“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” — T.S. Eliot
2021 is now just around the corner, and Information Management is in for a big year of change, disruption, progress, and innovation; that’s not a prediction, it’s a promise. But first, let us roll the clock back to 2017 when we started Deep Analysis. At that time, I was told that ECM was dead, Blockchain was a joke, and AI was marketing fluff. There was a lot of truth in those statements; ECM was not dead, but it was moribund, early associations still hampered Blockchain with Bitcoin, and AI was all bark and no bite. Fast forward to the end of 2020 and ECM 1.0 is rapidly moving to ECM 2.0, Enterprise Blockchain is being deployed around the world, and AI has moved on from promising the earth to delivering real value on small specific tasks. But maybe most heartening of all has been the recent slew of innovation (see our Innovation Index Report) from big and small technology vendors alike, something our sector was sorely lacking.
There is still a mountain to climb, and few experienced guides available to lead the way. If I take the mountaineering analogy further, the summit is in sight, but few known paths are available to get there. Maybe the most straightforward and obvious illustration of these difficulties is in the world of Document Capture. Though advanced forms of capture using techniques such as NLP (Natural Language Processing) have been around for many years, today, most Document Capture facilities do little more than scan to a TIFF file and OCR for fundamental indexing. Yet advanced AI approaches are on the market (what we call Cognitive Capture) that can lay the foundation for end to end intelligent processing. However, whilst the technology is impressive; the adoption curve is still in the starting blocks. All of that being said, the Deep Analysis team are optimists; and it’s really not hard to see the many positives in our industry; it is rapidly transforming, for the better. Yes, there is a long way to go, but bold steps are being made.
With that in mind, Deep Analysis will enter the New Year with a slightly different focus. What will stay the same is our dedication to unearthing innovation and targeting the practical use of emerging technologies in Enterprise Information & Automation. But moving forward we will increase our focus on the end-user and the systems integrator to learn and share both the challenges and best paths to adoption. First up will be a new report on both the potential and the practical challenges of Intelligent Capture/Cognitive Capture/Intelligent Document Processing/Capture 2.0 – boy this industry does like to come up with new terminology!
Furthermore, we will continue to work with our existing customers, have a couple of client webinars scheduled for the early new year, and hope to always be delivering more value and insights as we move forward.
For now, let’s all just take a deep breath and acknowledge that 2020 was certainly a year to remember, we are grateful for our continued engagement with each one of you. For those we haven’t yet met or were unable to meet in person this year, we are truly looking forward to meeting you in 2021, which will be (fingers crossed), a year of positive change and a source of new beginnings….