Grab the Second Wave of Capture

by Kevin Craine | 4/20/15

First developed over 30 years ago, capture systems have evolved from simple solutions for basic scanning into sophisticated and capable systems for enterprise wide document automation. Document imaging, text recognition and data capture systems have existed for years – and the technologies and capabilities have evolved significantly over time – but studies show that many organizations are just now beginning to capture the true value of capture technology.

A survey conducted last year by AIIM discovered that most large enterprises have scanning and imaging systems in place, but only about half use any kind of advanced data capture technology. Despite advances in text recognition, indexing and classification, and automated workflow, it seems many organizations are still operating with a rather basic scan-and-store approach when it comes to capture.

The Second Wave

A trend toward adoption of new and more advanced capture techniques is taking shape however; prompting what I call the “second wave of capture.” Indeed, innovations in text recognition, multichannel input, mobile capture, case management, and enhanced classification techniques are all stimulating a second wave of investment in document capture solutions by big business and big government. My message to enterprise businesses today is that if you haven’t looked at capture lately, it is time to look again or risk getting left behind.


Second Wave Capabilities

How can you catch the second wave of capture? We’re all familiar with scan-and-store capture scenarios that provide the ability to make a digital image of a printed page and extract bits of information from the original paper source. The capabilities and techniques are described as “phase one” and “phase two” in my popular white paper The Five Phases of Capture. But what aspects of advanced capture characterize what would be called second wave capabilities?  Here are a few to consider:

·         Incorporating captured data within business process to drive better business performance.

·         Use of capture devices at the point of entry via MFP’s, tablets and smartphones.

·         Advanced classification and indexing technologies.

·         More accurate semantic and natural language processing.

·         The ability to “understand” captured data for Big Data analysis and decision making.


Bridge the Gap

While document capture solutions are deployed in a majority of North America’s industries, the underlying technologies have been evolving and adapting well beyond basic scan-and-store strategies. As a result, many enterprise organizations are beginning to adopt second wave capture techniques that bridge the gap between paper and digital media and are more directly integral to organizational performance. This is especially important in traditionally paper-intensive fields such as healthcare, financial services or government.


Guest contributor Kevin Craine is the author of the book Designing a Document Strategy and host of the Document Strategy Podcast. He is the managing director of Craine Communications Group. For more information visit

Kevin Craine is the managing director of Craine Communications Group. He is writer, podcaster and technology analyst, as well as the author of the book Designing a Document Strategy and a respected authority on document management and process improvement. He was named the No. 1 ECM Influencer to follow on Twitter.