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10
DigiCULT
HOW DO CULTURAL ARTEFACTS
BECOME DIGITAL ASSETS?
H
R
ecent research of enterprises
that have gone from `good to
great` reveals a particular pat-
tern of success.The organisations
that continue to lead their
industry in consistent
growth of revenue,
profit and share price
tend to do only one
or two things, with
consistent brilliance
and mastery.
Mediocre firms, on
the other hand, try to do many things, and none of
them well.
Great firms deploy technology using the same pat-
tern for success.They deploy only a handful of new
technologies with one purpose in mind: how can
this new system or tool help us find and satisfy
customers, using profit as a measure of how well
they have served a growing base of loyal customers.
Great firms saw the Internet as an opportunity to do
the same one or two things brilliantly, only faster
and as a way to give their customers self-service
satisfaction 24 hours a day. Mediocre firms used the
Internet to experiment with new business models,
commerce mechanisms, and new unproven techno-
logies -- the source of `dot bomb'.The only New
Economy firms that succeeded followed the pattern
of success of the great firms of the old economy: Do
one or two things well that truly satisfy customers
(Amazon, eBay, E*Trade,Yahoo).
A survey of business practices today reveals that
eBusiness has become business as usual; large and
small firms have Websites and a growing portfolio of
interactive services that support their basic mission
(finding and serving customers).
The eBusiness part of doing business has brought
to the forefront several impor-
tant issues:
1. Customers expect mea-
ningful interactions at
Websites; they expect
self-service satisfaction.
2. Customer-oriented
Websites require the pro-
duction of tremendous
quantities of new con-
tent.
3. Content production
for Websites represents
one form of publishing.
4. Market requirements
now demand that
every firm beco-
me a proficient
publisher.
5.Workflow
automation of
publishing
reduces cost
and cycle time.
Many firms now recognise the need to automate
their internal publishing workflows.This means
deploying new technologies.These firms follow in
the footsteps of media, entertainment, publishing and
advertising firms that pioneered digital workflows in
the late 1980s and early 1990s.
By Michael Moon,
President,
Gistics Inc., Emeryville,
California, USA
PATTERN OF SUCCESS
M
y firm has studied digital media produc-
tion and the automation of publishing
workflows since 1991. Over this period
we have witnessed the dramatic emergence of what
we call enterprise publishing. Once relegated to the
creative services or documentation department,
customer demand for Web content and the soaring
costs of doing eBusiness have made enterprise
publishing a strategic issue for senior management.
Executives from major firms worldwide want to
know how they can leverage the Internet, doing the
one or two things that they already do well even
better (as measured by faster response mechanisms
and lower costs in serving a customer).
In 1993 our research of digital media production
uncovered a technology that would later frame a
WORKFLOW AUTOMATION