Enterprise Search Is Not Meeting Businesses Expectations

Research from Sinequa has revealed that enterprise search is not meeting businesses expectations. 63 per cent of those surveyed stated that they believed enterprise search tools should be as easy for staff to use as consumer search engines. Yet two thirds said that wasn't currently the case. The study also discovered widespread concern about lengthy set up times. 73 per cent said they believed it would take more than six months for an enterprise search tool to be useable by employees, with a staggering 68 per cent stating they thought it would take between 18 months to two years to generate any return on investment (ROI). A further 19 per cent estimated that it would take over two years to generate ROI.

With IT Managers concerned about long set up times and complex implementations, it is perhaps unsurprising that three quarters of those surveyed were not currently clear on the benefits that a dedicated enterprise search engine would bring to their organisation. However, 97 per cent agreed that in an increasingly regulated and competitive market place it was important to be able to find information on demand from an ever growing number of sources and diversity of formats. Despite this assertion, 59 per cent leave the ability to locate information entirely to chance and rely on employees saving documents in the right place.

Jean Ferré, CEO, Sinequa said: "Enterprise search is a complex proposition, but its perceived inability to replicate the usability of consumer search engines has led to frustration. However, as finding specific information becomes ever more critical, businesses need to get on top of information search - or face the consequences."

"It's clear from the research that decision makers feel enterprise search has some way to go before it can add tangible business value especially in terms of security, rapid deployment and seamless scalability. Deals, negotiations and transactions all happen at lightning speed. Companies want, and need, their technology to be up and running in good time in order to accelerate business performance. Waiting six months to see any ROI does not make good business sense", continued Ferré.

When asked about staff productivity, IT Managers placed much more emphasis on ensuring bandwidth requirements were appropriate (29 per cent) and that email was up and running (24 per cent), then they did on staff being able to locate information relevant to their job role. 41 per cent were reliant upon default application search tools to enable employees to search and find documents, with just 18 per cent having access to a dedicated enterprise search tool. In addition, with most having makeshift search functionality in place, staff aren't able to locate the document and the author. Just 37 per cent of IT Managers recognised the value in being able to connect employees with both content and individuals across the organisation.

Ferré concluded: "As businesses move to adopt social networking, being able to locate individuals as well as content is vital - after all, if you can't locate them how can you network with them? Too few organisations realise that Enterprise Search enables company-wide social networking and associated business value of this capability. The enterprise is a more hostile environment for search as, unlike the web, information is spread out in diverse sources and isn't designed to be found. In addition there are also access control and security barriers that need to be overcome. Without question, enterprise search needs to become more agile, cost effective and, most importantly, relevant if it is to show its value in addressing business challenges both now and in the future. "

The research was conducted on behalf of Sinequa by LM Research. 200 IT Managers in organisations of over 100 employees were surveyed.

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