Managing Information Overload: 5 Reasons a Chief Content Officer Can Help

Posted by Bill Ives on Dec 5, 2011 4:58:00 AM

managing information overload chief content officer

 Much has been written about the need for better managing information overload on the Web.  This need largely is occurring because of the rise in user-generated content. Computerworld reported on an IDC study that predicts we will see a 50 times increase in the world’s data in the next ten years leading to greater information overload. In 2011 alone they report that 1.8 zettabytes (or 1.8 trillion gigabytes) of data will be created. This is the equivalent to every U.S. citizen writing 3 tweets per minute for 26,976 years.

 

1. Managing Information Overload is More than Managing Big Data

The IDC report adds that IT execs will likely have trouble finding enough people with the skills and experience to manage this increase in both content and data.  I used these two terms because information overload is really about both content and data. As I have written before there are: Two Components of Information Overload: Big Data and Big Content. Big data is implies an IT focus. But more important than the storage issue is how to use this data as an opportunity to make effective business decisions. It is not simply a challenge over where to put it. That implies a content focus and the skills for this likely go beyond traditional IT staffs.

2. Internal and External Content Needs to be Aligned

To make the issue more complex, the rise of content within the enterprise brings the need for better managing of information closer to home. Traditionally, the C level person most likely responsible for content on the Web would be the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Inside the enterprise it might be a Chief Knowledge officer (CKO) if one is present or perhaps a CIO. In most organizations, the management for external content and internal content is not coordinated.  There are many strategic reasons for this alignment so the messages within the enterprise are consistent with its external voice.

3. Few Organizations Are Aware of the Need for Content Alignment

As Chris Perry recently wrote in Forbes, “Few organizations have an overarching strategy that channels all this branded content into a consolidated planning model. In parallel, we see lack of defined leadership for overall orchestration and accountability for content-driven programs.” He adds that this will become an increasing priority for better managing information overload and, more importantly, for better deriving meaning from the content in an effective and efficient manner.

4. Content is a Cross-disciplinary Challenge

I have already stated that managing content is more than an IT issue. It also goes across many departments within an enterprise. For example, all the departments along a product life cycle including R&D, marketing, PR, sales and customer service need to be aligned in both the creation of their own content and the monitoring of the Web for relevant content to make effective business decisions about this product.

5. Effective Use of Content is a Major New Competitive Battleground

With the rise of the Web, content is pervasive and effective use of content is becoming a major competitive edge. This includes: content awareness as to what is happening on the Web that can impact your company, effective distribution of the insights from this awareness to the right people throughout the organization, consistent content creation across the enterprise that is aligned with organization goals, and the ability to monitor the impact of this content on your market. A Chief Content Officer, or least someone with enterprise wide content responsibilities, is needed for effectively managing information overload and winning in this emerging competitive battlefield.

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Related articles:

Big Data and Big Content - Two Components of Information Overload

Driving Business Value Through Enterprise Social Networking 

5 Reasons Content Discovery Tools Need a Human Touch

Content Curation: Why Detecting Emerging Patterns Is Crucial

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Topics: Information Overload