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E.g., 03/29/2020

Adoption of Structured Authoring Continues to Rise in Global Business

Thursday, 8 October, 2009

SDL announces the results of its Global Authoring Survey 2009 to reveal trends in authoring strategies in global business

SDL Maidenhead, United Kingdom
(8th October 2009) - SDL, the leading provider of Global Information Management (GIM) solutions, today announced the results of the 2009 edition of its annual Global Authoring Survey, which explores trends in the authoring of technical documentation across the globe. There were a number of key observations made, including an increase in XML and DITA adoption, as well as a rise in the number of authors who are writing documentation for a global audience, whether translated or not.

This year’s survey sees an increasing awareness and adoption of structured authoring strategies among global organizations, in addition to more content being moved into XML. The percentage of organizations with 100% of their technical content already stored in XML has more than doubled since 2008 and the number of organizations that are ‘already using XML’ has also seen a dramatic increase. This is an indication of a continuing shift towards structured authoring to help solve the issues businesses have in streamlining content production, improving consistency and facilitating content reuse.

Technical authoring departments are beginning to recognize and adopt DITA, an XML-based standard for authoring, producing and delivering information, as an authoring standard. Results show that one quarter of all organizations surveyed are planning to, or have already moved to DITA. This is the first year that SDL has included questions about respondents’ use of DITA in its survey and awareness among technical authors is high, suggesting more companies, particularly in the United States are now embracing DITA as an authoring standard.

Further results from the Global Authoring Survey, show trends in the sizes and locations of technical authoring departments in global organizations, interesting insights into the authoring tools of choice within the industry and how preferences vary in different regions. The survey also looked at the use of content management systems and how an increasing number of technical authors are writing content for a global audience.

The survey was conducted among several industry associations, including the Society for Technical Communicators (STC) and the Institute of Technical and Scientific Communicators (ISTC), as well as other technical documentation professionals. There were 235 responses from technical authors, technical publications managers and consultants from industries ranging from IT & Software to Aerospace.

“It is very interesting to see that businesses are beginning to adopt structured and topic-based authoring strategies to help streamline their content production,” said Sophie Hurst, Director of Product Marketing at SDL. “It is also encouraging that an increasing number of organizations are becoming more aware of how their content impacts not only their local, but their global customers.”

Read the full research paper of the Global Authoring Survey: www.sdl.com/globalauthoringsurvey