Building ECM monitoring in-house?

Managing a full Enterprise Content Management (ECM) application stack often relies on a comprehensive monitoring system to ensure the smooth operation of business-critical processes and workflows dependent upon ECM services. The question becomes, how will this environment be continuously observed, managed, and provide ECM context-sensitive information for IT and business management? One option for organizations is to build their own effective ECM monitors in-house. It is essential to examine the associated costs before making an educated decision. In this article, we will explore the various cost considerations involved in building ECM monitors within your organization. 

It is very likely that your organization employs common application management and infrastructure management tools offered by the likes of Splunk, , NewRelic, IBM, Broadcom, Dynatrace, Nagios, Zappo, Microsoft, etc. These monitoring tools are vital for modern-day enterprises, however, when it comes to enterprise content management, your IT operations will be challenged when developing and maintaining truly effective monitors offering deep visibility and context. Let’s dive into the specifics to understand the total cost and risk impact of building in-house ECM monitoring capability.  

Consider these 4 areas to understand the total cost and risk impact of building in-house ECM monitoring:

1) Development Knowledge Gap and Costs: 

Building ECM monitors from scratch requires significant investment in development resources. You need skilled developers who understand ECM system architecture and can design and implement monitoring functionalities. This involves salaries, benefits, recruitment expenses, and the necessary hardware and software infrastructure. 

And it’s not only developing the software, but also the staff to appropriately produce and maintain such monitors. It requires a team with specialized knowledge of ECM systems and monitoring best practices. Organizations need to invest in training programs to keep their IT staff up to date with ECM platforms technologies, monitoring techniques, and emerging industry trends. 

2) Development Time and Effort: 

Depending on the complexity and scale of the monitoring system, the development timeline can range from several months to over a year. Consider the image below and the requirements for building an effective monitoring system for ECM: 

  • Obtain Software Development Kit(s) (SDK) for each ECM platform 
  • Develop or obtain developer knowledge of SDK(s) for each ECM platform 
  • Develop detailed requirements & project plan 
  • Develop or obtain developer-level knowledge of ECM platform stack, interfaces, and operating behavior 
  • Assign Project Manager 
  • Design, Build and QA the following: 
    • Tests 
    • Monitors 
    • Conditions/Thresholds 
    • Displays 
    • Dashboards 
    • Reports 
    • Remediations/automations 
    • Notifications 
  • Move through a devops process to production state

3) Ongoing Maintenance and Updates:

As seen in the image above, once the ECM monitors are deployed, ongoing maintenance and updates are crucial to keep them effective and aligned with changing ECM systems or organizational requirements. This entails assigning resources to monitor the monitors, fix issues, and introduce enhancements. Over time, these maintenance efforts can accumulate, straining IT budgets and diverting personnel from core business activities. As the ECM applications are updated with new feature capabilities, API interfaces, and expanded platform support (such as OS, databases, and application services), the ECM monitoring needs to maintain pace, or your monitoring blind spots will again appear. 

4) Scalability and Risk Challenges:

As organizations grow and their ECM needs evolve to support digital transformation initiatives, scalability and adaptability become vital considerations. In-house ECM monitors may lack the flexibility required to adapt to changing circumstances, such as adding support for intelligent automation technologies, such as RPA. Scaling a custom monitoring solution often necessitates substantial modifications, which can be complex and costly. Adding new features, integrating with other systems, or accommodating increased user demands can require additional development efforts and resources. Taking these pieces together; the development cost, time to deploy, ongoing maintenance, and architecture flexibility increases the risk profile of the custom ECM monitoring solution compared to a proven ‘off the shelf’ solution. 

Why Buy vs. Build

While building in-house monitoring capability offers organizational control, there are many costs and risks to consider, whether they be at the onset or over a multi-year period. When considering development costs, time and effort, maintenance, risk, and scalability, having effective monitoring for ECM in-house is no small challenge. 

This is why some of the largest organizations in the world, with a multitude of IT skill, capability, and budget, choose Reveille to monitor their ECM application and user application stacks. As some of the common, well-known infrastructure and application management monitoring companies are built for wide use cases, Reveille fills the ECM monitoring gap to complement the existing tools in your IT management toolset. Reveille has over 20 native connectors available to share Reveille information to make your existing event and incident management processes even better.  

Reveille is a proven, agentless, configurable solution that is ECM context-aware, and can deploy in days. See why top organizations choose Reveille instead of building their own custom monitors for ECM platforms and user applications.