One of the key reasons why teams move from a file-based solution to a database-driven one for document production is the ability to build your own centralized content library in the cloud. A content library, or content database, solves multiple pain points for companies that create and submit documents on a consistent basis.
According to a study from the International Data Corporation, most employees spend around 2.5 hours per day – which translates to roughly 30% of their full workday – just looking for the information they need to complete their tasks. That borders on insanity.
What if all business-critical information could be stored in one central location, readily available for everyone involved? This is exactly what a centralized content library does.
What is a content library?
A content library is a central location that gathers all the assets, content and information everybody in your company will need, no matter the level. Empowering users to organize and search for the content their project needs, a content library provides a single-source repository enabling everyone to work more efficiently and save lots of time and effort.
Let’s look at 6 key benefits of moving to a database-driven collaboration and co-authoring solution for your document production.
Produce documents faster with easy content search
Ref the IDC study mentioned above: How much time do you and your team spend manually tagging and searching for content?
Easily tracking down the right content when you need it is key to creating documents quicker and more efficiently.
Create content consistency
File-based document management solutions can lead to inconsistency in your final product. When different versions of a file are stored in different places, it can be difficult to ensure the content remains consistent throughout the entire document.
When your team and other contributors operate out of and store their work in a database-driven co-authoring solution, any work or changes are made in the database and instantly reflected. Your team has access to the document you are working on and can see the changes you’ve made in real time.
Save time and energy by re-using content
A co-authoring and automation solution that offers a content library allows you to easily reuse pre-approved and vetted content in multiple documents.
You can use ‘linked sections’, which are any pieces of content you would like to re-use and keep updated. For instance, your terms of service section is most likely going to stay the same across every contract or document you create, so you will constantly have to find the most recent version and copy and paste it into your new contract. This leaves a lot of margin for error.
Instead, make your terms of service a linked section. You don’t copy and paste from your most recent document but “link” your master terms of service section to your new document, and ta-da! It appears automatically.
Reusing content, outlines and workflows can be an extreme time saver, improving your productivity many times over.
Ensure your content is always up to date and ready to use
An enterprise-grade co-authoring and automation solution should enable you to assign a content expiry date to linked sections. Content expiry lets you set an expiration date on your re-usable content to ensure it will always be up to date and ready to use.
Let’s stay with the terms of service section example from above. Using the content expiry feature, you’ll be able to assign that section to a writer with a content expiry of every 4 weeks or 4 months or one year. When the expiration date is hit, a message will automatically be sent to the writer letting them know they need to update that master piece of content.
As your terms of service section is linked, any changes or updates you make in the master terms of service section will be automatically pushed to all documents that use the linked sections. Your one change will update all documents. Simple, easy re-use of content!
Data security is a higher priority than ever for businesses. How content is shared in a database is also key to security; if you have all your data in one central location, an obvious concern is controlling how that information is shared with users. Best-in-class, ISO 27001 certified document collaboration software offers permissions-based access: Users only see what they have been specifically given access to within the system, which makes for easy content control.
A huge benefit of database systems is backup and recovery functionality. Unlike in a file-based solution, you don’t have to worry about manually saving work in a cloud-based system – it is automatically saved every 30 seconds. A top-notch co-authoring solution should also save restore points for users, so they can easily recall a previous version of a document they were working on.
Most importantly, if a critical version of a document is held on a local storage system and is deleted there is no way to recover it without a backup. A cloud-based solution backs up your content for you, enabling your data to be recovered if the document is deleted.
In a nutshell: Get a leg up on the competition!
In addition to the obvious business value of ensuring data management, security, and content control, creating your documents in a solution that offers a content library gives you a huge competitive advantage in a winner-takes-all market.
Silje is Marketing Manager of Xait. She holds a Bachelor in Marketing Communication and an Executive Master in Business Administration. She is an analytical, efficient and results-focused marketing and communications professional and her career spans over 15 years within real estate, oil & gas and IT. When Silje is not busy growing the Xait brand, you can find her at her family cabin in picturesque Sirdal, Norway, hiking, trekking and cross-country skiing.
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