How CaaS Enables Collaboration Through Structured Content

Previously, we discussed how Content as a Service unlocks your website’s content. Enterprise content teams often find it difficult to get everybody who is involved with requesting, creating, approving, and delivering content to work together efficiently and effectively. A lot of coordination relating to content still happens by sending documents via email or by nagging colleagues in work chat messages to do something. And in large organizations, it’s common for different teams to be using multiple CMSs, making it difficult to share their work.

Michael AndrewsPublished on Oct 22, 2019

Content teams have lacked robust support for content collaboration across the enterprise. Better collaboration is an important goal of many enterprise content teams.

  • Does everyone across the entire enterprise have a clear picture of what content to create and deliver?
  • Can everyone identify which parts they should focus on, because they are responsible for these parts?

Content collaboration is important for two reasons:

  1. It influences the efficiency with which content can be created
  2. It influences the quality of the content

CaaS supports collaboration through two features. First, it consolidates all enterprise content within a single content hub, so that everyone can access the same content. And second, it manages content as modular pieces instead of as web pages, which makes the content more flexible for different team members to use.

Coordinating Activities Using Structured Content

CaaS utilizes structured content. Described simply, structured content means that content addressing a topic is organized into separate sections. Each section is distinctly identified and is independent of the other sections. Several sections, when combined, might form an article. But a section does not need to be tied to a specific web page. The same section of content can be used on many web pages or in other channels.

Sections of Content

When using structured content, teams can manage and measure important sections of content that might be used in multiple places to support various goals.

By supporting structured content, CaaS allows teams to tweak a section so that the wording is accurate and well understood. Authors who need that section can use it, and they don’t have to create their own version. There is one master version that all authors can use. That makes the content creation process much easier.

Structured content has become an increasingly popular approach to drafting content. But with CaaS, the benefits of structured content go beyond drafting. CaaS manages structured content by using a content model. This content model provides the precision teams need to make changes that are easy to propagate through all their content.

Let’s consider how CaaS’s structured content approach supports team collaboration. CaaS improves many dimensions of team collaboration:

  • Agility
  • Continuity
  • Sharing
  • Focus

Collaboration Benefit #1: Increased Agility

Structure lets teams create and approve content more quickly. Multiple people can work on a single content item—even at the same time. Because of the modular character of structured content, different items can be drafted and reviewed independently, improving the turnaround time.

Structure also lets teams update content more quickly. Because a specific section can be used in many different outputs, the team only needs to update the information in one place. This makes updating those numerous outputs easy and quick to do, so teams are never sweating in a scenario where important updates need to be made swiftly.

Collaboration Benefit #2: Better Continuity

It’s common for individual authors who are working at different times to create content differently. When that happens, content becomes inconsistent.

CaaS supports collaboration over time. Individuals can build on the work of others, by reusing sections of content that have already been created. This improves the continuity of work and makes content consistent over time.

Collaboration Benefit #3: Better Sharing

Collaboration requires sharing: the sharing of resources that individuals or groups have, together with the sharing of expertise.

CaaS serves as a hub for all content-related tasks. It offers collaborative editing, commenting, and reviews, as well as the ability to track work-in-progress according to different criteria. With CaaS, teams use a common platform, making it easier for them to consult with each other and share their expertise. All members of a team use the same system and different roles can collaborate easily: not only writers and editors, but executives and subject matter experts who might be requesting the content and need to review it for accuracy or approval.

A central content hub also reduces the risk of several parties creating overlapping or duplicate content because they use different CMSs. Teams can share content items and assets. CaaS brings harmony to content developed by various groups and individuals.

Collaboration Benefit #4: Improved Focus

Structured content has another benefit: it helps teams clarify what work needs doing, and the goals they are working toward. When using a CaaS approach, everyone is working from a common model. A common enterprise content model facilitates a common understanding of the purpose of different content items.

The content model separates content into independent sections or parts. Structured content helps teams focus on what aspects of the content need to be created or revised.

Sections that have already been created and approved and don’t require change don’t distract from material that needs review. Team members can focus on the sections that are relevant to them, and on the tasks relating to those sections that require their attention. They no longer have to look at a long document to find a specific section that needs work. Instead, they can get notified about the exact section they should look at.

Collaboration with CaaS

Collaboration is fundamental to the Content-as-a-Service approach. CaaS connects the people and activities of teams so they can produce better quality content more quickly. Different content teams can even share their work. CaaS can help you overcome the problem of different silos of activity within the enterprise.

Next time, we will discuss how CaaS supports a content-first approach to digital publishing.

Written by

Michael Andrews

I’m Content Strategy Evangelist at I appreciate the value of great content. My mission is to help others produce the best content they can.

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