Looking at the past -- and future -- of document processing

Looking at the past — and future — of document processing

In a blog post at AIIM.org, John Mancini writes about what he sees as three eras related to document processing and the industries they drive.

First, there’s the era of what he calls “Document Management and Workflow,” which had characteristics involving “people, process and technology.” Next, around the arrival of the 21st century, the industry shifted to an Enterprise Content Management era, where the focus fell more on developing technologies. And lastly, Mancini says the industry has now moved into the “Mobile and Cloud” era, putting an even greater focus on emerging, web-based technologies.

Here are a few observations Mancini has about these eras, and what they may suggest for what’s coming next:

  1. Because technologies exist in a beta testing phase long before they are implemented, we might not have a complete picture of what the future holds, but we have some idea. That means companies looking to predict upcoming developments only have to take a careful, considered look at what is happening now.
  2. New eras in technological development don’t replace what has come before, they build on it. That’s why companies concerned with keeping up with new developments need to put a focus on gathering information and making the most of what they discover.
  3. These eras of development are coming faster and faster. That rate of change can be potentially dangers for organizations that aren’t putting in the effort to keep up with technology. Not tracking what’s coming and anticipating what’s next can be fatal in the information business.

By looking at the broad technological picture, Mancini goes on to say that he’s convinced machines are going to play a much larger role. Specifically, machine intelligence. Right now, he says, that concept is radically innovating reasoning, planning and navigation, perception, language processing and other factors in business. And though these changes present challenges for companies involved in information processing and data capture, they also present opportunities. Content and information will be gathered and organized in ways they’ve never been before, and a company that anticipates these changes and plans for them will be able to profit from this revolution in the years to come.

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