How SharePoint Online is Improving Content Management

If you’re in the corporate communications world, I’m sure the phrase “content is king” has been exhausted on you. I promise not to use it again in this post, but the truth is, without meaningful, engaging, and fresh content, user adoption drops at an alarming rate. You can build a beautiful intranet with the latest and greatest in design and feature-set, but if the content is stale, or worse, unimportant, there’s no reason for your users to visit it. SharePoint has a rich and promising history with content management, but those who use it often know it’s so much more than simple document storage.  

The Evolution of SharePoint and Content Management 

From its inception, SharePoint has been driven around lists and libraries. SharePoint at its core is built around helping to manage and store content. In other words,  SharePoint was built as a content management system. SharePoint attempted to solve the “Z drive” (shared drive) dilemma, and it looked to address this via the use of libraries. You could create a list of SharePoint content that is web accessible that anyone could create. While documents are content, so are lists.  

Content management has evolved over the last decade. SharePoint stuck to its tried and true, providing the ability to add rich metadata, through the use of content types and taxonomy with metadata fields. SharePoint started this and people have created very sophisticated content management systems around it.  

With the evolution of Dropbox and other cloud services, organizations demanded personal storage that could be shared externally. OneDrive and OneDrive for Business was Microsoft’s response.  

The base of SharePoint Online (SPO) hasn’t evolved too much; it’s still using the power of lists and libraries, taxonomy, etc. Where SPO has taken huge strides is in UI/UX. They have created a better front end to manage files, search is powerful of the content itself, drag and drop capabilities, sync is must more robust, etc.  

SPO is truly improving content management with a beautiful web interface and you can provide a richer experience around that content. You empower content authors to curate more content, it’s easier to tag and manage that content, and surface it to the right user.  

What kind of content are we talking about? 

SharePoint handles all kinds of content, from basic word files, organizational information, videos, legal documents, web content, lists, news articles, HR documents, onboarding information, user profiles, vacation policies, the list goes on… 

Empowered Content Authors Are The Key 

SharePoint provides a very rich editing experience for content authors to be able to easily create web-based content. Modern SharePoint out-of-the-box has changed the game, making it easily for authors to generate rich content (including images and video), classify that content, and target it to specific audiences.  

The Rich Get Richer Results 

It has been proven that people are driven by images and video. These engaging visuals help tell the story the content author is looking to tell. SharePoint’s editing experience is very fluid and customizable, making curating this content more accessible. Accelerators in SharePoint like page templates geared toward specific needs like “News” also help content authors get their message out quickly, keeping content relevant and fresh. 

Storing & Sharing 

SharePoint makes creating rich web-content easy, as well as storing and sharing with best of breed security compliance; it really is the best of both worlds. If you need proof that SharePoint documents storage is where it’s at, look no further than Microsoft’s greatest current investment Teams who uses SharePoint for its file content management.  

The Future… 

In the second half of 2019, Microsoft announced Project Cortex, a new, powerful knowledge management system built around SharePoint and other Microsoft services. What we’ve seen to date continues to look very exciting. Microsoft is making a huge bet on getting knowledge management correct, and it’s effectively driven by their content services. Project Cortex promises to apply AI to automatically organize your content, and delivers innovative experiences—topic cards, topic pages and knowledge centers—in Office, Outlook and Microsoft Teams.  

Ready to empower your content authors and engage your users with rich content they truly need? Let’s chat today! 

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