DCL/Trends in Information-Development Management

2013 Trends Survey Reveals Opportunities and Challenges Ahead for Information-Development Managers and Their Teams

CIDM Information Management News, April 2013: 2013 Trends Survey Reveals Opportunities and Challenges Ahead for Information-Development Managers and Their Teams

By JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services, Inc.

Customers want new types of content and dynamic delivery but organizations appear hesitant and feel unready to face the challenges. Senior management hasn't provided the funding and time needed, team members are reluctant, and much existing content is not up to meeting the new demands. Nonetheless, managers, information architects, and writers know what they need to do and have the skills required.

In the latest CIDM survey of industry trends, in partnership with Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL), we heard from 229 members and colleagues about how they are publishing today and how they expect publishing content to change in the near future. Clearly, no one is finding it easy to move from their current practices to new practices focused on electronic delivery of content.

  • 53% need support from technology experts to get the work done
  • 51% need the support of senior management and must develop strong business reasons for change
  • 43% feel they need to convince their own team members that change is necessary
  • 23% need outside expertise to help them successfully implement change in their content delivery methods

This report is my first quick look at the data from the survey, which just closed two days ago. I will be reviewing the responses in more depth and report more comprehensively in next month's news.

As expected, we continue to find that most organizations responding to CIDM surveys are publishing PDF versions of user information and distributing the PDFs through the corporate websites. 90% of respondents report publishing PDFS. 64% publish embedded user assistance in the form of help topics. While still low, the percentage of organizations using mobile applications is at 23%. 22% are publishing today to mobile devices such as eBooks, Kindle, smart phones, and tablets. 16% publish through learning management systems.

Plans for publishing content in two to three years, however, reflect the changes we expect in the delivery of information. 82%, down from 90%, still expect to be publishing with PDFs on websites. However, those expecting to publish through mobile applications increases to 55% and an astounding 72% expect to be publishing content using eBooks, Kindle, smart phones, and tablets. We also see an increase in those expecting to use learning management systems for publications from 16 to 32%.

As expected the majority, fully 74%, expect that 76-100% of their content will be published electronically. Only a single respondent expected to publish without using electronic media. Most of the respondents, fully 78% are apparently not overly concerned with the cost of converting content to digital media. Apparently, the necessity to publish content electronically is sufficient to justify the costs.

Joann T. Hackos, CIDM

Joann T. Hackos is the Director of the Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM).