Am I over the hill or is enterprise search not all it’s cracked up to be?

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Am I over the hill or is enterprise search not all it’s cracked up to be?

I was reading a study done in 2009, which in this day and age, is like the dark ages. The subject was use of the Internet by different groups of people and their search approaches. Most middle-aged people failed as did those who were not well educated. In fact, both groups failed miserably at the most basic tasks.

What I began to think is about the differences between Internet search – think Google – and Enterprise Search. I think in four years, the ‘general’ population is much more savvy about navigating the Internet, but we continually run into organizations who struggle with their ‘failed’ search improvements. Although very basic, Internet search is not the same as Enterprise search. But I am not sure that’s what the end user expects. As a result search vendors seem to have a growing tendency to emulate the functions of the Googles of the world which do not necessarily equate to productivity within the four walls of the organization. Within the organization, search is a critical function that can impact the bottom line. More relevant and accurate search is no longer a nice to have.

What I have also noticed in speaking with clients, is that vendors, in their push to make Internet search mimic Enterprise search, much of the flexibility has been removed from the business user and the search engine itself is making the decisions about what the business user should find – not what they are necessarily looking for. Again, mimicking the Internet search vendors.

Do you have any thoughts about this? How do you have end users adapt to the difference in Enterprise search in your organization or do you think that Enterprise search should continue to mimic Internet search?

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