Technology changes are going to happen. If we let the change happen only from a technology angle, with companies rushing to adopt the latest tech trend, we will all lose in the process – we won’t make the world any easier to understand and use, and some serious ethical questions will become more pressing as technology will work towards self-preservation rather than service to diverse human needs.
We have numerous levers to get prepared for the change, and we can use these levers at any scale: profiling, messaging, collaboration with stakeholders, content systems, planning, and performance.
For each of these levers, getting ready for Information 4.0 means making changes one step at a time.
First, a design phase which involves gathering research and co-creating the systems of tomorrow.
Second, an integration phase were design deliverables are used and put to the test.
Finally, an automation phase where the technologies of Industry 4.0 are pulled in to serve the original design, and where human supervision and collaboration remains crucial to keep a check on the outputs of these automated systems.
But where to start?
Axes of transformation
There are 3 axes of transformation, that you will choose depending on your priority.
Right content, right place, right time
If your content projects lack alignment and relevance, and you have a hard time demonstrating that what you do has actual value for customers – this is the best axis to take.
Start with content, all types of it. Bring order to the content you create by defining a content model and aligning that model with customers’ and users’ needs.
User-focused content models bring alignment and awareness of the value of content across the organization. They are the cornerstone of Information 4.0.
If you lack time and need to be more and more reactive and dynamic and have a hard time deciding where to put the focus in your content projects, you need this axis to create a bridge between strategy and execution.
Set the strategy for what content to create – or retrieve that strategy and apply to your scope – map customer journeys, and set up agile processes to plan and execute the most important content deliverables.
Finally, your concern might be to get more efficient because you are short on resources. You need to look at avoiding wasted effort and demonstrate quantifiable impact.
Your main axis will then be to focus on aligning stakeholders to avoid duplication of effort, and measuring performance.
Tell the story
Pull all of the levers together into an adventure story where your customer is the hero, and you are the allies to help this customer to achieve their mission.
Include all elements into the story, and stress out your main axis.
You can apply this story at any level of your organization – for a small content project, or at the enterprise level.
Start at the level where you are comfortable, and stretch out your comfort zone progressively.
Your change will be like a hologram and whatever level you act on will have ripple effects on other levels.