FROM STAGNATION TO EXPLOSIVE CHANGE Recent advances have breathed new life into the document capture market By Alan Pelz-Sharpe
ocument capture has been around for decades, but recent advances have breathed new life into this market. The ability to liberate documents from their physical form and move them into the digital realm has long yielded benefits in productivity and security while reducing costs. Recently, advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) combined with relatively mature optical character recognition (OCR) technology have made it possible to liberate not only the document but also the embedded business information required to drive business operations. We call this cognitive capture, and we believe it opens new possibilities to reimagine traditional workflows.
To be clear from the get-go, we are industry analysts who study and advise on the market, not technology vendors with a new product concept to push. Over the last couple of years, we have observed a sudden and radical shift in the capture market, one that will have repercussions for many years to come. It’s not the death of traditional transactional capture (think check processing). Instead, it’s the birth of new technology approaches that open up new opportunities beyond the conventional. To put it another way, we are moving from reading letters and zones on a document digitally to understanding the context and meaning of those letters and zones. That’s a radical shift and one that changes everything.
It started with Google, Amazon, and Azure releasing image and text capture modules in their cloud stacks. Three things rocked the boat here: 1. Once proprietary and expensive capture technology is now freely available 2. Big names jumped into the picture, raising the profile and importance of capture 3. The new offerings are far more advanced, relying on Deep Learning AI This has meant a slew of new developers accessing and playing with these advanced cognitive capture tools and discovering new ways to use them and new market opportunities to explore.
DOCUMENT STRATEGY Spring 2021