If you’re already using Confluence for your content management needs, then you’re on the right track. It is, after all, one of the best platforms that can help companies digitally store, manage, and share content like institutional knowledge.
However, with every platform, it’s important to ensure that Confluence not only fulfills the current content needs of a business, but also the future needs—AKA future-proofing.
Anticipating how content needs will evolve in the future and ensuring that the content management platform and processes can keep up is essential for long-term business innovations and usability.
In this article, we’ve listed four ways to strategically future-proof your Confluence content management.
Though it may seem daunting, making your Confluence content future-oriented boils down to two major aspects: scalability (point #1) and usability (points #2 to #4).
Now let’s explore them in detail below.
The first step to future-proofing Confluence content management is by determining its deployment type. One of the best hosting options is cloud. Even Atlassian’s own customers (about 90% of them) said that choosing cloud products over server or data center versions is a strategic requirement for long-term success.
Embracing the cloud-hosting option helps you to save time, costs, and effort required for version upgrades, bug fixes, maintenance, and even potential migration in the future. Let’s say that you need to scale Confluence to accommodate the growing number of users and content, you can do that without installing new servers or troubleshooting technical issues.
Another important part of Confluence scalability and deployment is customer support. Being prepared for any eventuality will mitigate risks that can affect your Confluence content management. With Atlassian’s strategic move to focus on cloud, it makes sense to opt for Confluence cloud too since the support for server will be phased out soon (February 2, 2024).
A 2019 Simpplr study found that unclear purpose is one of the top five reasons why 90% of intranets fail. So, to make sure that the Confluence content remains relevant now and in the future, identify its purpose right from the get-go, if possible. Use the following questions to do that:
Is this content only relevant to internal users?
Is this content to be shared to users from outside the organization?
Is this evergreen content?
Is this time-sensitive content?
Understanding the content purpose will guide users to properly structure and use Confluence spaces, pages, and child pages. For example, if you have future plans to convert an internal Confluence space into a customer-facing knowledge base, it makes sense to standardize the content with templates and adjust the permission levels.
Another way to ensure future Confluence usability is through metadata management—a feature that the platform falls short on. The native metadata management features like manual, user-generated labels and page properties are error-prone and lack flexibility, respectively.
With a metadata management app like Metadata for Confluence, it’s easy to add structured and consistent metadata fields and sets to Confluence pages that will accurately describe the content. When you get the metadata right from the beginning, it’s easier to edit your content later on as it grows.
Let’s use a Confluence space that’s dedicated for all the products in a SaaS company as an example. Now, imagine that the company is rapidly innovating and creating products. This means that the Confluence space must be updated with relevant content (e.g., product documentation, FAQs) too.
By adding predefined metadata fields (e.g., product name, hosting options) to the product page template, the information can be easily managed in the future. Updating content in these pages is as easy and instant as making global metadata changes using the app.
Adding metadata fields into Confluence page templates enhances the content usability in the future.
In a survey done by Intranet Benchmarking Forum (IBF), intranet managers said that getting content owners to update content and effective archiving of content are the two biggest challenges of managing an intranet.
So, come up with a content management workflow that helps to maintain content freshness. Bonus point if the workflow is aligned with the content purpose. Some things to help you get started:
Set a standardized content update period:
Evergreen content like company policies need updating as they change.
Consider archiving time-sensitive content once it’s no longer relevant.
Make use of metadata to bulk edit pages.
If unsure whether spaces/pages are required in the future, archive instead of deleting them.
Though Confluence out-of-the-box is a powerful content collaboration platform, it still requires some smart strategizing to ensure future relevancy.
So, start by choosing the type of Confluence implementation that allows easy scalability. Then implement best practices like using a metadata app, which allows users to manage content in a way that still enhances usability down the line.
If you’re interested to know how else a metadata app like Metadata for Confluence can take your Confluence content management to the next level, download our ebook: Making Magic with Metadata, An Essential Spell Book for Every Confluence Wizard.
Juliane Neumann [Communardo]
Since our last roundup in April, Atlassian's Marketplace Partners have added over 100 new cloud apps to the Atlassian Marketplace to help your teams work more efficiently. Let’s take a quick look a...
Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!Find an event
Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!
Unfortunately there are no Community Events near you at the moment.Host an event
You're one step closer to meeting fellow Atlassian users at your local event. Learn more about Community Events