Top Three Emerging Image Capture Trends in 2014 and Beyond

[caption id=”” align=”aligncenter” width=”680”]Image Capture Trends Document capture technologies of today and tomorrow must meet the flexibility demands of all mobile users[/caption] Image capture encompasses a lot of applications, such as photography, video editing, document imaging and management, and more. Within the document imaging and management market seemingly every organization is migrating from paper-based work processes to digital document management. Thus, image capture technologies have become a hot topic in software development and the enterprise. Image capture is one of the core components of any effective enterprise content management (ECM) solution. And, the ECM market is growing. One analyst estimate anticipates growth from $4.4 billion in 2012 to more than $7.5 billion in 2016. Image capture is central to ECM document processing in many key markets: healthcare, government, finance, etc. So, how will image capture technology continue to adapt to meet growing and ever-changing market demands? There are likely three trends emerging that will become common practices in the image capture market.

Mobile Image Capture

A mobile workforce is no longer a pipedream – it happens everywhere and practically by every organization. Workers today are no longer tethered to just their desktops. Their smartphones, tablets and laptops are always at their side. As a result, many organizations have also taken advantage of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies so workers can leverage their own mobile devices for work. According to iPass, in 2013 mobile workers carried on average three devices – tablets, laptops, smartphones, phablets, etc. Image capture from any device and from anywhere will grow to become essential. Scanning and inputting documents while sitting by a traditional scanner will not cut it by itself. Image capture will now need to include the use of smartphones, tablets, laptops with built-in cameras, and more. We already see a huge application for this with mobile banking apps and check processing. One day we will witness even medical and government offices doing the same with consumers. Typical offices have a plethora of applications: doctors scanning a patient record to share with other providers; loan documents scanned for sharing between processors, etc. Look for mobile image capturing to start to take off the rest of this year and into 2015.

Cloud-Based Image Capture

According to a Forbes article, the market for software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud-based business applications will grow to be a more than $32 billion market in 2016. This growth is from a $13.4 billion market in 2011. Earlier this year, MarketsandMarkets forecast the ECM market alone will balloon from $6.78 billion this year to be almost double this size – more than $12 billion – by 2019. The mainstream use of cloud-based applications to expedite image capture workflows is amongst us. However, it is hitting a fever pitch in the industry this year and beyond. Image capture solutions will have to be flexible to work with different platforms and imaging devices by supporting standards like HTML5, TWAIN etc.  Security will continue to be a concern too. So, image capture solutions will have to blend well with public/private cloud mixes. This is to ensure security for captured images whether during transmission or storage. Look for more and more solutions throughout this year and next that deploy cloud-based image capture applications.

Big Data and Image Capture

Obviously, a critical benefit to capturing documents in a digital state is to be able to organize it all. But data mining is now also important. Big data and image capture will be a key selling point for any document management solution. Another Forbes article quotes an estimate for spending on big data hardware, software and services to grow 30 percent CAGR through 2018 when the market will be $114 billion. They also stated cloud-based business intelligence will grow from less than a billion dollar market in 2013 to $2.94 billion in 2018. Image capture solutions will have to employ even more powerful metadata capabilities. As more and more organizations turn to digital document management, they’ll expect big data alongside. Metadata’s role is now shifting. It’s no longer just for categorizing or identifying digital documents. It must now be leveraged for competitive data advantages too. Look for this to become more than a minor detail by 2015.


As a result of these trends, the image capture market itself is experiencing a good period of growth. More and more organizations are moving from paper-waste processes to digital document management. Thus, more and more technology solutions pop up to feed the need. Next generation document management applications must have powerful image capture capabilities. Image capture will have to be possible while workers are mobile and from any device. Image capture will have to be cloud-powered too. And, cloud-based image capture will need to rival desktop-based capabilities. When images are captured for documentation, the metadata will be vital. Image capture capabilities must be able to let organizations also mine meaningful data for competitive advantages. These trends drive home why it’s more important than ever to ensure your image capture capabilities are next generation today.

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