ecm vs csp graphic featured image

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Content Services Platform (CSP) are terms for software applications like our beloved Laserfiche. These terms are coined by industry analysts (Gartner, Forrester, IDC, Etc.) to represent a category of similar technology offerings. As the applications’ capabilities or enterprises’ needs mature, sometimes an update in naming is appropriate.

Gartner defines content services platforms as “integrated platforms that provide content-focused services, repositories, APIs, solutions and business processing tools to support digital business and transformation.”

Enterprise content management is the strategies, methods, and tools used to allow organizations to capture, manage, organize, preserve, store, and deliver vital information to the right people at the right time through the right channels.

ECM vs. CSP table graphicComparatively, let’s break down the difference between the two:

  1. Process Focus: Content-oriented processes (ECM) vs. Service-oriented processes (CSP)
  2. Integrated/Siloed: Achieve operational goals with a single system (ECM) vs. Employ a strong recipe of strategy and integrated technology to achieve goals (CSP)
  3. Infrastructure & Storage: On-premise (ECM) vs. Cloud-based (CSP)
  4. Information Sharing: Limited integration support (ECM) vs. API-driven (CSP)
  5. Artificial Intelligence Adoption: Manual report generation to optimize automation (ECM) vs. AI-enabled automation (CSP)
  6. Content Sources: Designed to be insular—they were sold as the “one place to store all of your content.” (ECM) vs. Stores data and content locally (in their own repository) and connects to other information sources (CSP)
  7. Organizational Adoption: Mostly adopted as a point solution for a single department or use case (ECM) vs. Supports multiple repositories, endpoints, and business cases permitting them to be utilized across the enterprise (CSP)
  8. UX: Static UI (ECM) vs. Customizable interface for users (CSP)
  9. Low-Code Process Automation: Requires more advanced development skills, but may be considered low-code (ECM) vs. Low-code, full graphical workflow and form designers with advanced capabilities (CSP)

Regardless of the name, the goal of applications in this category is no longer strictly about the storage of content for the enterprise, but rather about the consideration of how content is used by individuals and teams — internally and externally — to create, collaborate, share, transform, and leverage that content in business processes and to gain insight.

Plans and strategies will continue to shift from dwelling on content problems to business problems that happen to involve content.

We are a proud technology partner of Laserfiche for over 20 years. We watched the evolution of the platform from ECM to CSP. Laserfiche’s commitment to developing their cloud product offering and integrations library is an exciting evolution. We actively contribute to their automation template library and build many integrations to applications like NEOGOV, PeopleSoft, Tyler EnerGov, PDI and many more.

Learn more about how our team and a CSP can support your organizational goals.