The relatively low cost of developing and deploying occupation-specific global digital collections and related communities and services has created a gold rush. Content-rich enterprises such universities, professional societies, and publishers of reference works, manuals, and textbooks are moving to convert content to new platforms even as technology companies are rushing to build communities, secure content, and provide services that will draw and hold users.
Both traditional professional and occupational enterprises and new entrants see the mission and economic value of increasing the number of users as well as the value delivered to users (and thereby increasing the “stickiness” of their services). Further, successful enterprises can create new revenue streams, both through the delivery of new services and by taking market share from competitor enterprises vying to provide collection-based services to learners and professionals.
The stakes in this gold rush are high. Enterprises (universities and training institutes, professional societies, and companies) that successfully establish robust communities and effective collections will be in a position to improve rapidly and innovate steadily to maintain or improve a competitive position to deliver a growing and valuable set of collection-based services. For more on likely winners and losers see the July 16, 2014 post titled “Six Significant Hurdles (to building value from curated collections)”