Taxonomies - The Future is Now

We recently noted what for us was a thought-provoking detail when comparing Gartner’s “Hype Cycles” from 2016 to 2017. There are undoubtedly lots of very perceptive observations on trends and technologies on both, many having to do with AI, Machine Learning, and how it may lead to products and services that will make our world a better, easier place to live in. However, we at Synaptica focused on one item in particular– Enterprise Taxonomy and Ontology Management. No surprise there!

Now, in both cycles Taxonomy and Ontology Management is found on the down slope called the, “Trough of Disillusionment,” to be followed at some point no doubt by the “Slope of Enlightenment” and the “Plateau of Productivity.” In 2017 taxonomy management moved a little closer towards enlightenment and productivity on Gartner’s chart.

The idea that expectations for Enterprise Taxonomy and Ontology Management are on the decline rather than an ascendant curve is curious to us, based on the increasing adoption that we have seen across all industry sectors, as businesses realize the immense potential of available knowledge locked inside the vast stores of information they possess. Taxonomy and Ontology are widely recognized as the key to accessing and discovering this information, and putting it to use within the enterprise.




Over the 20 plus years that Synaptica has been producing our Taxonomy and Ontology Management software, we have seen focus gradually expand from those areas which 20 years ago would have seemed the natural place for such an application, such as internet yellow pages and B2B directories, to grow to include organizations and businesses across every imaginable industry and discipline, as well as across private and public sectors. All are finally realizing the tremendous benefit of using the tools available today to unlock the potential of what was once inaccessible knowledge.

Another item of note is the timeframe in which Gartner feels Taxonomy and Ontology management in the enterprise will reach its full potential. In looking at the 2016 chart, we find it listed with an estimate of “more than 10 years” until full adoption. Moving to the 2017 chart, we see that projection reduced to “5 to 10 years.” We at Synaptica would again say the pursuit of this technology has already moved into high gear. That is not to say that there isn’t always room to grow, but the idea that the adoption of Enterprise Taxonomy and Ontology Management is not widespread may be misleading.

With the benefit of over 20 years history to draw from, we see an ever-increasing trend in businesses recognizing not just the benefit, but the absolute requirement of maintaining corporate libraries, taxonomies, search technologies, and text analytics as part of the collection of resources that will allow them to remain competitive in the marketplace. Rather than placing this sector within a downtrend, we would say Taxonomy and Ontology Management is already in place with market leaders, and grows stronger every day. The future is now!