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Why moving to Confluence Data Center is only a job half-done

Confluence Data Center is a deployment option that was designed for performance at scale. In other words, Confluence will handle increased traffic much reliably in a clustered environment and you won't have problems onboarding many new users if you expect growth in your organization in the near future. If you are unsure whether your organization is ready for Confluence Data Center, just keep an eye on the signs, outlined in a recent blog post by Atlassian.

You need Content Lifecycle Management for the same reasons you needed Data Center

Adoption of Confluence usually happens organically but sometimes unexpectedly. This can lead to difficulties in 2 areas: performance and content quality. Data Center itself answers the performance questions, but what happens with the content, is usually a lower priority. Teams pay later for neglecting this aspect because without CLM, Confluence content only gets a boost to grow uncontrolled, dramatically eroding its quality. Here are 4 reasons why moving Confluence to Data Center is unfinished without setting up a Content Lifecycle Management strategy.

1. Confluence user growth got out of hand

Teams tend to realize it late, that Confluence users have various attitudes towards content creation. Some of them act responsibly as content owners, others create pages and upload information to Confluence on an ad-hoc basis. This latter type of user won't maintain the content they once uploaded and probably won't respond to questions about their Confluence pages, either. This is exactly the behavior that, if left uncontrolled, creates a messy Confluence containing hundreds of thousands or even millions of pages, overwhelming other users with useless content. A well-configured Content Lifecycle Management solution can act like a Wiki Gardener, automatically sweeping out abandoned content, without putting extra workload on any team member.

The rule you see in the screenshot below, for example, will automatically archive content that hasn't been viewed or edited for more than a year plus content manually marked for archiving.

20180313-confluence-page-archiving-configuration

2. Obsolete information derails decision making

"Mission critical" often means that the information captured in Confluence pages supports strategic business decisions. In this case, Confluence being accessible for decision makers is critical, but the accuracy of the information they look at is also paramount. You can't risk that decisions are made based on outdated or misleading information.

Make sure assignees are following up with Confluence pages that they are responsible for by building a workflow that guides and notifies them at every step of the process. A well-timed notification email can make sure that the Content Lifecycle rules are followed and the content owners update pages before they get archived.

3. Finding information takes too much time

Survey results show that a typical enterprise wastes between $2.5 - $3.5 million annually due to employees looking for information. With thorough Content Lifecycle Management, the information in Confluence is always checked against the custom rules for the particular space. Confluence users only have to browse through pages that have a good reason to be there.

20180313-confluence-data-center-evolution

4. Outdated information on your Confluence-powered public website confuses customers

There is hardly a more annoying customer experience than finding outdated information about a product or service online. When your Confluence is customer facing, powering your product documentation or your website, the content becomes critical also from a branding standpoint, not only from an efficiency standpoint. A visitor will negatively judge your expertise and quality of service by that suboptimal experience, which eventually can hurt your business results, too.

Share your lessons learned or questions about content management in Confluence Data Center in the comments and learn more about Content Lifecycle Management by Archiving Plugin here.

(Archiving Plugin for Confluence is developed and maintained by Midori, a long-standing and trusted Atlassian Marketplace Vendor. A longer version of this article has been published in the Midori Blog.)

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