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Featured Content: Study Finds It Takes Multiple Solutions to Search the Enterprise
Posted Mar 21, 2007 Print Version     Page 1of 1

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Search Engine Applications Focus of New Research Report

Search engine applications have become an essential part of the information landscape in today's enterprises. From major corporations to startup companies, to government and academic institutions, search engines have been pushed into the spotlight as the "go-to" technology to pull corporate information assets into a common framework. While employee access to information is critical, today's enterprise must extend its Enterprise Search solution and the information it provides to customers, partners, and others through Web-facing applications.

In recognition of the growing importance of Enterprise Search, Information Today, Inc. has released a new research study — Enterprise Search Deployment, Usage, and Trends - that provides real-world insights into how widely Enterprise Search applications are being deployed, what features end users want, and how satisfied they are with the solutions in place.

Enterprise Search Deployment, Usage & Trends

Key Findings

  • Multiple search engines are common within organizations that have search applications in place, with 62% of survey respondents having more than one search solution. Even more reflective of the technology's importance, 27% had four or more solutions in place.
  • Google's Enterprise Search solution was frequently installed in respondents' organizations, or it was under consideration. Autonomy/Verity search applications dominated, however.
  • Enterprise search applications are not just for internal use by organizational personnel. Our study found that making enterprise-controlled content outside the organization was common practice. The primary formats searchable now, and that will most likely remain at the core of enterprise search, are such desktop application files as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access. What additional capabilities do users want? The ability to search video, audio, and image files.
  • The most highly desired additional features for enterprise search that our survey respondents identified are automatic categorization/taxonomies, topic maps, results clustering, and visualization of results.

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The study, co-authored by Jean Bedord of Shore Communications and Faulkner Information Services, a division of Information Today, Inc., includes specific recommendations for organizations considering Enterprise Search deployments and upgrades, and for vendors seeking customers in this dynamic space.

A Web-based survey of 252 highly qualified information professionals provides some of the data underlying this new report; market-leading vendor representatives were interviewed, as well, for their perspectives on the Enterprise Search marketplace.  

Analyst Jean Bedord noted that one of the most interesting findings from the study is that while more than 80 percent of survey respondents' organizations have at least one Enterprise Search solution deployed now, more than one quarter of them — 27% — have four or more Enterprise Search solutions in operation.

"Conceptually, this means that one search solution may be chosen for corporate-wide access to text-based information," Ms. Bedord explained, and different search solutions may be utilized for access across structured databases and more complex applications - like customer records. Implementing the first solution involves a significant learning curve, so installing additional solutions can be easier," she said. "Once the value of the initial search solution is established, the organization is more likely to see the need for more search implementations."

The study found that 59% of respondents plan on upgrading or enhancing their search solutions in the relatively near future; 27% of them within the next six months. The most desired additional, new Enterprise Search feature named by survey respondents was automatic categorization. That feature was named by 34% — followed by topic maps (31%), results clustering (30%), and visualization of results (29%).

The full 51-page study — Enterprise Search Deployment, Usage, and Trends — is available now in downloadable PDF format at Information Today's Enterprise Search Center Web site. The price is $495 (USD).

About Information Today, Inc.

Information Today, Inc. (ITI) is a leading publisher and conference organizer in the information and knowledge management industries. The company is widely known as the publisher of premier information and knowledge management titles such as Information Today, Speech Technology Magazine, ONLINE, CRM, Searcher, KM World, and EContent. In addition periodicals, ITI publishes many books and directories pertaining to the information and knowledge management industries. ITI is also the sponsor and organizer of many industry conferences, including Web Search University, Speech Tek, KM World & Intranets, Enterprise Search Summit, Streaming Media, Buying & Selling eContent, Computers in Libraries, and Internet Librarian.

About Shore Communications, Inc.

Shore Communications, Inc. is a leading research and advisory service focusing on organizations that create, market, purchase, deploy and use professionally oriented content and the technologies that enable its value in individual and collaborative environments. Unlike many other research and advisory services, Shore is unique in its focus on understanding not just content or technology or users, but the complex interplay between these forces that create value in today's marketplace. At the core of Shore's operations is a talented and experienced team of analysts and specialists who are dedicated to an unbiased and objective approach to serving customer needs.

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