Aussie enterprise workers spend over 800,000 hours a year creating content

Christian Lund, Co-founder at Templafy

New research from Templafy, the next gen document generation platform pioneering the content enablement space, shows that today’s enterprises are suffering from a lack of content infrastructure, putting their business success and reputation at constant risk.

Templafy’s Content Is Everything global research report was conducted in the US, UK, Australia and Germany surveying 2,296 full-time employees at enterprise-level companies.

The report aims to determine the structural and financial consequences enterprises face when they lack automated, integrated tech solutions that support and connect content throughout employee workflows – and the Australian findings specifically uncover cause for concern.

What is the role of content in the digital HQ?

Content is – and always has been – a critical business asset. But in an increasingly digital-first work environment, now known as the “digital HQ,” content is a business’s direct bridge to its stakeholders, particularly customers and employees. In fact, 78% of survey respondents agreed that content is the most important driver of business success, while nearly all (94%) of survey respondents said content is essential to their organisation’s financial wellbeing. 

As the role of content evolves, so does the definition of content itself. While the majority of respondents agreed they consider marketing materials and legal and financial documents to be content, many also agreed that productivity assets (51% of survey respondents) and classification and metadata (40%) are now considered business content as well.

That means businesses need to be and managing content more holistically – everything from emails to pitch decks and content-components comprising them like metadata must be governed, otherwise they may face ramifications throughout the entire business

How is content creation heavily costing companies?

Managing content has proven to be no small feat: despite acknowledging content’s integral role in business success, companies are not prioritising content infrastructure. 57% of respondents said their firm struggles with content standardisation and added that when creating materials they are not confident they are using the latest company-approved assets.

This lack of consistency and integrity across all business content is called “content anarchy,” and it’s a AU$35 million problem. Poor document governance and a lack of content infrastructure causes enterprises to lose thousands of employee hours per year.

Templafy’s report found the average Australian employee spends 16 hours per week creating content – more than the global average of 15 – with 67% saying their company’s process for reviewing and approving content delays other work. To put that into context, at a 1,000 person company, this is 16,000 hours lost per week and over 800,000 hours lost per year.

This wasted time leads to lost revenue, with 97% of survey respondents reporting they believe their company could increase its revenue if content bottlenecks were eliminated. 

To streamline content in the enterprise and eliminate bottlenecks, firms need to ensure that contextualised content is being actively served to employees within the places they already work so it can actively support business processes. That way business documents consist of the right pieces of content like the latest logo or legal disclaimer. Without tech solutions to do this, organisations risk jeopardising brand reputation and violating security requirements.  

What does the frail content structures mean for security?

Content anarchy and a lack of document governance pose significant security risks for today’s enterprises. 91% of survey respondents who work for companies that deal in sensitive client information indicated that having inconsistent, incorrect, or unreliable content shared externally can be detrimental to their business and cause security risks.

While 84% acknowledged security requirements are increasing and believe upholding strict requirements is essential, the scary truth is that nearly half of respondents also confessed their company has mistakenly shared a sensitive document with an unauthorised party

Why is this? 43% of the survey respondents claim their organisation lacks secure, system-wide alignment when it comes to content, and 41% said their company urgently needs a better system to support mandatory document sensitivity classification. 

“Content is mission critical to the success of any organisation, no matter the industry, size or location. Historically, static content solutions like enterprise content management (ECM) tools were enough for an organisation to get by, but in today’s digital HQ it’s simply not possible for users to navigate the exponentially growing amount of enterprise content and data anymore,” said Christian Lund, Co-founder at Templafy commenting on the survey.

“More content is being created across a plethora of applications than ever before, and that content needs to drive value rather than introduce risk. enterprises need a solution for these pain points, and we’re confident that content enablement technology is the key.” 

What were the survey’s key insights?

Additional key findings of the report include: 

Metadata is introducing meta risk

58% of respondents agreed a lack of control when it comes to metadata and classification poses a significant financial risk, while half of respondents said the same for business and brand risk. Additional ramifications include damage to reputation (60%), legal ramifications (58%), a loss of customer trust (47%), legal fees (44%) and loss of revenue (43%). 

Inaccurate content is proliferating through the sales org

78% of the survey respondents said inaccurate or outdated information in content can harm sales, yet 56% of the survey respondents said their team often pulls outdated information into sales pitches and content. More than a quarter of respondents said they believe sales pitches and content make it to prospects with outdated information more than half the time. 

Poor document governance hinders efficient, accurate brand scaling

61% of the survey respondents indicated their company struggles with backward compatibility, i.e. making sure that materials and templates in use are routinely updated with the latest information. This means that when enterprises update their branding, it is extremely difficult to ensure those updates are reflected across all existing collateral. 

Automation is the answer

During the next 12 months, over half of respondents said their organisation will prioritise document creation automation; 44% said their organisation will prioritise consolidation of software; and 36% said their organisation will prioritise content creation automation.