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Modern content services position businesses for success in the anywhere-work era

Forrester shares new data on what makes leading organizations more successful in today’s anywhere-work world.

A person smiles while participating in a free, virtual cloud consultation on a laptop at home.

Just a few years ago, nearly 9 in 10 employees worked entirely from a corporate office or facility.

Today, only 54% of employees work from a corporate location full-time, and decision-makers across industries agree that anywhere-work is here to stay. These leaders expect a high number of anywhere-workers will remain either partly or fully remote.

The rise of anywhere-work places new demands on enterprise content management tools. These tools play an important role in helping workers efficiently create, consume and protect knowledge assets that span a wide array of digital formats (e.g., documents, internal communications, audio/video files).

63% of ECM decision-makers say anywhere-work has led their organization to significantly or completely evolve its content management approach.

— "Forrester, Anywhere Work Drives Demand for Modern and Resilient Content Services"

A recent Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Hyland reveals that anywhere-work success means ensuring all employees have easy, contextual access to information to do their jobs so they can be productive no matter their location.

A businessperson reads why Hyland was named a leader in the IDC MarketScape for Cloud Content Services.

Forrester report: Efficient anywhere-work demands modern content services

The fourth annual Content Services Pulse Study conducted by Forrester Consulting highlights the need for a proactive, future-focused strategy to support various types of hybrid work long-term.

Here are some high-level takeaways about finding success with today’s anywhere-work model.

Outdated content management tools and practices stifle anywhere-work

Sixty percent of decision-makers from the study cite that the productivity needs, preferences and behaviors of their employees have changed meaningfully over the past few years, yet related tools and processes have struggled to keep up.

As a result, barriers to employee productivity (e.g., time wasted looking for critical information, difficulty accessing internal systems or apps) are even more pronounced than they were just two years ago. Inflexible content management systems (e.g., difficulty updating applications, integrating new systems, migrating content) are a common point of friction.

Digital work thrives when leaders focus on modernization, experience and innovation

The time has come to shift from the traditional content management approaches of the past (which were designed to work best when most workers were together in an office) to a more future-fit approach that can more equitably serve the needs of all workers (e.g., frontline, deskless, in-office, hybrid).

One segment of companies — let’s call them “Shift Leaders” — is ahead of the curve in this respect. This group sets themselves apart by being more likely to augment their content management strategy through:

  • Modernization
  • Experience
  • Innovation investments
  • Ability to build their strategy on a content services foundation

Forrester’s report found Shift Leaders take the lead in:


Shift Leaders aren’t afraid to bring in new technology. A defining trait of Shift Leaders is that nearly 9 in 10 are actively migrating users and content off of legacy systems.

Seventy-three percent are also investing in artificial intelligence (AI) to automate content-related decisions and processes.

However, they recognize that technology alone is insufficient to guide their efforts. As such, 79% are formalizing a digital workplace strategy.


Shift Leaders make content management investments with employee experience (EX) in mind.

Over 70% are investing in:

  • Cloud-based apps to simplify remote work
  • UX expertise to support the creation of intuitive, seamless work experiences
  • Automation features aimed at unburdening employees from menial tasks


Shift Leaders prioritize capabilities that unleash innovation and strengthen their readiness for the future. Notably, 74% are taking advantage of industry-specific content features, helping workers focus on high-value work. Roughly 67% are also investing in platform extensibility options to empower employees to meet unique business requirements, and 65% of Shift Leaders invest in partners that can identify areas ripe for innovation.

Content services help organizations flex to the needs of the modern workplace

Shift Leaders have embraced modern content services, which provide:

  • Interoperability, integration and content management capabilities into enterprise or custom apps
  • Design and development tools and frameworks that deliver useful, content-rich apps
  • AI-infused capabilities for automation and categorization of content that both IT and non-IT users can leverage

Decision-makers believe a modern content services platform provides advantages, including a greater ability to advance their digital transformation and improve customer and employee experiences.

— "Forrester, Anywhere Work Drives Demand for Modern and Resilient Content Services"

Shift Leaders illustrate the value that content services and purpose-led investments in modernization, experience improvements and innovation can deliver. Nowhere is this value more evident than in the execution of critical anywhere-work capabilities. Shift Leaders stand out in their ability to:

  • Have complete visibility into processes (e.g., current status/stage, overall effectiveness)
  • Design and deliver content-rich apps for new requests
  • Support continuity of work for users across systems, devices and locations

The Forrester study revealed decision-makers seek content management solutions that support many of the use cases Shift Leaders currently enjoy. Demand among decision-makers is highest for solutions that reduce the operational burden for IT and non-IT workers by:

  • Easily integrating with existing business apps (79%)
  • Enabling collaboration with internal and external stakeholders (64%)
  • Delivering intuitive experiences with tools such as proactive delivery of content in-context and contextual application interfaces (57%)

For more information, including recommendations on how to best embed content into the modern digital workplace, download this Hyland-commissioned thought leadership study authored by Forrester Consulting, “Anywhere Work Drives Demand For Modern And Resilient Content Services.”