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What are Gartner’s 15 Critical Capabilities of Content Services Platforms (CSP)?


In the technology solutions space, the Gartner Magic Quadrant release is a very exciting time. As a leading analyst report, the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platforms (CSP) offers established vendors the chance to see where they stack up against their competitors. It gives new entrants exposure. It gives stalwarts in the space some guidance for the future of the market.

But, let’s not kid ourselves. While the Gartner Magic Quadrant gives us, the vendors, key insights, Gartner doesn’t develop it for us. The Magic Quadrant is for you. It’s an indispensable tool for IT leaders and reviewers of CSPs to develop opinions and shortlists of solutions that may help their business. It helps people like you find the features and capabilities in a vendor that are best suited to your digital transformation goals.

As we mentioned in a previous article, M-Files is proud to be the most Visionary solution in this year’s edition of the Magic Quadrant. It validates our vision and our mission to enable companies and their people to work smarter, work faster and work decisively by unlocking the power of information.

But what many may not realize is that there is a companion report that underpins the Magic Quadrant – the Critical Capabilities report. It acts as the scorecard, quantifying performance in feature sets and use cases. That intel can be especially powerful to companies reviewing CSPs, seeking a well-balanced solution or a mix of certain capabilities.

The 2019 Gartner Critical Capabilities for CSPs Report outlines the fifteen critical capabilities with which Gartner graded all eighteen vendors:

  1. Collaboration
  2. Productivity
  3. Capture
  4. Search
  5. Platform
  6. Administration
  7. Analytics and Reporting
  8. Metadata and Classification
  9. Workflow and Processes
  10. Business Application Enablement
  11. Information Governance
  12. Content Management
  13. Delivery Model
  14. Content Security
  15. System Security

One key takeaway from this year’s report is the parity between vendor scores. Aside from a few outliers, most scores tend to be pretty close, indicating a mature market and not one with tons of emerging technologies. Indeed, M-Files lives in a competitive landscape where the difference between solutions lies in the minutiae, in the details.

In examining, M-Files scored very well on the critical capabilities. In three of those, M-Files landed at the top of the heap:

Analytics and Reporting

M-Files scored the top spot for analytics and reporting, presumably on the heels of the investment in artificial intelligence and machine learning as an embedded capability of the solution – working to automatically identify and extract valuable data from documents.

An excerpt from Gartner’s description of this capability:

“These features enable users to discover insights about the content and data stored in the CSP. Artificial intelligence in the form of machine learning capabilities has become a major component for the delivery of these capabilities. Analytics and reporting deliver insights to end users. These insights can be extracted from content in the form of text, videos or images. They can also be delivered from the data that is inherent in many CSPs, including metadata and task-/workflow-based tracking. Greater emphasis has been placed in this report on the ability to utilize more advanced analytical capabilities using AI-driven machine learning to provide actionable dashboards.”

Metadata and Classification

M-Files scored the second spot with a 4.7 out of 5 for metadata and classification. We’ve always exclaimed that metadata is the most important part of a CSP, as it remains the force that drives almost every other capability. If an enterprise excels at classifying their information, a whole world of productivity and efficiency becomes reality, as metadata underlies workflows, permissions, searchability, creating relationships between documents and ideas, and so much more.

An excerpt from Gartner’s description of this capability:

“Metadata and classification defines the features that are used to associate metadata with content in a CSP. The ability to create and manage unstructured tags is fundamental here. More advanced features enable users to define structured metadata patterns, thereby enhancing findability and the extraction of insights.”

Content Security

M-Files took the third spot with a 4.5 out of 5 in content security. Data security is a top priority for businesses. There’s so much more at stake than just fines and penalties for a data breach. The organization’s reputation is at stake, and thus lost business. According to an IBM report, the global average cost of a data breach in the professional services industry is $4.5 million. The biggest contributor to this cost is lost business. M-Files makes content security a priority, protecting your data from internal and external misuse.

An excerpt from Gartner’s description of this capability:

“Content security capabilities enforce controls that relate directly to the protection of content. Content security is a key capability that is essential for organizations which prioritize privacy and security of the content they store in the CSP.”

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