FRESH MEADOWS, N.Y., April 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Technical content developers have begun to dip their toes in the pool of dynamic publishing systems, for at least a small part of their content, but relatively few are utilizing the Cloud as a means to deliver and manage it. These are some of the key findings in the fourth annual "Following the Trends – Is Your Content Ready" survey, jointly conducted by Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL) and the Center for Information Development Management (CIDM).
While PDF delivery continues to dominate as a publishing channel (76% report publishing at least some content to PDF), the survey results suggest that more than a third of respondents were slowly beginning to use a dynamic content delivery system. Looking forward though, 45% of respondents, up from 33% in 2015, report that they expect to move to a dynamic publishing system for an increasingly large percentage of their content. More than twice as many groups reported that they are likely to see 100% of their content in a dynamic publishing environment in the next two to three years. This trend toward dynamic delivery may be taking some of the momentum away from base HTML publishing, which accounts for 66% of respondents' output.
The survey introduced a new question regarding publishing content to the Cloud. Nearly two-thirds of content developers (58%) do not currently publish to the cloud, but 11% of those have plans to cloud publish by the end of 2016. Another 19% publish some content to the cloud. Fully 60% create content that is delivered identically to both mobile devices and desktops, including websites that remain constant across devices.
"The industry appears to be maturing in its development and production processes, but have yet to achieve parity in delivery to the cloud," notes Mark Gross, CEO of DCL. "Answers to the survey indicated that there was still industry confusion on how exactly the cloud should be used. But with more applications moving to the cloud and as demand for digital formats continues to increase, content professionals should plan longer range strategies for creating and enriching content, and for managing it using the power of the cloud."
While the results showed a slight downward trend, searchable content remains a challenge for 63% of information developers who are looking for ways to respond to customers' content demands. They report their customers are requesting learning videos (52% down from 56% in 2015) and mobile content (44% in 2016, 46% in 2015, and 64% in 2014).
The 2016 survey shows another decline in the number of professionals that say their content is ready to support digital business requirements in next two years (41% in 2016, 44% in 2015, and 48% in 2014), and 59 percent (up from 56% in 2015) say they're not ready or aren't sure.
Paradoxically, the survey does indicate that the barriers for moving to electronic delivery, while significant, are showing improvement. Insufficient staff to manage the change (64%, down from 76% in 2015), lack of knowledge in developing content for electronic publishing (28%, down from 40% in 2015), and a negative experience with a first try (7%, down from 18% in 2015). On the other hand, more respondents say budget problems are a barrier (Up to 65% from 56% in 2015).
User-generated content has made only small inroads among the respondents. 58% note that customers cannot contribute content. Of the remaining, 17% allow customers to add comments to existing content and 7% do permit customers to contribute. 10% ensure that the customer-contributed content is first curated.
Nearly 75% of respondents say they either do not provide content through social media or acknowledge that social media is the domain of marketing and pre-sales content. 16% use Facebook to provide content. "Despite some interesting and positive results, information developers of all stripes appear reluctant to step into social media for content," said Joann Hackos, Director for CIDM. "The pace of change continues to accelerate, and the delivery channels are expanding to include social media. We need to ensure that we're providing the tools and resources information developers need to deliver content in the ways that their customers demand."
A large but shrinking percentage of respondents plan to address conversion and development of digital content with totally in-house solutions (45% in 2016, 57% in 2015 versus 52% in 2014), 41% plan on a hybrid approach of in-house and outsourced expertise, with 6% relying on totally outsourced solutions.
Of information developers who use an XML editing tool, 75% report that it is their primary content creation tool, while only 38% report Microsoft Word as their primary tool, with another 62% including it as a secondary or tertiary tool. Unstructured Adobe FrameMaker and HTML editors retain their share of the content developer's toolkit, with nearly a third of total respondents using them to some degree.
More than 330 professionals responded to the 2016 survey, and most report handling more than one role in their organizations. Among the participants, 57% indicated that they are Writers, while 37% serve as Managers, 38% as Information Architects and 32% as Content Strategists. The vast majority work for technology organizations, with 82% in computer software, hardware, electronics, engineering, telecommunication and semiconductor firms.
The results of the "Following the Trends –Is Your Content Ready" survey have been compiled into an infographic which can be downloaded at www.dclab.com/resources/surveys/dcl-cidm-trends-survey-2016.
About Data Conversion Laboratory, Inc.
DCL (www.dclab.com) is a leader in helping organizations grow the value of their content assets investment. With digitization and content management expertise across multiple industries including publishing, life sciences, government, manufacturing, technology and professional organizations, DCL uses its advanced technology and U.S.-based project management teams to help solve the most complex conversion challenges securely, accurately and on time. Founded in 1981, DCL was named to EContent's Top 100 Companies in the Digital Content Industry in 2014 for the fourth straight year.
About the Center for Information-Development Management
The Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM) brings together the most highly skilled and talented managers in the field of information development from across the US and internationally to facilitate the sharing of information about current trends, best practices, and developments within the industry, from information development to training and support.
Contact: Ariane Doud, Warner Communications, (978) 283-2674, Email
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SOURCE Data Conversion Laboratory