Combine the Power of Content Services Platforms and Low-Code Applications


Build and Deliver Intelligent, Content-Driven Applications

Content is central to every business process and is the lifeblood of employee productivity, innovation, and collaboration. This is why many organizations have turned to content services to capture, manage, and store their enterprise content. But no content services platform is one size fits all, which then creates data silos, incompatibility with other IT systems, and limited business processing and workflow capabilities.

IT teams will often find that users fail to use the content services platforms provided or worse, store their content in local drives that never make it into a shared system. This results in unclassified and unstructured data, heterogeneous content environments, and shadow IT security issues. The central content management system that once was no longer sufficiently meets the needs of the business and its core users.

Using low-code application development tools with content services platforms allows various content and line-of-business systems to integrate and coexist so employees, teams, and departments can leverage a complete set of productivity tools to achieve operational efficiency. Businesses are continually looking to low-code application development platforms to achieve more holistic and sophisticated levels of usability, content-centric collaboration, and automation.

This guide will explain:
  • The main business requirements and challenges of content services
  • Why content services are limited in business processing capabilities
  • Why low-code can enhance your content services platform
  • What the benefits of combining low-code with content services are

What is Content Services?

From ECM to Content Services


What was once traditional enterprise content management (ECM) (document management, records management, capture, and workflow), the solution has evolved to a much broader set of content-related technologies, known as content service platforms. These technologies are dramatically changing how businesses create, manage, and distribute enterprise content to meet the needs of different users, systems, and applications. Though ECM has progressed, content services platforms still have limitations in its capabilities to fully support all the content needs of a business.

Not all enterprise content services are created equal, and neither are employee preferences, which means content can still live in disparate systems that IT teams are challenged to bring together. This means large volumes of unstructured data, and enterprises struggle to connect and provide users access to all content living in various sources into a centralized workspace.

With the shift to more sophisticated, content workflows, content services platforms can run into limits with business processing, slowing organizations down. There is also a growing number of specialized content solutions emerging such as artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, optical character recognition (OCR), and natural language processing (NLP) that IT must incorporate into their information architecture.

Enterprises must find a way to bring all these capabilities and systems together to enable user productivity and collaboration that spans employees, teams, and departments. With the growing adoption of modernization technologies such as Machine Learning (ML), Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and AI, businesses are challenged to build and deliver intelligent processes that are content-centric.

AIIM REPORT

Content Management 2020: Thinking Beyond

"The challenge of managing the intersection of people, processes, and information is not a new one."

Main Requirements for Content Services Platforms


Enterprise content services platforms can be powerful tools that can help manage content within any organization. Whether it’s health records or product information, content services must be able to surface, classify, and distribute unstructured, semi-structured and structured content that also provides cleaner metadata for users to use information in a meaningful and smart way. Additionally, content services are particularly helpful in understanding the lifecycle of content - from creation to tracking to editing, users can see who is interacting with the content and what action is being taken on it. To foster collaboration, content services must also support team workspaces, document classification, as well as secure file sync and share.

System administrators must also ensure the appropriate access to content is given to the right users, for both productivity and security purposes. Ability to assign user permissions and privileges is key to a strategic content services platform; this can help streamline the lifecycle of the content. Lastly, content comes in all different shapes and sizes, which means it is crucial that a content system can store large volumes of data that come in different format types as well as be able to integrate with workflows and other enterprise content and LOB systems.

As content services platforms continue to evolve, technology and feature capabilities will expand from core repository services such as version and access controls, life-cycle management, metadata management and more. Modernization technologies such as AI and ML will also enhance scanning, imaging, OCR, and automatic content generation to surface knowledge, deliver digital documents, and better categorize and structure unstructured and semi-structured content.

Ways to Optimize

Problems with Content Services

Top Challenges and Limitations of Content Services


1. Content silos

Users interact with content across a host of disparate content management systems. However, not all content services providers offer integration and support for other content management systems. IT struggles to provide a unified yet hybrid environment and experience for internal and external users, which can create major content gaps between systems as well as limit collaboration across content-centric workflows.

2. Automation and process-driven support

Though few enterprise content services providers are making investments in BPM and process-driven content solutions for their customers, there remains limited services that enable true content collaboration and workflow and task management capabilities. High-volume customer processes and content use cases need the power of a business processing platform to support transactional content that can often live outside of the enterprise.

3. Advanced workflow logic

With limited workflow and business processing capabilities, using advanced workflow logic to drive content-centric apps is particularly challenging. It can also be difficult to directly link content and metadata within specific processes and workflow actions. This can lead to a lack of accountability and mission-critical, time-sensitive processes may not occur in a timely manner.

4. Integration capabilities and mobile support

Integration varies greatly across all on-premises and cloud content services platforms, which is severely limiting for employee productivity. The ability to integrate with enterprise systems and line-of-business (LOB) applications as well as provide bidirectional integration is crucial to interoperability and usability. As users continue to access content on mobile form factors, it’s also increasingly important for content solutions to offer mobile support while maintaining data compliance and security.

