Enterprise content management (ECM) technology has come a long way. But for all the improvements that have been made, the complexity has evolved in direct proportion. Human beings are still capable of spotting the critical problems amidst all the stats, but according to Tom Broering, what is really needed now is an automated process to spot the early warning “yellow lights” in the system. To do this, the baselines need benchmarking.
Off the Bench and to the Rescue
The problem is that CIOs and IT application managers do not fully understand what ECM can do, because they have never spent the time to benchmark it. Questions like “How long should it take to log on? To retrieve a document? How quickly should a queue fill up?” are left unanswered, and the problems pile up when everybody only ever has a half-complete picture of what is going on. Particularly, it becomes difficult to know if a new application is any better than an old one. Broering quotes Brian DeWyer, CTO of Reveille Software, about how benchmarking stands to improve things:
“With clear baselines, you can design a system where the slightest deviation from the norm sets off alarms, and minor problems are automatically resolved before they became crises. Without baselines, often the best you can do is wait for trouble to happen. And if you wait, the arrival can be jarring evidenced by the tone of the multiple voicemails, and the issues will distract you from new application rollout and reduce the pace of ECM adoption.”
The case for benchmarking and automation is a strong one. Otherwise, you are left with horror story scenarios where companies inherit ECM applications that were installed by people who have left the company. Good luck integrating all your operations in conditions like that.
To read more into these ideas, you can find Broering’s full post here: http://sparkblog.emc.com/2014/08/ecm-evolves-baselines-need-benchmarking/