We’ll soon hit the road to talk about the findings revealed in our new research study on Multilingual Product Content: Transforming Traditional Practices Into Global Content Value ChainsWhile working on presentations and abstracts, I found myself needing to be conscious of the distinction between objective and subjective perspectives on the state of content globalization.

As analysts, we try to be rigorously objective when reporting and analyzing research results, using subjective perspective sparingly, with solid justification and disclaimer. We focus on the data we gather and on what it tells us about the state of practice. When we wrapped up the multilingual product content study earlier this summer, Leonor, Karl, and I gave ourselves the luxury of concluding the report with a few paragraphs expressing our own personal opinions on the state of content globalization practices. Before we put on our analyst game face and speak from that objective perspective, we thought it would be useful to share our personal perspectives as context for readers who might attend a Gilbane presentation or webinar this fall.

Here are my thoughts on market readiness, as published in the conclusion of Multilingual Product Content:

"As an analyst, it is sometimes easy to lose sight of the fact that while there is pioneering work being done, many companies are still struggling to solve the very basic problems of getting good content into the hands of customers who need it to accomplish the task at hand, regardless of where they live in the world. Companies spend years and millions in their native currency on addressing these problems. Ultimately, our goal with this project is to provide guidance on spending that time, money, and effort in ways that will move organizations forward, rather than keep them bound to processes that are not viable in today’s global economy.

"In the opinion of this analyst, technology per se is not the barrier. The core technologies for innovative content globalization practices, many of which are discussed in this report, are market-proven (in the case of mature technologies such as structured authoring, component content management, and translation memory) or market-ready (in the case of new and better tools for baking in quality at the source). In our experience, companies tend to be their own worst enemies when making the businesses cases for investments in them. An important outcome of this research is the articulated tie between good multilingual content and great customer experience. Organizations that can measure the value of that connection and leverage it will be in a position to use global content to create long-term, sustainable competitive advantage. In that sense, we hope that this research will serve as a catalyst for transforming practices within many organizations."

The report is available for free from our research library. We’ll be speaking about study findings at Localization World Silicon Valley, October 20-22; at SDL’s GIM Thought Leadership Conference in London, October 15; and, of course, at Gilbane Boston 2009.

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