Part III: The Evolution of Help Authoring Tools : Conclusion
Although HATs have changed significantly in the last forty years, HAT vendors must continue toward a new paradigm shaped by advances in technology and new formats, the continued rise of the Internet and social media, and the growing ubiquity of mobile devices. Many HATs are still based on the outdated print delivery model and do not take into account the need for open collaboration between teams and interaction with end users. Product release cycles must be condensed in order to keep teams who deploy to and from multiple formats fully supported and able to serve their customers. Product components that provide an uncompromised transformation from the authoring environment to optimal reading formats will afford technical communicators the necessary trust that their solution will continue to meet the needs of the future. Pricing models need to be reviewed based on how the system is used within an organization rather than the product itself.
HAT vendors who recognize the opportunity to build tools that enable technical communicators and the organization to deliver excellent documentation that is easy for their end users to read, search, and share will gain market share in this new era of information and collaboration.