From Chaos to Clarity: Best Practices for Mastering Content Services With ECM Monitoring

Dealing with large quantities of information has become a challenge in this age of remote work. Organizations with petabytes of data are not uncommon. Storing and collecting this considerable amount of information, primarily unstructured data, is a new issue facing the business world. According to Statista, In 2021, almost 24% of respondents from the United States and the United Kingdom stated they manage between 1PB and 5PB of data, all for different purposes. According to AIIM, in 2023, a typical organization had at least four different content platforms.  Organizations that don’t address the management of this massive amount of unstructured data across different repositories miss the opportunity to utilize valuable, critical business information.

ECM defined

Enterprise content management (ECM) systems can deal with this growing issue of data that continues piling up. No matter the size of your organization, ECM systems are  critical for a coherent, well-regulated, and well-run enterprise and provide:

  • A central storehouse for data rather than having it siloed in scattered locations. A central location improves data handling and control and offers trouble-free access to information. Efficient management and retrieval are critical, especially for workers in remote locations. ECM systems also allow you to set controls so that you can be assured that the right people receive the correct information.
  • Regulatory requirements and industry standards adherence. ECM provides confidence that you have proper document retention, version control, and security measures.
  • Cost savings. This results when your paper-based processes are eliminated, and your workflows are optimized with efficient and critical document management.
  • Increased response speeds to make customers happy and confident that their patronage is valued. Faster response results when workers have easy access to the information they need—when they need it.

ECM best practices for content services platforms

However, even with ECM onboard, organizations still need to implement workflows and procedures to organize data and achieve trouble-free data management. Even with the confidence your ECM provides with increased document management performance and streamlining of your workflows, you still need to monitor content services to keep security, performance, and reliability optimal. The following are five best practices that will help administrators and IT teams gain and maintain control of content service platforms (CSPs):

  1. Governance – You need governance of your CSP. Good governance includes stable policies, procedures, roles, and responsibilities. These rules of operation and the definition of roles will ensure that the system works efficiently for your organization’s needs. Policies and procedures that cover data access, user roles, security, compliance requirements, document retention, and system configuration must be implemented, and routine reporting is essential.  Given the increasing use of AI to uncover data gems in unstructured content repositories, governance demands are expanding to ensure policies and regulations are met.
  2. Security – Don’t assume your protection is always adequate — review your CSP security frequently. Robust access controls, encryption protocols, and user permissions are vital to security. Ensure that they are appropriately configured to your content services environment. Regular inspection and scrutiny of security settings will alert you to areas where you may be unguarded and open to attack. In addition, investigate whether or not you have complete visibility into the content area and ensure you will be alerted when suspicious activity occurs.  Think connected layers or protection, do not assume individual suites operating together provide coordinated layers of protection.
  3. Productivity – You want to know about any issues impacting your business users, so monitoring tools are essential for avoiding potential problems. Look for tools that offer real-time insights into system performance, including resource utilization and security events. These tools should allow customizable alerts that notify of possible problems and provide a comprehensive look at the entire stack—with built-in tests for known vulnerable areas.
  4. Baselines – Establish and understand performance baselines. Baselines are critical measurement tools for preventing performance degradation, effectively troubleshooting issues, and planning for future scalability. Realize that baselines are not fixed. They will evolve as your environment changes. System usage, configurations, and hardware upgrades require you to make adjustments as necessary.  Proper baselines require accurate, reliable information.
  5. Automation—Automation must be stressed more; it can avoid human error and wasted time. Data imports, backups, and report generation are routine tasks that can be automated. System efficiency and reliability can also be achieved by automating routine manual tasks such as Microsoft Windows service recycling, recovery scripts, and app instance restarts. Proactive and vigilant behavior are vital to properly managing and monitoring your content services.

Enterprise content management enhances content service platforms

The combination of monitoring and user analytics allows organizations to provide accurate benchmarks, understand performance, and proactively avoid critical service issues. By implementing these five best practices, organizations can fully utilize their CSPs, resulting in optimal performance, data security, and streamlined document management.

If you stay current with these best practices and industry trends, your management and monitoring will be state-of-the-art. Technology constantly evolves, so your knowledge and practices must evolve to keep pace with today’s ECM benefits. Cutting-edge document management and a productive, proactive workflow process will give you an edge and the confidence you need to be a leader in your industry.

Brian DeWyer is CTO and Co-Founder of Reveille Software. With more than 25 years of experience in technology, he provides product strategy and technical leadership in his role as Reveille CTO and board member. Brian leverages his extensive knowledge from his tenure as a senior IT leader at an FSI and previous role as a process consulting practice leader for IBM Services delivering on-premises and cloud-based solution implementations for Fortune 1000 commercial and government clients. He has led process change efforts within large organizations, building on content-driven solutions for high-volume transaction processing applications. He is a past board member of the Association of Image and Information Management (AIIM) industry association. Brian graduated from Virginia Tech with a BSME and holds an MBA from Wake Forest University.