ECM vs CSP: The Truth You Need To Know Now

Gartner has officially retired the term ECM (enterprise content management) and replaced it by CSP (Content Services Platforms) because this term no longer reflects the organizational needs in digital business.

Traditional ECM solutions focused on having a single repository for all the enterprise digital content and although a lot of companies achieved success using this methodology, there was a need for a change as it was somehow hard to use only one SILO. Different organization’s department have used 1 or more solutions to manage their content which ended in having content distributed across different systems.

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Having realized that there was a need for a vision change of how organizations are managing their content specially that the data generated is expected to become huge, Gartner has introduced a new concept CSP (Content Services Platforms) which have similar goals but different approach from ECM.

In a previous article, i have explained what is CSP? Let’s now go through the difference between these two concepts.


CSP is “a set of services and micro services, embodied either as an integrated product suite or as separate applications that share common APIs and repositories, to exploit diverse content types and to serve multiple constituencies and numerous use cases across an organization.”

In a simple definition, CSP is the next generation of ECM solutions based on single API that supports multiple repositories, end points, and business cases allowing them to be used in different departments in one organization.

The below points represent the main differences

Single vs Multiple Repositories

As mentioned above, ECM solutions have a single repository for all organization’s content while CSP supports multiple repositories.

Multiple End Points

An ECM solution have one interface, most probably a web browser, to access the system while in CSP, the user can access the system from the web, mobile, app, Office Addons, third party application integration, etc.

One Center API

One API is used in all the above possible mentioned end points to access the CSP solution, that will make sure all the business rules, validations, etc. are managed the same way in all these different end points. Also some CSPs provide the API as a component to the buyers allowing them to make custom applications using the API on top of their CSP.

Integration with 3rd Party Applications

As organizations are using a lot of applications to manage their content, a need for integration between these systems and the CSP has become essential to easily import data from one system to another. One essential integration should be with Enterprise File Sharing & Sync such as Dropbox or Box as most companies now are using these apps to share their content with external parties.

Customizable User Interface

In the past, enterprise related systems have suffered from the lack of a fresh user interface allowing users to achieve their daily work in a more enjoyable practice however now a big focus on the user interface is being done to allow easier adaptation on the enterprise level.

a CSP solution should have a customizable user interface allowing the portal administrators to configure it as per department needs.


Both ECM and CSP have similar goals but each solution provides a different approach form enterprise content management.

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