There is no more damning a statement in the world of industry analysis than to say that a market is ‘mature.’ It’s the equivalent of saying, you had a good run, but it’s time for retirement. However, at Deep Analysis, we are fascinated by so-called mature markets, as we see them as tipping points for innovation. Think of it this way, a common perception in the industry is that technology markets are linear. That markets follow the ‘Crossing the Chasm’ route, which takes them from innovators and early adopters to laggards.
For any new company, that’s an excellent model to follow, as clearly you want to build your business up yet still recognize that you will have maxed out, or want to exit at some point. But a single company does not represent a market. Markets as a whole, as opposed to individual companies, follow a different trajectory. Technology markets evolve, morph, and change over time – the only thing that stays constant is the specific business need that they were designed to meet. To put it another way, companies mature, get old and eventually die. Markets instead evolve and are relatively timeless.
We see such innovation tipping points coming into the world of capture, a sector that has been around and leveraging OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software. The scan, convert, file market that has been with us for decades is now at a tipping point. Cognitive Capture solutions coming to the market bear little resemblance to traditional capture technologies; they leverage powerful AI and go far beyond scan, convert, and file. Cognitive Capture solutions read, understand and action captured information. So while many older capture vendors will see a decline of their mature, traditional businesses, others will adapt and yet others enter the marketplace, gain early adopters and grow substantially. The Capture market, arguably the most ‘mature’ of information management markets, is evolving and spurring innovation from the likes of Anyline and Cortical.io that will help to fuel its next cycle of growth. We see the same thing in the world of Knowledge Management (KM) and Intranets, once supposedly mature markets are seeing a resurgence of innovation and buyer interest. Intranets and the like are morphing into Employee Experience Platforms (EXP’s) and Digital Workplaces. Those evolutions are driven partly by advances in technology and partly by changes in customer requirements. But the core business needs to capture information and inform and interact with our employees remains constant. Again, modeling and tracking business processes are nothing new, it’s something that has been around for well over 20 years, up until a year or so ago it was considered a mature market. But then innovators like Minit & FortressIQ stepped in, fancy new terms ‘Process and Task Mining’ took hold, and an evolutionary step forward was made.
So at Deep Analysis, when we see other analyst firms labeling markets as mature or legacy, we instead, see a time of innovation and exploration on the horizon. So consider this a call out to the industry, it’s early days for 2021 but we are already thinking of contenders for this year’s Innovation Index Awards. There are a couple of contenders already in the mix, but we are always on the search for innovation in so-called mature markets. We do our own searching to find innovators, but if you or your company truly believes you are doing something innovative, reach out and let us know.
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