Bruno Herrmann was the keynote speaker during Day 1 of XTM Live 2023, and delivered the presentation From Isolated Systems to Integrated Ecosystems, which explained how to leverage technology to create value and drive growth for global business. During his presentation, Bruno highlighted the importance of being able to connect different SaaS platforms in a seamless and frictionless way in order to be able to produce high-quality content at speed. He explained how “creating a technology ecosystem is a vital step towards localization success. Unifying, connecting, leveraging and enabling content operations at scale is what allows companies to produce the content they need, at the quality level they want, reducing the number of delays.” If you missed XTM Live, you can read about the key takeaways from Bruno and other speakers in our XTM Live recap article.
We caught up with Bruno after his talk to discuss some of the industry’s most pressing topics and how the different emerging technologies are shaping and will continue to shape the future of the industry.
Q: Bruno, what are we seeing this year so far in the localization technology space that is set to shape the future of the industry?
A: Well, on one hand and unsurprisingly, it’s all the AI progress that is now implemented in localization technology, which is not just affecting and impacting localization but the whole business world and beyond. On the other hand, though, the second main trend we’re seeing is the integration of tools and features into one centrally managed—not centralized—but centrally managed ecosystem, which enables localization teams to have many more ways to use or to work on a single, integrated ecosystem, rather than having to juggle a myriad of different tools.
Q: With the arrival of AI technologies and their fast development, what does this mean for the future of human input and human roles in localization and language industries?
That’s a great question, and I think the best example I can give is what translators are going to become. In the past, translators were working on one piece of content and converting it into another language. Today and tomorrow, with AI, their role is going to change dramatically. They’re going to be much more productive. They’re going to be able to be more creative. AI is going to do much of the heavy lifting, and so translators will in fact become linguists and expand their skills set and tools as a whole, becoming more experienced in several fields. At the same time, they will be able to be more productive and much more creative, adding their input beyond what is correct and what isn’t, but rather enriching and enhancing the quality of what the AI engine is going to generate.
Q: With the arrival of these technologies, what shifts are we seeing in the global content ops of different companies, and how is this affecting or even improving their strategy and process agility?
The structure of content ops is changing quite quickly. In fact, I would say it’s changing more quickly than ever. This is partly due to the economy, which is posing a number of financial and operational challenges to many companies but, at the same time, it’s also driven by this willingness and trends to leverage data more than ever. When I say data, I mean specifically in the localization and the content-operation space. This is resulting in content-creation becoming more data-driven than ever before. Today, content is data, and that data is actually feeding all the engines from AI machine-learning engines and machine-translation engines. All of this is affecting and changing how people in localization and content operations work, but also the tools and processes that they use.
Q: Are most enterprise-level companies well versed in the benefits of localization in terms of their global strategy, or do we still have some way to go for them to realize the true impact that localization can have?
We still have some way to go, and perhaps even a long way to go for some of them. It actually depends on the industry. There are industries that are really fast to adopt new approaches and new technology, such as technology providers, or the travel industry, for example, and others which are much more conservative or perhaps even lazy. The latter are considering adopting certain technology, globalization strategies, and localization and content operations in a much slower way. Life sciences, finance, legal industries… All of these industries are considering making the changes that are necessary, but in a much more reactive manner and in a less proactive way. For these companies in these industries, I would say that probably there is still quite a long way to go.