Pluralsight was hosting an on-premise version of Adobe Experience Manager, and they were due to upgrade the latest instance of the platform. They took this upgrade as an opportunity to migrate to AEM as a Cloud Service and to revisit their technology stacks, workflow processes, and overall site health. They dove into this migration with Rightpoint and tackled some of the biggest challenges they were facing when it came to their website management.
The Crux of the Project
Pluralsight was running an outdated, on-premise version of Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) Sites and Assets, and they were due for an upgrade to the latest version of AEM. As they approached their AEM upgrade, they took the opportunity to do an internal evaluation and audit, looking for areas where they might be able to use this upgrade to improve workflows and asset management while also reducing overhead costs. The internal review revealed a variety of challenges that stemmed from two primary points:
Redundant and disconnected technology stacks
While these may seem like they are easily fixable when taken as singular pieces, the impact these two functions were having on Pluralsight’s operations was significant and led to a host of down-stream issues.
Redundant and Disconnected Technology Stacks
The Cost: It goes without saying that utilizing multiple technologies to do the same thing is an inefficient use of funds. However, for Pluralsight, it was not only costly in terms of funds, but it created significant inefficiencies in their workflows.
The Workflows: Since Pluralsight’s individual teams were using multiple platforms, their workflows across teams were inconsistent. This led to a variety of difficulties, ranging from asset management to content governance challenges.
Asset Management: Pluralsight was using many different technologies to manage their workflows, which prohibited their digital assets from having a designated home. While they had AEM Assets, less than 10% of their assets were being hosted there. This not only led to inefficient asset management practices by making it difficult for their teams to find and maintain digital assets, but it was also impacting their site performance by increasing page load times.
Content Governance: Pluralsight’s content review process left a large margin for error and created the potential to publish content prior to completing the review process.
Hosting Adobe Experience Manager On-site
System Versioning: Like most technologies, Adobe Experience Manager software evolves and improves over time – often offering new features, retiring old features, and implementing current best practices. For businesses like Pluralsight that host AEM locally, this means that AEM needs to be manually updated to stay current with the latest version. This can often be a substantial and costly undertaking – especially when using a version that is more than 2 years old.
Site Security: By hosting their site on-premise, Pluralsight assumed all the responsibility for site security. This meant that their lean IT team had to ensure they had resources that could support and implement cutting-edge security practices – specifically for AEM. This not only impacted the bottom line, but it also forced Pluralsight to assume additional risk by managing the security in-house.
Cost: The costs associated with on-site hosting can be extensive in terms of investments in technology and investments in resources to manage those technologies.
Pluralsight partnered with Rightpoint for this project, and we started at the top by moving their version of Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) to Adobe Experience Manager as a Cloud Service. This alone addressed three of the major issues they were facing.
First, by moving to AEM as a Cloud Service, Pluralsight ensured that they always have the latest version of Adobe Experience Manager without having to go through massive site updates every few years.
In addition to system versioning, AEM as a Cloud Service has specific security requirements to be able to use their cloud-based hosting service. Hoodoo added unit testing and security QA to Pluralsight’s existing code to meet these requirements. From a security perspective, this made Pluralsight’s existing code even more sound than it had been originally.
Finally, the move to AEM as a Cloud Service transitioned the responsibility for site security and server management to Adobe. Now Adobe is responsible for processes like security checks and system monitoring, freeing Pluralsight’s internal resources to focus on other tasks for the business.
Next, Pluralsight tackled their content governance and redundant technology stack. They started by consolidating all of their workflow management systems down to one platform, Adobe Workfront.
This ensured everyone was utilizing the same workflow management system. Hoodoo then integrated Workfront with AEM Assets, allowing Pluralsight to use standardized workflows to funnel their teams into using a single asset management system, AEM Assets. By integrating these two systems, Pluralsight addressed both content governance and their disorganized file storage.
Pluralsight took 3 major steps in this project:
Migrate to AEM as a Cloud Service
Transition their entire team to Adobe Workfront
Connect AEM Assets and Workfront
The outcomes from these three steps were significant.
Automatic AEM upgrades remove the need for expensive versioning overhauls every 2 to 3 years, and they allow the business to remain focused on primary business functions
AEM as a Cloud Service removed the need for Pluralsight to maintain 2-3 AEM Engineers to manage site servers and security (averaging 20 hours a month each, or 500-720 hours a year)
Additionally, since developers do not have to do compaction and re-indexing, etc, it frees up more of their time (est. 5 hours/week)
The updates added to Pluralsight’s code exceeded Adobe’s requirement for 50% of the code to contain built-in unit testing and code scanning. These code improvements also make it easier to review the general health of the code base overall and improve Pluralsight’s site security.
Aggregating their digital assets in a single location, AEM Assets, resulted in a 10% improvement in page load times on their website.
Centralized location for all digital assets
Standardized and optimized workflows
Integrated technology stacks