Enterprise search is the means of making various enterprise resources searchable to a defined audience. These resources are turned into searchable content through a software which is termed as ‘enterprise search software’ in common parlance. Any company, big or small, benefits from an enterprise search solution to meet the search needs of its employees as well as its customers.
Enterprise search is different from web search. Web search uses search technology to find the desired information on the open web. It is also different from a desktop search where search technology is used to look for content limited to a single computer. Enterprise search uses search technology to find out the information from within an enterprise system. It can index and store different types of sources such as file systems, intranets, document management systems, emails, and databases. It is also known as ‘vertical search’ because it focuses on a limited section of online content. It has various benefits for both internal and external stakeholders. The top four benefits are mentioned below:
Enterprise search enables access to data quickly. It is an efficient way of going through large amounts of data which has been indexed and made search-friendly. It is in stark contrast to past methods of manually going through files and paperwork. Therefore, it lets organizations take quicker decisions as they do not waste time in search and sifting through paper documents.
Although there is a cost associated with the implementation of enterprise search, it does yield benefits in the long run. Once the employees have learned to use it, enterprise search can make up for the expenditure on its costs and training in about a year or so. The timeline can vary according to the system being deployed and the size of the company. When used properly, this system saves time and effort and increases the productivity of an organization, leading to better financial returns.
For external stakeholders such as customers, a search system can serve as an enabler to a better quality of service. When a customer browses a company website for information, it is always a much better option to search through a search system rather than manually look through various online pages. Since they are able to find information on their own, they will not need to pick up their phone and contact the company. It reduces the chances of sending emails as well. Thereby it increases customer satisfaction as information is more easily accessible, and it also saves the company’s efforts.
By implementing an enterprise software solution, organizations can save on the time and effort that employees have to put in just searching for information. With all the spare time, they can contribute to the organization in a more productive manner. It also means that documents and processes are preserved properly without getting lost over time. It avoids unnecessary replication of work as well.
Enterprise search provides a platform for collaboration and engagement for an organization’s employees. While there may be hiccups in the initial implementation, there are long-term benefits to it. It needs to be supported by proper training to avoid teething issues. The company needs to understand its search needs and choose the right enterprise search system. They need to know the information type they have and which system has the capability of handling that data. It is also important to know their employees’ skill sets and choose accordingly. With a detailed understanding of its requirements and a sound training programme, an organization can make enterprise search yield great dividends for the company’s future.
Amit Dua is Co-founder and CEO of Signity Solutions and ValueAppz.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)