What is Content Services?

Discover the benefits of content services

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Today, organisations are shedding monolithic document repositories in favor of content services platforms capable of aggregating content across multiple repositories to connect disparate applications.

So, what is content services? Gartner, a leading research and advisory company, coined the term to represent a shift from self-contained systems and repositories to open services. 

At Hyland, we believe this evolution also supports changing expectations in how and where content is created, used and shared across organisations.

Defining content services

With the transformation of ECM to content services, Gartner shared a new market definition in its report, What You Need to Know About Content Services Platforms:

Content services are a set of services and microservices, 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 organisation.

The Gartner report also states that the practice of content management, collaboration and dissemination is best enabled through a set of services that coordinate content usage by all parties – users, systems and applications.

Elements of content services

Gartner's report states that content services consist of platforms, applications and components:

  • Content services platforms – According to Gartner's report, content services platforms represent the evolution of ECM suites, focused on content management, governance and processing. As the report states, a content services platform will have its own repository and may also integrate external repositories through connectors and APIs or packaged integrations. Content services platform providers offer integrated sets of content-related services, microservices, repositories and tools that support common content use cases. Common services available with these platforms include document management, search, indexing, categorisation, capture, version control, workflow, records management, content analytics and more.
  • Content services applications – Applications provide business solution-focused capabilities, according to Gartner's report. Hyland believes examples include HR onboarding, legal contracts management and insurance claims management.
  • Content services components – Utility-based services that add additional capabilities to existing applications and platforms, the Gartner report states. For example, at Hyland we believe organisations may leverage a service component that translates English into Spanish, or an application that analyses and automatically tags content.

Content services: An evolving landscape

The shift from ECM to content services denotes a transition away from focusing on the storage of content across the enterprise to the active use of content – in context – by individuals and teams, both inside and outside the organisation.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organisation and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.