December 9, 2005

The text technologies market 1: It should be huge

From a number of standpoints, the market for enterprise technologies that explicitly* manage text SHOULD be huge. Consider:

1. The market for consumer text search is huge — think of Google.

2. The market for implicit* management of text is huge. Email management is a significant fraction of the IT budget, if you factor in the predominance of email in the use of networks and PCs. Now regulations are compelling email to be stored and managed at great expense. People spend hours per day working on email, word processors, etc.

3. The text mining market has recently boomed, and good ROI appears to be the norm.

*My implicit vs. explicit distinction here is meant to distinguish technologies that manage text as some sort of BLOB or other blob vs. technologies that take account of the fact that it is text, which contains words, phrases, synonyms, and so on.

If text technologies could live up to researchers’ dreams, typical knowledge workers would save hours per week and in many cases hours per day. The benefits would rival at least those of the whole PC/office productivity/messaging set of technologies. Thus, at least in theory, the market potential for these technologies is enormous.


3 Responses to “The text technologies market 1: It should be huge”

  1. Text Technologies»Blog Archive » The text technologies market 2: It’s actually in disarray on December 9th, 2005 6:22 pm

    […] The text technologies market should be huge and thriving. Actually, however, it’s in disarray. Multiple generations of enterprise search vendors have floundered, with the Autonomy/Verity merger being basically a combination of the weak. The RDBMS vendors came up with decent hybrid tabular/text offerings, and almost nobody cared. (Admittedly, part of the reason for that is that the best offering was Oracle’s, and Oracle almost always screws up its ancillary businesses. Email searchability has been ridiculously bad since — well, since the invention of email. And speech technology has floundered for decades, with most of the survivors now rolled into the new version of Nuance. […]

  2. Text Technologies»Blog Archive » The text technologies market 3: Here’s what’s missing on December 11th, 2005 2:47 am

    […] The text technologies market should be booming, but actually is in disarray. How, then, do I think it should be fixed? I think the key problem can be summed up like this: […]

  3. The Monash Report»Blog Archive » How the text technologies market could ignite on December 11th, 2005 10:17 am

    […] Over on the Text Technologies blog, I have a series of posts arguing that the potentially huge market for enterprise text technologies is being stifled by the lack of a general-purpose ontology management system. I further argue that such a product could be constructed in such a way as to be actually usable and potentially adopted by mainstream enterprises (no, you don’t need a trained librarian to use it). So what are the chances of something like this actually working out, to an industry-changing extent? […]

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