As part of our extensively planned interactions on the future of technology planning and executions around IT DevOps and data management trends, we had an opportunity to interact with Anthony Macciola, Chief Innovation Officer at ABBYY.
ABBYY is a global digital intelligence company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. With more than 45 patents for technologies in mobility, text analytics, image processing, and process automation, Anthony is currently leading AI initiatives at ABBYY. Anthony spoke at length about the explosive app market, the data science behind creating truly world-class customer experience, and the threats and opportunities facing the tech industry in general.
Here’s a snapshot of our interaction with Anthony Macciola, Chief Innovation Officer at ABBYY.
Hi Anthony, welcome back to our interview series. Please tell us about the most fascinating aspect of your current role? What keeps you motivated at ABBYY?
Anthony Macciola: Like many innovation leaders, I’m constantly looking at customers’ challenges and evolving market dynamics to reimagine how technology can improve lives and businesses. This past year highlighted how quickly innovation leaders can approve and deploy the tools they need to digitally transform their processes to meet demand – or correct haphazard installations. But it also exposed that the ways in which technology is used and staff’s role in using them have also shifted. With this in mind, I’m sharing my outlook on how intelligent automation will be impacted in 2022.
How do you see the app and IT DevOps marketplace evolving with heightened demands for a better customer experience?
Anthony: An explosion of mini-apps and micro apps enhances the customer experience.
Every organization strives to have the smoothest and simplest online interaction with clients, and to achieve this in 2022 we will be seeing the massive growth of pre-built, plug-and-play niche technology platforms that can be integrated into customer-facing platforms.
This trend embraces the popularity of low code/no code and the emergence of composable technologies – using out-of-the-box, plug-in software platforms that interact seamlessly into your own stack. In fact, Gartner also agrees that composable technologies are a strategic technology trend for 2022 and goes even further to say organizations that have adopted a composable approach will outpace the competition by 80% by 2023. It requires no developer knowledge, allowing what used to take months to be built in days.
Already trained and pre-configured to process any customer request, these apps – or applets as they’ll be known – will provide a much faster and more sophisticated level of service. They can be consumed and configured to use within a bigger process or to inherit as an entire procedure. The option of integrating an entire process, a mini-app, or just part of the process, a micro app, is what allows flexibility and greater efficiency through using best-of-breed technologies that are prebuilt for specific industries.
Could you provide us with an example?
Anthony: A good example of a mini-app coming into play is during customer onboarding when proof of identity is the first hurdle. The customer themselves will trigger the app to take them through tailored ID verification, before being automatically returned to finalize the rest of the onboarding process. But in some circumstances, a micro-app may need to be called – a specialist prebuilt app specific to industry/or document types – such as W2, invoice, a selfie, or other specific use cases. It’s all about building a high-level solution out of the best parts.
In summary, these low code/no code, plug in technologies will not only be easily deployed, save a fortune in systems development, and accelerate time to market, but dramatically improve the overall customer experience – which is the number one priority for business in 2022.
Please explain what you think about the “Human in the Loop” approach.
Anthony: As the above technology emerges, this will change the human-in-the-loop experience and be the catalyst for what Gartner estimates 60% of large enterprises will use total experience to transform their business models to achieve world-class customer and employee advocacy levels.
Historically, humans would usually be looped into for validation or error correction purposes at the end of a process. Now the human-in-the-loop engagement will be at the forefront and transform the total experience with customers themselves being responsible for initiating and operating technology, such as capturing their own ID and trailing documents. This sort of process is no longer a back-office function but a customer-facing one in 2022.
We hear a lot about the data capture industry is in a volatile state. Could you please explain what the data capture paradigm shift looks like?
Anthony: We’ve discussed how content is necessary for creating and executing delightful customer experiences and essential to delivering higher-value solutions and time to value. I believe this illustrates a paradigm shift with data capture. Data capture evolved over the decades from OCR to intelligent document processing like machine learning and AI models become more sophisticated.
Could you further elaborate on this idea?
Anthony: In 2022, I see two major shifts with IDP. The first is in how it’s used.
Traditionally capture has been a back office, under-the-hood function. You’d see it in digital mailrooms and for archiving files. Then when digital transformation came along, capture was used within a business process, but still as a back-end process. Now that IDP is available in mini-apps it’s jumped to the front of the process making recognition and classification accuracy rates and straight-through processing important factors to consider as well as breadth of languages.
The other shift is in how it’s consumed. If your organization still has a document processing platform from five to 10 years ago, you’re stagnating all digital transformation projects you deployed since March 2020. Cumbersome, on-premise legacy IDP platforms are not agile enough to keep up the pace of business today. IDP is now available as a low-code/no-code solution in the cloud. This shift also changes the human-in-the-loop factor.
Previously, staff was used for handling exceptions and errors within a business process, now customers use IDP to initiate and complete the end-to-end experience.
Could you please tell us about the threats looming large on the tech industry?
Anthony: I foresee more consolidation, threats, and opportunities in 2022.
An outlook about 2022 wouldn’t be complete without talking about the consolidation, threats, and opportunities in the market.
First is the consolidation.
We’ve seen RPA and process mining vendors consolidate over the past couple years and I believe there’s room for more. It’s evident that both technology capabilities are considered enablers within automation platforms rather than standalone pure-play solutions from when they first entered the market. I believe organizations need to be careful about standardizing on an all-in-one automation, IDP, and process mining solution if it locks them into an inferior solution. Innovation leaders prefer best-in-breed and interoperability.
There are also opportunities with what Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are doing server side in the cloud, and what Apple and Google are doing with mobile platforms. Those platforms are advancing at amazing speed. GPUs are enormous, machine vision and machine learning are advancing massively. The opportunity lies on leveraging the services on the device and cloud rather than trying to build it alone. This enables technology vendors to focus on solving customers’ problems with their innovative solutions.
Thank you so much for chatting with us! We look forward to hearing more from you in 2022.
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