What is a Content Services Platform?

3 minute read

What are Content Services?

Content Services is the logical evolution of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions in today’s cloud-native, mobile technology stack. Fundamentally, cloud content service platforms (CSPs) shift the focus from document management in a single hub, to integrated services delivered directly to the applications where end users spend there most time.

The Content Services Platform

A CSP unites a defined set of services and applications with shared APIs and document repositories to create a product suite optimized for collaboration and productivity. These connections include everything from cloud-based business productivity suites to CRMs, marketing automation systems and even ERPs.

Content Services vs. Enterprise Content Management

In some regards, a CSP is very similar to the more familiar enterprise content management (ECM), and in many cases, the terms are used interchangeably. Content services maintain the core capabilities of data and document management, including document capture, storage, retrieval and security. However, the end goal of a CSP isn’t the document lifecycle itself. Instead, it prioritizes integration across a multitude of applications, bringing the information contained in an organization’s documents to life by identifying and transforming a robust variety of data types and sources, and hand delivering data to integrated applications.

CSP and ECM Key Differences

1.) Architecture

A cloud-based CSP can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. Remote or distributed teams will see productivity and collaboration gains from this distinction alone.

– ECM solutions are typically monolithic software hosted on-premise or in data centers.

– CSP platforms are highly flexible, scalable SaaS deployments.

2.) Integration 

CSPs typically integrate directly with popular cloud-based productivity tools like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, allowing seamless content collaboration within applications already familiar to employees.

– ECM systems prioritize management and retention over use-case.

– CSP solutions leverage APIs to connect with more applications and systems.

3.) Purpose 

Because CSPs bring content to the employees’ fingertips, they also excel at helping organizations understand how content is being used through analytics and insights, leading to higher content optimization rates.

– ECMs manage complex document workflows with a focus on compliance.

– CSPs optimize mobile access and connectivity to modern productivity tools.

What are the limitations of Content Services?

Data security and regulatory compliance are the primary concerns in migrating away from an ECM. Another potential issue some organizations could face with a CSP is backwards integration to existing legacy, on-premises applications lacking API capabilities.

Without an experienced partner like KeyMark guiding these decisions, it can be challenging for many companies to understand the best migration path to avoid vendor lock-in, address cultural change management, and smoothly transition workflows from existing systems to a new platform.

Is content services right for you?

ECM is by no means outdated, but it also isn’t as future-proof as CSP solutions in today’s marketplace of digital content. That said, there are many organizations that simply require the rigid and reliable structure of a traditional ECM. (See what is enterprise content management?)

For many companies however, the cloud-based SaaS delivery model of a CSP provides a distinct cost and time-to-value advantage. The faster implementation time and lower up-front costs of a CSP often lead to a lower total cost of ownership. Others will choose a CSP for its ease of scalability, making it more responsive to changing business needs as you add and remove functionality on-demand and easily scale storage/compute power to your current requirements.

Ultimately, the specific business use-cases will determine if upgrading your ECM model to a SaaS CSP is right for you. Digital transformation continues to shift the market from legacy infrastructure to agile methodologies that require cloud-first strategies as employees are becoming rapidly more familiar with cloud-based productivity tools.

Start a content services partnership!

KeyMark can help you identify your unique business challenges and properly evaluate whether an ECM or CSP is the right choice for you. It all starts with a conversation!

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