Enterprise search engines not realising business benefits

Perceived inability of enterprise search to replicate usability of consumer search engines leading to frustration

IT decision makers are expressing real concern that enterprise search has some way to go before it can add tangible business value especially in terms of security, rapid deployment and seamless scalability.

According to LM Research, on behalf of enterprise search specialist Sinequa, nearly three quarters of a sample of 2000 IT managers believed it would take more than six months for an enterprise search tool to be useable by employees. Furthermore, an alarming 68% added that it would probably take between 18 months to two years to generate any return on investment (ROI). A further 19% estimated that it would take over two years to generate ROI.

Just 37% of IT managers recognised the value in being able to connect employees with both content and individuals across the organisation. When asked about staff productivity, IT managers placed more emphasis on ensuring bandwidth requirements were appropriate (29%) and that email was up and running (24%) rather than on staff being able to locate information relevant to their job role.  Just over two-fifths of firms relied 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.

Even though the IT managers expressed concern about long set up times and complex implementations, 97% acknowledged the business requirement to be able to find information on demand from an ever growing number of sources and diversity of formats. Yet, despite this need, 59% left the ability to locate information entirely to chance and relied on employees saving documents in the right place.

The IT managers also regarded current enterprise search tools negatively when compared with consumer search engines. Nearly two-thirds of IT managers believed enterprise search tools should be as easy for staff to use as consumer search engines, but the same amount of people thought that this wasn’t currently the case.

Commenting on the results, Jean Ferré, CEO, Sinequa added, “ 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.”

“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,” concluded Ferré.


Read more on Managing IT and business issues