The way businesses think about information management is changing rapidly. While many businesses were poised to make the transition to a digital platform for content management, the advent of COVID-19 and the quick transition to remote work has made remote access to content a critical capability for businesses in all industries.
This is where content services platforms (CSPs) come in–platforms used to store, manage, protect, share, and create content.
The concept of a “content services platform” is relatively new, but has evolved from Enterprise Content Management (ECM). So, what exactly is a content services platform, how is it different than ECM, and how does it benefit your business?
What is a content services platform?
On their website glossary, Gartner defines a CSP as follows:
“A set of services and microservices, embodied as an integrated product suite and applications that share common APIs and repositories, to exploit diverse content types and to serve multiple constituencies and numerous use cases across an organization.”
Basically, a CSP helps you aggregate, file, store, and access documentation across multiple departments and locations in a single, digital space that can be accessed by employees from remote locations using a cloud or hybrid hosting solution.
As businesses grow, expand, and, most recently, make the abrupt change to a remote work environment, access to documentation is a critical service needed to keep things moving efficiently and profitably.
What’s the difference between Enterprise Content Management and Content Management Platforms?
Digital content management has been around since the 1990s. Back then it was referred to as electronic document management systems (EDMS) and was a system used to help store documents online like papers, files, forms, and microfiche. As technology progressed, so did the sophistication of the systems created to help accommodate an increasingly digital landscape.
In the early 2000s, EDMS turned into Enterprise Content Management (ECM), an on-premise hosting solution that created a closed system for the storage and sharing of documents and other content within a business.
In 2017, Gartner declared the death of the ECM and ushered in the new, current era of Content Management Platforms. This happened because as systems progressed, it became clear the term “Enterprise Content Management” was a bit of a misnomer: while it was being sold as a single product, it was actually a complex system of tools that required new strategies and new mindsets for businesses to adopt in order for implementation and utilization to be successful.
The term Content Service Platform is now the norm as the market term and is differentiated from its predecessors mostly for its introduction to cloud and hybrid, (a mix of on-premise and cloud) hosting capabilities. Integrations with other tools and new use cases for emerging digital businesses are some other trademarks that make the CSP its own, new category.
What does a content services platform do?
The number of things a CSP can do is a little overwhelming, so we’ve created a brief overview list of the most common use cases our clients have for their content services platform:
Digitize your files
Even with the rapid transition to digital, there are still many industries that retain a need for paper or hard copy files. Whether it’s compliance documents, intake forms, or other sensitive material, a CSP enables users to scan paper documents and create a digital copy that can be accessed safely and securely.
Digitizing your documents is just the first step! A content services platform allows you to store your information, as well. This is especially useful for historical documentation and for businesses that deal with a large amount of paperwork. From Human Resources to Finance & Accounting, from public sector to private, in Healthcare and beyond: there isn’t an organization today that doesn’t need a storage solution for digital content.
Not every document should be accessible by everyone in your business. CSPs allow you to control access to documents and files based on a user’s need or clearance level.
Controlling access based on roles, document types, and other characteristics on a system level makes it easier for teams to share documents securely and allows system administrators to keep things streamlined, organized, and efficient.
Protect your information
Information security is a high priority. Moving documents online can cause anxiety for businesses used to working with paper.. Understanding that security is of the utmost importance, your CSP should provide safe and secure hosting. Our solutions are hosted in Amazon Web Services (AWS), one of the most secure and compliant cloud technology available.
Integrate with other systems
Different industries have various needs, which is why asking about integration is key when choosing what content services platform makes sense for your organization. Many businesses use a myriad of tools and it’s imperative that they are all able to work together to create a seamless environment that is not only useful but used by your team.
From FERPA to HIPAA, and many other regulations, compliance is a determining factor for many of our clients looking to move to a cloud-based CSP. Implementing a CSP can help reduce the stress and anxiety many businesses feel when contending with ever-changing codes, certifications, and data retention regulations.
Leveraging compliant technology maintained by a cloud provider and automating processes like retention schedules are a few ways that a CSP can help minimize risk and maximize efficiency.
Improve customer and user experience
Creating a streamlined, organized content storage system means that documents are easily accessible and things like search times, sifting through files, and general confusion around where to find information is greatly reduced.
Add automation tools into the mix and your business is now both more productive and more effective as less time is being wasted looking for information or having information pass arduously through several channels in order to reach its final destination. As speed of service delivery becomes faster and faster in our technology-driven world, increasing your speed will serve to keep your customers or constituents happy to work with you.
The benefits of a CSP for your business
“Progress through process” is a phrase that comes to mind when the subject of digital integration arises. A CSP allows businesses to create processes and manage their information and content in a new, secure, easy-to-use way.
CSPs deliver an agile tool for digital work, minimize content sprawl and information silos, improve both access and security, create better user experience for employees and customers alike, save money by reducing wasted time, and improve productivity by making content easier to share.
If you’re ready to learn more about how Image API can transform your business, let us know! We’ve also created this free guide to help you prepare a path for going digital.