A new report argues that many organizations are frittering away up to 10% of their staff costs on wasted effort because employees simply can’t find the right information to do their jobs. The report goes on to say that ineffective search and discovery strategies are hampering business competitiveness, impairing service delivery, and putting companies at risk.
Over 50% of staff costs are now allocated to employees performing so-called information work. Employees are suffering from both information overload and information underload. As a result, the typical information worker now spends up to a quarter of his or her day searching for the right information to complete a given task. This is why some organizations could be frittering away as much as 10% of their staff costs on wasted effort.
Effective search and discovery is core to competitiveness and service delivery, and enterprise search and retrieval technologies are required by organizations of all sizes and across all industries. Search and retrieval solutions enable organizations to exploit the information assets they already have. They also enable companies to identify opportunities, reduce risk, and garner insight.
Getting the right info to the right person at the right time is essential
Enterprise search and retrieval solutions clearly enable organizations to exploit their corporate information assets, but these solutions can also enhance an organization’s ability to manage compliance and regulatory demands. For example, US dealing organizations must, on demand, provide copies of all electronic records, including emails, to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) within 48 hours. Accomplishing this to the satisfaction of the regulator is nigh-on impossible without the help of search and discovery tools.
There is confusion about the roles of different search technologies. Organizations must realize that enterprise search requires a range of indexing techniques and functions to deliver the most appropriate results, and no single technology can deliver all the analysis required.
ECM vendors currently dominate the market
Enterprise content management (ECM) vendors have dominated the early adoption phase of the enterprise search and retrieval market. This is due, in part, to the growing demand for document management, records management and web content management systems, deployments of which often tend to include integrated search facilities that have been licensed from pure-play search vendors.
However, a shake-up in the market is expected. In recent months, business intelligence (BI) vendors, such as Business Objects, Cognos, Information Builders and SAS, have been integrating their wares with solutions from Autonomy, Fast, IBM, Google, and others. This has led to speculation that an acquisition might be imminent here, and that search technology could finally unite the otherwise separate worlds of structured and unstructured information.
The impact of market forces and technology commoditization trends
Google’s move into the corporate market with the Google Search Appliance has redefined the technology landscape. Within two years we could finally see Google just as much at home in the enterprise as it is on the web. However, both IBM and Microsoft have each announced all-encompassing search strategies, and their grip on enterprise infrastructure will make these companies very hard to beat in the long-run.
To date, the pure-play enterprise search and retrieval market has been dominated by niche players. During the market adoption stage, consolidation in the search market will intensify, and there is the potential that pure-play search vendors will be acquired by large vendors, which will then embed the technology into applications that search across all structured and unstructured data sources within the enterprise.