Optimize Your AEM Instance: Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Digital Workspace

By Art Golk

Published on 29 Feb, 2024

When is the last time you spent time cleaning up your Adobe Experience Manager environment? If you are like most organizations it has been a number of years. Trying to keep up with the ever-changing nature of your business sometimes you lose sight of the importance of regular maintenance of your Adobe environment. Do you have old content, templates or components that are no longer matching your business needs, or did you forget about implementing that one integration?
There is no better time than now to start with an audit of your implementation, and Adobe has made it even easier to do so.

What is an Adobe Experience Manager Implementation Audit?

In the realm of Adobe Experience Manager an implementation audit consists of reviewing all aspects of your Experience Manager environment from integrations all the way through to the content on your website to ensure that you are following the best practices as identified by Adobe.

In the past to do this depth of an analysis involved a lot of manual effort from both the content and technical teams. This entailed needing to go through and independently review their respective areas of responsibility. As this was a very manual process a lot of organizations have not done this type of audit on their system in years, and the amount of technical and content debt has built up over that time.

The good news is that it has never been easier to conduct an audit and get your implementation back in alignment with Adobe’s best practices.

Step 1: Execute the Audit

Adobe has developed a tool called the Best Practice Analyzer. This tool was originally designed to assist organizations as they make the move to AEMaaCS. However those key areas of concern identified in this report as also useful for those companies stay on premise or AMS. This tool should be executed against both your authoring and publish environments of Adobe Experience manager in a copy of your production environment. Depending on the size of your implementation this analyzer can execute for a number of hours. While this report is running it is also a good time to review some of the other collateral around your environment such as process flows, user accounts, and architectural diagrams just to ensure those are all up to date with the latest information.

If you’re lacking the bandwidth or the expertise to execute the audit, we will gladly support you with a complimentary AEM audit by SH/FT.

Step 2: Plan, Plan, Plan

Once the audit is complete you will receive an output that lists out areas of concern within your implementation. We recommend that our clients look into those critical issues in the report and confirm the level of effort needed to execute and address those areas of concern that have been flagged.

Once you have reviewed the document it is now time to develop your plan. Depending on your implementation some of these areas will take a bit of work to address. Collaborating with the technical and business teams to align on deliverables and enhancements will ensure the overall success of the audit. One of the clearest paths to success that we have identified, is when clients address these audit concerns as part of a larger business initiative. By aligning the enhancements needed to overarching business objectives, this allows you to realize additional business value while also reducing some of your technical and/or content debt.

Step 3: Get some quick wins early on

Depending on how long it has been from the last audit of your system you may be overdue for a system update and it will seem very daunting to address all these issues. We always advise our clients to prioritize getting some of the quick elements identified in the report out of the way first to get your teams aligned on those successes.Some of these elements can be a very large effort so having the full team bought in on that plan and then following it up with some early wins is a recipe for a very successful update to your system.

Step 4: Repeat

Once you have realized those wins it is time to execute the Best Practice Analyzer again and confirm those issues are no longer identified in the report. Once you have your new report you will follow the same process and look for that next big win for the team. There will come a point after repeating this process where you will have your system in a good place and can pause on this process. Best practice is to run this report at least every 8-12 months. This helps both as Adobe is constantly improving,so it may identify areas not captured previously and it also ensures that no new technical debt is being incurred.

AEMaaCS ready

An additional benefit to this implementation audit is that you are preparing your environment to be ready in case you decide to make that move to AEMaaCS.
If your organization has not yet looked into AEMaaCS, it may be a good time to connect with your sales representative and talk through the benefits of moving to AEMaaCS. As new features are launched for AEM they will be first available in AEMaaCS and then later migrated to other versions in Service Pack releases.

In Conclusion

With Adobe Experience Manager it is important to have a yearly action plan to keep your system up to date with best practices in the software, assets, and content. For the AEM platform it has never been easier to get those insights and develop a yearly plan on keeping the system up to date and adhering to best practices and to reduce your overall ownership costs in the process.

Doing this for the first time and would like some support? No worries, we’re ready to work with your team to get the process started. Talk to Shift Paradigm today!

Written By Art Golk

Art Golk is Technical Architect with over 20 years of experience developing high-end web solutions to clients. He is skilled in communicating business value, explaining technical concepts in a simplified way, and designing scalable systems. Art is passionate about delivering solutions that help SH/FT clients transform their digital landscape while setting themselves apart from their competitors.
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