Disruption. That is the word I will forever associate with 2020. This year has been a disruptive force on the lives of almost every person on this planet.
But, by nature of working in the technology industry for longer than I care to mention, I always force myself to try to look for the positives in disruption. For one, we’ve truly seen just how adaptable and innovative we can all be in the face of adversity.
I’ve personally seen this play out time and time again, both at Smarsh and in our industry as a whole. We have just been through the most significant shift in working behavior since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Those working in compliance have had to quickly adapt to the exponential growth in the size and complexity of the challenges we help our clients to overcome.
Again, I can’t help but look at the positive in this disruptive time. Businesses that were once too risk-averse to innovate have now been forced to bring forward their plans for digital transformation. Lofty and frequently delayed plans had to be brought to life and made compliant, almost overnight.
And this is pushing our business further. Both in our desire to enable our customers to embrace innovation without worrying about the compliance risks, and also in our ambitions to lead our industry in the technology we leverage to do so. This is why I am so passionately excited about bringing the Digital Reasoning and Smarsh families together. Software companies rarely get these opportunities, and I feel that we are all lucky to be on this team!
The sheer volume, velocity and variety of communications data that businesses need to retain and supervise in order to ensure regulatory compliance is absolutely astounding when you compare it to even five years ago. Traditional technologies that demand significant human resource just aren’t up to the challenge anymore.
At Smarsh, we have long been proud of the leadership position we’ve held in our archiving, capture, supervision and e-discovery technology. But we are well aware of the need to push for continuous innovation to stay ahead of the disruption that our customers face.
Digital Reasoning holds the keys to the future of our industry. Harnessing the power of Natural Language Processing, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will ensure that business can strengthen compliance initiatives regardless of the scale of communications data they have to manage. Beyond that, it will enable businesses to turn this data into a strategic asset. Our capabilities turn into business enablers for our customers, by allowing them to become more agile and adaptable.
So together, our companies offer the leading end-to-end risk compliance tech service offering on the market. We want our customers to thrive now and to be ready for the future. Our combined offer enables our customers to ensure regulatory compliance as employees work from home around the world in much greater numbers.
Whether Teams, Zoom, WhatsApp or any other platform, the adoption of digital channels is not going to stop any time soon. Some companies will not go back to an office at all; for those that do, it’s unlikely that all team members will physically be in the same location at the same time. Managing the risk of all these remote conversations is something that will be critical to our current and future customers and we will help them navigate this new territory.
As a constantly innovating firm, the most exciting element for me is the way that AI and NLP will enable us to significantly expand the way our technology is used. Our combined offering broadens the use cases from compliance to other areas of risk. We will be able to analyse and extract the intelligence from our customers’ data in ways not possible before, opening up brand new business lines and revenue streams.
We believe that we are creating a category that is as big as business intelligence itself. We call this Communications Intelligence. It’s a space that takes the human data and makes sense of it at scale, first, to mitigate risk and then to find insights that are critical to power the organization. It’s rare to have this kind of opportunity to forge a new industry sector and we will fully embrace it.
Some companies recognize the value in Communications Intelligence and are investing in this area. They understand that it’s the future and we are delighted to support them as they develop and grow. Those who don’t recognize the value run the risk of being left behind. We are living in challenging times. But we have a great deal to look forward to. As the world of business continues to adapt and evolve, we will be with our customers every step of the way.