5. Analytics and insights

Traditional content management systems provide data and insights into the content itself, but blind spots remain as to how the content moves within workflows. Understanding how users interact with content within workflows can help improve the quality of content and streamline automation.

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The Value of Low-Code Software for SAP Apps

Why Low-code Development?

Content services platforms can be powerful, but require application development platform solutions to move content around an organization. Business applications also help distribute the right content across different systems and users to increase collaboration and productivity.

IT teams can combine the two platforms to achieve greater complexity in workflows as well as incorporate modernization technologies such as AI and ML.

The Value of Low-code Development for Content Services


Low-code platforms add intelligence to content and sophisticated business processing capabilities to help organizations make the most of their content services solutions.

Intelligent Content

Low-code app development can provide intelligent and advanced workflow automation to content so enterprises can streamline their business processes. Through advanced workflow logic and metadata that powers workflow actions, the right content works to help drive businesses forward. Other intelligent automation technologies such as AI and ML will also provide more predictability, structure, and usability around content and make business processes smarter and more robust.

Centralized Content

Content lives across multiple systems which can be challenging to bring together in a centralized location. A low-code platform can act as the glue between systems to allow you to bring data from multiple content management systems such as SharePoint, Google Drive, Box, and DropBox together. Easy integration eliminates content silos and allows users to design content-centric processes that connect content, systems, and users together in one place.

Increased Collaboration

Behind every great team is great content. By providing users easy access to their content, they can seamlessly collaborate with one another. Users can often have different preferences when it comes to ECM systems. Users can waste time looking for the right data that lives across multiple content management systems. Connecting the systems together allows for content to integrate across enterprise content management platforms and users into any workflow.

Faster ROI

Reporting and analytics on content alone provide limited understanding and insight on how content is performing within workflows and processes, which can lead to poor decision making. With a low-code solution, users are given a holistic view of how their content is performing within their business processes and how to optimize applications quicker and more efficiently.

Business Processing Capabilities and Agility

Low-code solutions provide capabilities for rapid workflow development and creation. Easy integration with all line-of-business (LOB) systems allows users to build specific content-centric applications that will meet their business needs. Organizations can quickly respond to changing business needs and evolving content within the low-code development platform so IT can test, learn, and pivot where appropriate. This enables business solutions to be created and delivered quickly, incorporating feedback from internal and external stakeholders.

Retained Visibility and Control

Organizations can see what happens to content every step along the way. At any given moment, users can see where a document is in the process and how to alter either the content or the process to remove bottlenecks or get ahead of any potential roadblocks.

Data Security

Reap all the benefits of using low-code apps and on-premises or cloud content services to power business processes without sacrificing any data security requirements or worrying about the threat of personal file sync and share. IT can maintain all regulatory and compliance standards in either the cloud or on-premise.

Use Cases for Low-code Development Platforms and Content Services


Case 1: Automated intake processes

Any intake process often requires multiple documents for business processing. Automation brings together all the documentation and paperwork required for a loan application or approval, for example, and can automate and expedite processing.

Case 2: Data extraction using OCR

Route information captured with an OCR tool to kick off a workflow process and use that data with K2’s rules engine to develop sophisticated processes that meet your business needs.

Case 3: Intelligent Content Processes with AI and K2

K2 enhances AI features such as natural language processing (NLP) to incorporate content into processes and deliver more intelligent content-centric business applications.

What to Look for in a Low-Code Process Application Platform

Benefits of Low-code Development Platforms & Content Services

Enterprises need to streamline processes as well as integrate with enterprise content services platforms to stay agile and keep content intelligent.

With K2’s low-code application development platform, you can build content applications quickly and at scale across your organization. Whether you want to automate departmental workflows or streamline enterprise-wide systems as part of your digital transformation strategy, K2 works with on-premises and cloud content services platforms so you can build, empower, and control your business processes.

K2 Highlights


Intuitive visual design tools and wizards let business users easily create content apps that meet their content services needs while requiring little or no programming.


Patented business integration technology, called SmartObjects, makes connecting to virtually any of your enterprise content management systems quick and reusable.


Pre-built apps (called SmartStarters) help you jumpstart your content-centric workflows. Choose from out-of-the-box apps or use our three-step app creation wizard.

Make the Most of Content Services with Low-code Application Development Platforms


Content management systems are complex, and enterprises need to find a way to connect their content across multiple sources and deliver actionable insights on content to decision makers — at the right time and on any device, online or offline. A low-code application development platform enables organizations to connect their content, systems, and processes by enabling people to quickly and easily build apps, as-needed, and surface the content they need to be successful.

Next Steps


K2 can help you understand how to combine the capabilities of content services with low-code application development so you can achieve true automation and business processing with your enterprise content.

It’s essential to use a tool like K2 to connect all your IT systems together. With K2’s platform, you can bring and access all your data in one place and ensure the right content is distributed to the right person at the right time.

When data and automation work together, organizations can build and deliver content-centric apps that will enable user productivity, optimize content for maximum efficiency, and provide new ways for collaboration.

Learn more about how you can accelerate your digital transformation initiative with K2 and Content Services.