Semantics at the Right Price
The current economic crisis is creating new possibilities for semantic technology. Businesses need to cut costs (which is usually done by downsizing personnel) without making any cutbacks in the quality of their services. No one can afford to let quality go downhill, because once it does, the competition is more than ready to pounce on the opportunity.
The fact that there is growing interest in semantic solutions (like automatic categorization and text mining) is obviously a positive factor (for us, at least :-), but the crisis has also complicated the situation. Companies express interest in implementing innovative solutions, however their present-day budgets are quite limited, especially when it comes to purchasing software licenses. This creates a kind of catch-22 situation because investing in innovative technology is often the key to improving efficiency within a company (when correctly implemented.)
It is very important to thoroughly weigh the pros and cons of this situation. Cost may seem to be a problem at first (because it may exceed the allotted budget funds), but in reality it is actually quickly absorbed thanks to the level quality which is gained (quality which was not compromised by the need to reduce costs). This type of approach often makes it possible to find a solution which benefits both sides (customer and supplier) and guarantees an outcome which lives up to expectations. Of course, flexibility is required on both ends and supplier experience is essential to minimize implementation risks.
If a budget is truly minimal, it is usually best not to play around with money. Money should never be wasted, especially if it’s scarce. Although sometimes it is actually possible to reduce the final objectives and focus only on the fundamental aspects and still be able to obtain positive results.
Sooner or later this crisis is bound to end! Those who invested wisely during these hard times will have an advantage over those who chose not to take any risks.