By Milan Shetti, CEO Rocket Software\n\nIf you ask business leaders to name their company's most valuable asset, most will say data. But while businesses recognize the value of data, few have the processes and tools in place to access its full potential. In our most recent Rocket survey, 46% of IT professionals indicate that at least half of their content is \u201cdark data\u201d\u2014 meaning it\u2019s processed but never used.\n\nA big reason for the proliferation of dark data is the amount of unstructured data within business operations. Research shows that more than 60% of today\u2019s corporate data is unstructured, and a significant amount of it is in the form of non-traditional \u201crecords,\u201d like text and social media messages, audio files, video, and images. These numbers are growing with the continuation of remote work and the continued adoption of collaborative cloud software. Organizations that have not evolved their data management processes to reflect this exponential growth in data are vulnerable to missed opportunities and non-compliance. Therefore, many have accelerated digital transformation efforts to modernize operations and ensure they are reaping their data's potential value.\n\nIn August of 2022, Rocket Software surveyed more than 500 corporate IT and line of business professionals to better understand the current challenges content management teams face and the steps to overcome these obstacles. Let\u2019s take a closer look at the key findings in Rocket\u2019s 2022 Survey Report, Content Management: The Movement to Modernization , and how content management software is helping businesses take advantage of the vast amount of information while staying compliant in today\u2019s fast-paced, complex markets.\n\nThe challenges of today\u2019s content management\n\nThe transition to remote work and migration to open cloud systems has allowed businesses to provide employees with more flexible working schedules and introduce cutting-edge technology to operations. However, remote work has led to employees communicating and sharing information on personal devices, which has increased the amount of valuable business content scattered being stored on shared and personal drives. Scattered and hard-to-track data \u2014 also known as data sprawl \u2014 has posed significant threats to companies\u2019 ability to govern their content and has left them susceptible to regulatory infractions and missed opportunities. Our survey found that 37% of IT professionals believe employees saving content on shared and personal drives presents the greatest challenge to content management.\n\nAlong with data sprawl, IT professionals have grown concerned over the amount of redundant, obsolete, or trivial (ROT) data building up in companies\u2019 systems. In fact, over a third of those surveyed reported ROT as the greatest threat to data management. Teams\u2019 inability to properly locate, process, and remove excess or unnecessary data has led to data overload, higher costs, data discrepancies, and increased risk of data corruption and non-compliance.\n\nWhile modernization may be the answer to data sprawl and ROT, IT professionals say that disruptions caused by the movement to cloud systems have also significantly hindered employees\u2019 ability to manage data. Thirty-six percent of respondents consider cloud migration the greatest challenge to content governance moving forward.\n\nWhile cloud migration may pose short-term challenges, unstructured and unmanaged data is a greater risk to operations as it will inevitably affect productivity, compliance, and a company\u2019s overall success. Teams need the visibility and resources provided by cloud technologies to keep up with and eliminate data sprawl and ROT. Businesses that neglect implementing innovative tools into content processes put operations at a significant disadvantage. \n\nTaking advantage of unstructured data with content management software\n\nNearly one-fifth of professionals admitted that all of their organization\u2019s data is unstructured. While most unstructured data goes unused, 59% of IT professionals say their company\u2019s unstructured data and content is extremely or very significant. This revelation should leave business leaders with the fear of missing out (FOMO) when it comes to their unprocessed and underutilized content.\n\nTo get the most out of their data, businesses have begun introducing integrative content tools into operations. Integrating content software with popular collaboration and communication tools, like Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams, provides content teams with a unified view of all their company\u2019s data from a single platform. This enables data professionals to easily monitor, process, store, and remove all their companies\u2019 data while helping organizations get the most out of their unstructured data.\n\nThe need to automate content governance\n\nThe introduction of complex data privacy regulations globally has made data governance more challenging. In fact, only 33% of IT professionals feel their organization\u2019s unstructured data is adequately governed. This lack of accountability leaves businesses vulnerable to regulatory infractions, substantial fines, and potential criminal prosecution. Many IT professionals are pushing for automated data governance processes, with over three-quarters believing their company would gain a significant competitive advantage if information security and compliance operations were automated.\n\nWhile innovative content management technologies that automate and streamline content governance exist, they are still unavailable in many of today\u2019s business operations due to ongoing misconceptions about the limitations of mainframe technology. However, by utilizing the right combination of content modernization solutions, like Rocket Software\u2019s Mobius Content Services suite, teams can bring the power of automation and innovative practices to content operations along any infrastructure. \n\nThe role of content management software moving forward\n\nWhile outdated processes and a lack of automation continue to hinder content management efforts, it appears that businesses are finally recognizing their importance. Over the next 18 months, about one-third of IT professionals say their companies plan to continue modernization efforts by introducing more artificial intelligence, reporting and analytics tools, and integrative content software into operations.\n\n[call to action]\n\nMoving forward, businesses will continue to deal with stringent compliance regulations, the growing adoption of remote work, and increasing customer demands for faster service. Organizations must implement solutions into their operations that enable them to govern and leverage all of their content to gain a competitive advantage. By utilizing content management software, like Rocket Software\u2019s Mobius Content Services , businesses can provide IT professionals with an unparalleled overview of a company\u2019s entire content system and reduce human activity with automation capabilities. This will enable companies to ensure compliance while also taking data operations and utilization to the next level.