2021 was an interesting year for the Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) space, and all of us participating is this ever-morphing market. Gartner’s latest Competitive Landscape Report on IDP Vendors lists over 40 solutions offerings that meet the criteria to be listed, and it seems everyday there is a new startup or solution looking to add this high demand functional capability. So where are the leaders going and what will be on the roadmap for 2022? How will this next year shape the market? Here are five trends I see continuing and others that will develop over the next 12 months.
Trend #1: HA, HA, HA
Hyperautomation (HA) initiatives will continue to target document intensive tasks and relieve end users from the digital headache that is document process automation. With over 60% of business processes including records access or documents, this focus provides quick wins for automation teams, and with the right tool, can provide significantly improved business outcomes. In addition, organizations will continue to expand intelligent document processing capabilities beyond structured and semi-structured documents, providing the ability to extract Data of Interest (DOI) from unstructured documents.
>> Structuring the unstructured will provide a gold mine of insight for leading IDP-enabled organizations.
Trend #2: Head in the Cloud
Over the past year, we have seen a massive increase in adoption of our cloud IDP solution and demand for cloud availability has risen over the past 2 years for obvious reasons. Industries, like banking and government – cloud holdout stalwarts – are now adopting at light speed to introduce new services, cut costs and adapt their organizations for the future.
>> Cloud adoption will continue and demand for “on-premises” solutions will wane.
Trend #3: Taming of the Sprawl
IDP is pervasive, and with the rise of hyperautomation, organizations are many times too scattered when it comes to document processing. One department is leveraging Document Understanding in their RPA tool. Another uses a workflow plugin for Google Vision in the cloud. Still another department is using an ERP suite IDP to process invoices. This “sprawl” of IDP capabilities creates a management, security and governance nightmare, not to mention a lack of standardization and repeatability across the business.
>> Smart organizations will standardize on a single IDP platform that can centralize core document processing and service all their HA needs.
Trend #4: AI Arms Race
IDP is really all about maximizing automated processing and minimizing the requirement for a human-in-the-loop. The real value comes from the accuracy of the system the minute you turn on the switch, or what we call Day Zero Accuracy (DZA). High DZA equals high straight-through processing (STP) rates, minimal human intervention and higher value to the organization of the overall solution. You only get there with REALLY good AI models optimized for DZA.
>> IDP vendors will continue to focus on achieving the elusive 100% STP rate with innovative AI models.
Trend #5: Deciphering the Unknown
The IDP market has focused the last few years on the “known.” Known document types, expected data and predictable document flow. But that’s not where the real value lies. There is immense value in having a solution that can use technology to tackle the unknown. I get the question all the time: What if I don’t know what I will get when I open a document? What if there are so many possibilities of what may accompany the primary document that it would take too much time and money to configure? To date, the IDP industry just can’t process “unknown” well. They use static AI, purpose-built for a use case, or rules to accomplish the goal. 2022 will change all that.
>> 2022 will be the year of the “unknown” for IDP.
How will you tackle the great unknown in 2022?