IT.
Information exists in every part of an organization but often remains hidden to those outside a particular division. This is because there isn’t a consistent contextual relationship between that information and the way it’s captured. The description used by finance might be (and probably is — remember Murphy’s Law?) different from the term used in marketing. Establishing a common vocabulary and rules for applying terminology and labeling, for example, can make all the difference here.
Content management continues to evolve, and today opportunities abound for companies to exploit and be creative with their content, thanks to the emergence of new technologies, such as XML.
Such technologies enable companies to break content up into more granular and reusable components. Opportunities for information reuse exist throughout businesses. For example, companies spend millions on multiple legal agreements, which often are copied, pasted and redrafted, creating thousands of monolithic, self-contained documents.
Advanced technologies enable components of those documents to be reused, giving structure to unstructured content.
As the opportunities for companies to streamline operations and information by investing in content management continue to grow, forwarding thinking companies that take steps to create a taxonomy and utilize technologies that enable content to be repurposed will reap the full benefits of an enterprise content strategy.
Sam Goldman is the CTO at Intrasphere Technologies, a developer of custom enterprise software and management solutions. Goldman has helped divisions and departments in many companies solve content challenges. Please send comments or ideas to Sam at [email protected].