April 12th, 2007

searchtools.com

Info Today Report: "Enterprise Search: Deployment, Usage and Trends"

A survey of 250 professionals connected to search in their enterprise has some enlightening results. They were a fairly wide variety of industries, organization sizes, departments and roles (described in detail in the report), so the results are generally applicable.

This survey contradicts conventional wisdom by reporting that 62% of these enterprises have more than one search engine, with a 27% of having four or more search engines. In my view, this indicates the understanding that one search cannot solve all problems, and that some areas will require specialized, and usually more powerful, search solutions.

The other response which surprised me was that 20% of respondents said they already provide search for audio and video, and 35% said they want to do so in the future. I suppose some of that is podcasts and training videos, and it's a big challenge for search, although much easier if there are transcripts or textual captions.

The report also covers integration with other applications (mainly CMS and KM), current search solutions, vendor support satisfaction, software vs. hosted search vs. appliance (only 17% reported using a search appliance), upgrade plans, and search features currently available and desired for the future. There's a long section about the respondents' relative emphasis on various criteria for selecting a search solution, covering ease of use, features, integration, cost, scalability, speed, vendor reputation, ease of installation, upgradability, and vendor support.

This report is available on the Enterprise Search Center, at a cost of $495 US. The study was conducted by Shore Communications and Faulkner Information Services.
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