Blog Post by Scott Blau,WW Director of Document Capture,IBM ECM
Historians and anthropologists debate the topic of “when did intelligent life on earth start?” But I sometimes wonder just how intelligent we are when I see the nutty things that humans do. I certainly scratch my head at the way we sometimes make our lives so hard for ourselves in the way we structure our activities.
Is it really intelligent to pave over so much of the earth? Are we being smart not putting more effort into alternative energy sources? And on a much more immediate level, is it really so intelligent of us to continue to be swapping paper documents and filing them in filing cabinets, or even printing an email… so it can be sent down the hall to be scanned?
It is probably a “no” to each of those questions.
I’m not an expert on ecology or sustainability, but I’ve been around the document capture space for long enough to know that there still is a lot of room for us to get smarter. One of the ways of doing that is to stop thinking about document capture in isolation, separately from the storage and retrieval of images after they’ve been captured.
When I first started out in document capture in the late 1980s, it made some sense to think about scanning a document, extracting information from it and then forgetting about the image altogether. But with advances in network bandwidth, storage, and database technologies, it’s rare these days that anyone scans without saving images. And that’s smart.
But to squirrel away those images where they may not be easily found, are not properly indexed, or are unconnected to business processes, isn’t particularly clever either. And certainly processes which cause electronic documents to slip back to paper (through printing) only to be scanned again is on the dumb side of the scale.
Intelligent Imaging is about bringing to bear all the capabilities that have developed over the last 20 or 30 years to take documents, whether they are originally electronic or paper, extract information from them, make them available, and, finally, tie them into useful business processes.
Here’s a man-in-front-of-a-whiteboard video where I explain more about intelligent imaging – all in under seven minutes.