Electronic content, today’s principal means for information exchange, is dramatically reshaping how businesses compete and meet their goals and performance objectives. Now that the essential structure of business information technology, the Internet and supporting software tools has been built, the competition for strategic business advantage is shifting to focus on how companies use these tools to enable their people to compete through ready access to relevant and critical knowledge as they need it. E‐Content encompasses the world of electronic office documents, e‐mails, sites on the free web and premium content from subscription and syndicated publishers. It is integrated through a variety of authoring and content sharing tools from search engines and evolving content aggregation systems to newer forms of real time communication and electronic authoring including instant messaging, blogs, and text messaging through cell phones and other portable devices. As the sheer amount of available information and means of use proliferate, the need is growing for companies to include knowledge sharing via electronic content as a key element in their overall strategy. The fundamental strategic issue is empowering the people and decision makers who drive the business with relevant information in real time. E‐content provides the core of the business and competitive advantage lies in the immediacy of access, exchange and providing a meaningful flow of real‐time to the people who make decisions and the people who execute them. This article presents a structured model of the e‐content playing field and demonstrates how the integrated system for creating, delivering, using and sharing e‐content should be factored into strategic considerations for all businesses.
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