The digital mesh

The digital mesh

22nd November 2017

The consultancy firm Gartner has issued its list of technology predictions for 2018.

It’s a slightly scary list that begins: “Artificial intelligence, immersive experiences, digital twins, event-thinking and continuous adaptive security.”

At first sight, some of this sounds very sci-fi and futuristic. After all, what exactly is a digital twin and will I really need one any time soon?

One phrase that stood out in Gartner’s report is the concept of the intelligent digital mesh. Gartner defines this as the entwining of people, devices, content and services. And when Gartner talks about “intelligent” it is describing the way AI capability is being embedded into some everyday office technology.

Is this futuristic? Actually, no – it’s the reality for some ITEC customers today.

So what makes this digital mesh concept noteworthy in ITEC’s view is that it chimes with what we are starting to see in our customer base. Customers are starting to realise that relatively well-understood ideas – capture, scanning, workflow – have matured. They now have the potential to transform routine processes inside many organisations.

To take one example, ITEC’s iScan solution incorporates elements of machine learning. It gives the automated process the ability to learn as it goes along. This is actually a radically new and transformative idea.

This is not AI in the way it is often understood. And Gartner uses the phrase “narrow AI” to zero in on what is happening here: “Narrow AI, consisting of highly scoped machine-learning solutions that target a specific task (such as understanding language or driving a vehicle in a controlled environment) with algorithms chosen that are optimised for that task, is where the action is today.”

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