What is Content Sprawl?

Every organization deals with documents, generate new documents every day. Documents storage can be a huge problem for companies.

What is Content Sprawl?

Content Sprawl represents content management chaos or dispersed storage of large amounts of content produced by organizations daily. During the collaboration, documents are created, saved, edited, updated, and shared across multiple platforms, so mistakes can then arise from multiple people working on different versions of a document. Companies can prepare, automate, and control a collaboration environment, but they will experience some degree of content sprawl in some moments.

Content Sprawl is such a condition where an organization’s content assets have gained so much unfair growth that it has become difficult to manage. Further, the content’s unmanaged writing makes it difficult for users to find what they actually need. Content Sprawling could be found on a public website as well as an organization’s IT infrastructure.
When a computer or a laptop is newly purchased and turned on, it’s in its initial stage with limited files and applications. After using it for some time, the user comes to know where each file could be found. As time passes, the user may create folders and sub-folders, download applications and videos, and many other things. After some time, there may be enough files and folders in the computer system in different locations.

Important asses are stored on an enterprise file sync-and-share(EFSS) service. The result of this is content sprawl. If any user needs that stored file for some presentation, they would not know where the latest version has been stored.

What are the causes of content sprawl?

The organizations create content sprawl in the same manner as above the computer example. The causes are:

Migration from Legacy System – The organization may be using the old legacy systems over 20 years old. Even if the newer systems are brought into action, the file may not be properly stored in them. There are more chances that an organization may not have updated their computer system due to a lack of budget, or they may still be relying on the old content structure. As the technology is updated, the system of both legacy and existence add content sprawl.
Dynamic Content – The dynamic content can cause content sprawl. Some examples can cause content sprawling, such as application log files, auto-generated reports, call recordings or transcripts, etc.
Growth of shadow IT – The employees of today’s generation are looking forward to storing the data in their own phones and private devices. The users may also store corporate data. This is done not by one but by multiple users. This can create content sprawling.

Importance of fixing content sprawl

Content Sprawling can be said as a negative point, and it can easily lead any corporation to suffer. It becomes essential to fix the sprawl. Some points are discussed below, such as –

Hard to find correct document or asset – When the employees take too much time to find the right content, there are high possibilities of low productivity. This can even cost thousands of dollars or even more than that. The fast working corporate will always need a sorted system of documents.
Create Challenges with Version Management – If the documents are stored in several different locations, it becomes tough to find the latest data. Such things can be very unimpressive for any firm.

How to fix Content Sprawl

It may be very challenging for anyone to eliminate content sprawl, but some measures can be taken –

Content Audits – Organisations can create content audits to know where all the necessary information and documents are kept. Content audits can turn out to be very effective if it is practiced regularly and consistently.
Content Federation – With the help of content federation, content and document placed within the application while the file remains in the original system. This leads to the creation of a single copy avoiding different locations.

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith is an experienced economist and financial analyst from Utah. He has been in finance for nearly two decades, having worked as a senior analyst for Wells Fargo Bank for 19 years. After leaving Wells Fargo Bank in 2014, Daniel began a career as a finance consultant, advising companies and individuals on economic policy, labor relations, and financial management. At Nimblefreelancer.com, Daniel writes about personal finance topics, value estimation, budgeting strategies, retirement planning, and portfolio diversification. Read more on Daniel Smith's biography page. Contact Daniel: daniel@nimblefreelancer.com

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