Published by John Head, on Sunday, January 31, 2016
No matter the size of your organization, effectively managing your digital content is a key business driver. Your CMS helps you store, control, revise and otherwise move or handle your documents, movies, pictures, presentations, scientific data or just about anything else you need for your business to operate effectively. It isn’t a stretch to say that most organizations today couldn’t survive without it. So what happens when the CMS you’ve invested so much time, money and IT talent into starts to drag your organization down? What if your system is too decentralized, with users in different geographical locations operating at cross purposes, revising each other’s work simultaneously, desynchronizing your data and blowing up your help desk with support requests?
In a presentation given in 2012, HP estimated that “in 15 of the US economy’s 17 sectors, companies with more than 1,000 employees capture, manage and store, on average, over 235 terabytes of data”. To give a frame of reference, the US Library of Congress had only compiled about that much data by 2014. It’s clear that even modestly sized US companies are sitting on massive amounts of data, and that managing it effectively is a tremendous undertaking. Firms with a global presence have an even more difficult time, as they tend to have more decentralized structures. As PSC’s experiences in the CMS field have taught us, however, decentralized CMS in a large organization with widely distributed resources can be troublesome, to say the least. Application modernization can be your organization’s ticket out of a world of chaos, and into an efficient, ordered data environment.
We applied what we’d learned on past CMS projects when a longtime client with a massive, complicated system of servers worldwide approached us with some serious CMS issues. Our consultants dove into the discovery process headfirst. They quickly discovered some serious problems with the client’s then-current system:
1) The client’s Notes architecture allowed for replicating content to local instances, but replication failures were common and support response times were slow because of the distributed nature of the servers;
2) Office plugins in the system were constantly prompting users for authentication
3) Users would skip past authentication, desynchronizing content across the servers and further compounding support response time problems
The client, a financial services firm with global reach, couldn’t afford these kinds of slowdowns and inconsistencies. Our experts determined that a new, modern CMS, built in Microsoft SharePoint, was the most efficient and cost effective answer to the client’s problems. Along the way, they were able to determine that a host of new features, including the capability to group content into “builds” in order to more effectively distribute content on a regional basis, would address the inconsistencies while keeping the client’s hard won data intact through a seamless migration and integration.