Print Will Never Die
Since the late 1990s, there's been tremendous hype around content management systems that allegedly handle a variety of content, including text, graphics, video and audio clips.
However, the majority of content management systems focus primarily on managing an organization's Web content. Although the Web is an important medium for delivering information, it's not the only medium that contains an organization's information assets.
What most content management systems overlook is how to effectively manage content independent of its end use. They also overlook the natural flow of content, which includes creating content and transforming it to its end use.
This Web content management strategy leads to neglect of content destined for print. It's seriously limited the most basic benefit of content management systems: Full content reuse across all media channels, including print, Web, CD-ROM and wireless.
Print continues to be the dominant medium used by manufacturing and technology companies. These organizations need to provide accurate information about products in the form of user's manuals, training manuals and technical documentation.
While it's valuable for documents to be available online, it's equally important for them to be available as print and CD-ROM versions, to accompany the products or parts they support.
The challenge is, these technical documents and user's manuals are comprised of numerous pages, and sometimes exist in dozens, even hundreds of different versions. Another obstacle: The documentation often needs to be available in numerous languages.
It's an enormous task for organizations to continually update and maintain documentation, not to mention the time required for proofing, to make sure changes have been made in all instances, and that revised content is consistent.
The production of accurate new product manuals is a crucial step in the process of taking a product to market. Imagine delaying a multi-million dollar product launch because the documentation isn't ready, or having to locate and edit a content fragment that appears in hundreds of manuals.