“In the beginning was the Word …”
Seems like a long, long time ago, 1983 to be precise, when the new and exciting Word processing tool was introduced to the world. Trusty old typewriters were done away with, ink stained fingers were washed clean, and messy typewriter ribbons were rolled away into oblivion. WordPerfect and Microsoft’s Word revolutionized the concept of writing. The formatting and template features made Word one of the most popular piece of software in the business world.
Today, content is BIG in in the business world. 60% of organizations report content growing at a rate of 100% per year! Many think they are managing fine with Word, but reports suggest otherwise. Here are three critical areas that businesses need to pay attention to, and start thinking beyond Word.
Files, Files everywhere …
Docurated’s The State of Document Management Report 2014 showcased some interesting facts. Here are some takeaways from the report:
- 68% of organizations have 5 or more storage repositories
- The inability to find documents and poor mobility are cited as the biggest challenges IT Leaders face
- Improving mobility and making documents easier to find are big drivers of new technology investment
- Antiquated technology is rife within the Enterprise
- Cloud Storage is being deployed but the lion’s share of documents are still on-premise.
The problem is that Word stores documents as a file. Sorting through files stored on the cloud and on-premise, on the network and a midst Google docs, is an unimaginable pain! The IT sector is quickly waking up to this fact. Check out this survey in that same report:
What’s beyond Word: A Database driven Document Creation system
Of the many other benefits, the database driven XaitPorter comes with a master content (data) management (MCM) and composite document management feature. This allows end users to keep all their data in a single-source repository and use the content dynamically in real time. For more details on the benefits of a database driven document creation system, read this blog.
Microsoft Word is an atrocious tool for Web writing. Its document-formatting mission means that every piece of text it creates is thickly wrapped in metadata, layer on layer of invisible, unnecessary instructions about how the Words should look on paper.
Like the fax machine, Word was designed to put things on paper. It was a tool of the desktop-publishing revolution, allowing ordinary computer users to make professional (or at least approximately professional) document layouts and to print them out. That’s great if you’re making a lot of church bulletins or lost-dog fliers. Keep on using Word. (Maybe keep better track of your dog, though.)
What’s beyond Word: Automatic Formatting is what! You don’t have to worry about spending hours and hours on bullets and tables and diagrams. Ready templates that fit in seamlessly with the rest of the document. The fact that XaitPorter is database driven has more advantages than one. Tables, macros, forms – all of them are stored in the database and are available every time you or your team accesses it. Composite Content Management is a great help too. You can use the same content again and replicate it in different documents.
The Track Changes feature in Word is quite useful, but not quite so adequate for document creation in this era. Scocca had a bit to say about this too:
The Track changes feature makes an uneventful edit read like a color-coded transcript of an argument between the world’s most narcissistic writer and the world’s most pedantic and passive-aggressive copy editor.
When you think about it, a document with red and blue lines with strike-throughs, is the last thing you want to look at when you are against a deadline. Not to mention that the file has been going back and forth between the project manager, the team lead, the content writer and the designer until you do not know which version to send to the client.
What’s beyond Word: A Document Collaboration System like XaitPorter eliminates the need for the painstaking to and fro of files. Edits can be made in real time and checked and approved as soon as the changes are made. You’re not writing off someone’s hard work. You are working with them, collaborating and creating the document together. And the Xait process takes care of all versioning issues. Changes made are saved as they are written, so the document you are working on is always the most recent version.
Are you ready to move on beyond Word?