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Decoding the data deluge; use ECM to navigate the unstructured content labyrinth

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Consider the Library of Congress. In its FAQ (loc.gov/programs/digital-collections-management/about-this-program/frequently-asked-questions), it reports that in 2022, it managed 21 petabytes of digital collection content, comprising 914 million unique files. That’s more than 170 million items ranging from books and records to maps and manuscripts. Imagine if these items were not carefully categorized, logged, and stored and had zero observation regarding who was accessing them or removing items from the facilities. Operational complexity quickly sets in as accessibility becomes an issue because individuals can’t locate their desired items.

This is close to reality in many large enterprise organizations which face vast amounts of unstructured data gathered by IDP (intelligent document processing) systems and then housed by content services (aka ECM—enterprise content management) applications. Keep in mind that as CRN (crn.com/news/storage/emerging-storage-vendors-to-know-in-2022) writes, IDC is pre- dicting the total amount of data created and replicated worldwide will grow at a 23% CAGR from 79 zettabytes in 2021 to 181 zettabytes in 2025. Business-critical content services applications are commonly found in financial services, insurance, state and local government, and life sciences segments.

Untying the massive data knot

Digital information quickly piles up, and, in parallel, the user’s need to access digital assets grows dramatically. Storage capacity will rapidly be consumed if companies don’t properly manage their structured and unstructured data. Obtaining more storage leads to increased costs, making compliance verification complex. In addition, the increasing data volume will extend the time required for data backup processes and recovery efforts. A fundamental need is understanding how users interact with the content services applications. This knowledge helps to plan storage location, retention, disposition, and security requirements.

Exacerbating the unstructured content growth that is choking the IT infrastructure, companies turn to a plethora of applications and toolsets to help manage the unstructured data storm. These tools range from IT operations management (ITOM), security information and event management systems (SIEMS), incident management systems, cloud hypervisor monitoring systems, and various data visualization and analytics tools.

What is missing is a solution to know what unstructured content is essential, who is accessing the unstructured content, where the unstructured content is accessed from, and by what device. As a solution to untying this digital Gordian knot, companies are turning to ECM solutions from Reveille Software that reveal details on the following:

• User transaction information
• User access
• Transaction volumes
• User count trends
• Availability information
• Response time performance

Managing ECM user activity matters

A lack of best-in-class ECM management and monitoring can have expensive consequences, and minor problems can escalate and become costly service interruptions that impact revenue and decrease productivity. Simply put, the implications of not managing, monitoring, and reporting user activities increase costs and risks. Here are three main reasons why managing ECM user activity matters:

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