According to the 2020 Future of Documents report by Forrester: the future of work will include documents, but authoring and delivery will change. At Fonto, we’ve noticed that this change has accelerated over the past year.
Cloud authoring and collaboration
Today’s content platforms are mostly built around the paradigm of files and folders. Our partners – vendors that support cloud authoring and collaboration – are rethinking the generation and distribution of documents, focusing on componentized content, reliance on metadata and content structure, and real-time updates.
It is expected that, over time, more content platforms will evolve beyond files and folders. Just like Forrester, we believe that documents will be more fluid, componentized, and structured, to separate underlying information from its presentation.
Parliamentary financial papers
Due to Covid-19 this development has accelerated. A great example hereof is the Dutch national government that has embraced the software solutions of our partner Tangelo. The Tangelo platform powerfully streamlines processes across Dutch ministries — allowing teams to collaborate on critical documents from many locations. The most important document, the Budget Memorandum, was first made with Tangelo software in 2019. Today, all twelve Dutch ministries work with Tangelo to prepare and publish parliamentary financial papers.
What is structured content?
Structured content is perfectly optimized for single-source and multichannel publishing, meaning that the content can be created once and published directly, without conversions, to multiple channels.
More information on structured content
‘Never being sure about the latest version’
According to Stephanie Kriek, Senior Policy Advisor at the Ministry of Finance: “A cultural change inspired the implementation. The process for producing the parliamentary papers had been the same for seventeen years: sending documents back and forth in Microsoft Word, never being sure about the latest version, scribbling hand-written corrections on preliminary documents, and—at the end of an exhaustive process—hoping you didn’t forget anything in the printed version. While the ministries made several attempts to change their way of working, none reaped positive results. But this time was different.”
Kriek basically gives two key explanations why after seventeen years it finally worked out well:
- working in the cloud has become the norm;
- the software nowadays is “simply good”.
Intuitive and extremely easy to use software
In this context we would like to stress the importance of ‘intuitiveness’. When people are working from home, in the cloud, it becomes even more important that (new) software is extremely easy to adopt and use. And in addition, the (added) value needs to be clear to the user. Only then will people be open to changing their behaviour. Because in the end, most people rather do what they’ve always done (for seventeen years), even if it’s highly inefficient and error prone.
Tangelo has successfully made its move to the cloud and clearly provides software solutions, for financial reporting, that are easy to use. If civil servants are tempted to adopt new software after seventeen years, and after various unsuccessful attempts to change, it has got to be simply good (intuitive) software!