What is Content as a Service?
You may have come across the term Content as a Service (or CaaS) and be wondering what it means and how it can help you. Perhaps your organization has become swamped by content spread out across multiple systems without a single point of contact. You might be spending all your time trying to coordinate among everything in your content ecosystem instead of optimizing a single, coherent system where everyone on your team can collaborate. You've been told that Content as a Service might help you with your problem, but you don't know what it is and how it should help.
Using Content as a Service allows you to manage your content in one place throughout the production process, from planning through analysis and optimization. To understand the full benefit, it's important to know what problems it was intended to address and how it helps resolve them.
Table of contents
Problems with traditional systems
Multiple points of contact
With traditional systems for managing content, you may find yourself with a different system for each of your communication channels. You might have 3 websites and 2 mobile apps all displaying similar content but each using a different system to manage that content. And then you add in other tools to meet specific needs, like a content planner and an app for optimization.
In order for your team to develop your content, they have to work in multiple systems at once. The time they could be devoting to collaborating on excellent content instead goes towards finding the content and navigating the systems. Because there isn't a single place to work together, there are inconsistencies and customers don't get a unified digital experience.
As the complexity of your content ecosystem grows, your productivity decreases. With your content expanding outward, you lose the ability to quickly package the content in the right ways to fit your needs. Your content is less agile and you can't deliver as much.
You may have experienced examples when your team has had to waste time uploading a single piece of content into various systems. This means you are putting time and money into duplicating work instead of using it productively.
Tools for web content management have generally focused on the web part – on helping people get things ready for a single website. This means that your content is tied up together with how it will be presented.
When you're preparing for a launch, this means you'll have a lot of back and forth between content authors and developers to try to get the content and presentation working together. It also means that redesigning your presentation to fit your current content strategy requires a lot of work on the content itself. You have to spend time adjusting the content and not just how it looks.
When you spend time getting your content ready for a single channel, that content isn't ready to be used elsewhere. So it takes more effort to get the most return on what you've invested in your content.
Missing holistic view
As you build up your content ecosystem, you might find that it starts to fracture. You'll find a lot of tools that promise solutions for every individual step of the content production process, but you'll quickly see that they don't work together perfectly. They may help with one part of the problem, but trying to get them to speak the same language can cause more problems.
For example, you might have content strategists mapping out a strategy in a content planning tool. But when it comes time for contributors to create the content, you find that your plans don't really fit with what your authoring tool offers. And then when you try to have a look at how your content is performing, the data ends up somewhere completely different.
You have trouble seeing how your content is developing because you don't get a single view of the content life cycle.
All your content in one place
The hub of your content ecosystem
When your content ecosystem starts to expand farther outward, employing Content as a Service can help you get it under control. Instead of adding more and more tools to solve your growing problems, you can employ a single tool like Kentico Cloud to apply an end-to-end, unified approach to your content production process. Kentico Cloud can talk to all of your other systems and ensure they all are heading in the same direction.
This makes it possible for you to implement a single strategy across your ecosystem. Rather than worrying about how different parts are communicating different ideas, you can be sure that all of your content fits within your plans.
A single source of content truth
Having all your content stored in one single, simple solution means you no longer have to worry about the complexity of your systems. You can even pull content from other systems into Kentico Cloud and use that as your content hub can use content from any place you want.
You can see this when your contributors no longer have to waste time duplicating content in various places. They also don't have to wonder which of the various versions of your content is the latest and greatest. Instead, they have all of the content in the one content hub with one definitive version. They use that as the single source to integrate with all your other systems.
Publish once for everywhere
The "service" part of Content as a Service means that you pull your content into whatever system you need whenever you want to. Because your content sits in a single, technology-independent hub, you don't have to worry about getting locked into an old system or not being ready for the next big thing. You create the content in one place and then integrate it with any other system you like.
Enjoy a content-first process
Because you're not producing content only within a single website, you are freed from the confines that website puts on you. Instead of designing your content so it fits the specifics of only one channel, you focus on the content as your primary goal. Your team can create content so that it best presents your message and everything else will follow from that.
You create a strategy that focuses on making your content shine.
Use the best supporting tools for your needs
With your content taken care of, you can expand your reach to other areas, whether that's e-commerce or customer services (with a CRM) or anything else. Since your content is managed throughout its production process, you don't have to use a platform that is only so-so at everything. You can choose to implement the best tool for each area you're interested in.
Because your content's not tied up in its presentation, it's easy for you to switch tools whenever you wish. Instead of being locked in to a specific vendor, you're free to pick and choose. It's easy to make agile decisions about your content, whether that's a redesign that you can implement quickly or republishing your content to a completely new channel.
It's all possible thanks to the Kentico Cloud APIs. APIs stands for "application programming interfaces", but all you need to know is that they're a set of communication methods that allows your content in Kentico Cloud to easy integrate into any other system. They make sure that Kentico Cloud can talk the same language as your other tools, whatever that language may be.
Overview of production process
Identify and manage points of delay
If you've ever been worried about how your content is progressing throughout your various systems, you know the benefit of being able to see it all in one place. You don't have to keep checking separate tools to get updated on your content in different channels. With your content all contained within a single content hub, you can stay up to date on all your projects.
In this way, you can ensure your content strategy is being implemented correctly because the plans are right next to the actual content. You can see how your team is developing the plans and step in and address any bottlenecks in your process.
Your work doesn't stop when you've released your content into the world. You need to know how your content is performing and what you can do to improve it.
With your content in Kentico Cloud, you'll be able to examine how individual pieces of content are performing relative to the rest. This will help you adjust your strategy and devote your resources where they'll be the most effective.
Content as a Service may seem like an abstract term, but you can see that it helps you address very specific problems you're facing. You get to gather all of your content into a single tool. This means you can produce:
- A consistent digital experience
- Agile content that’s ready for the future
- A clear overview of every step along the way
So don't be intimidated by what Content as a Service means and start getting the benefits today.