Concept Searching SharePoint and Office 365 Survey Results Show Increasing Focus on Managing Unstructured Content

Information Governance, Content Lifecycle Management, Search, and Collaboration are Key Priority Applications in SharePoint and Office 365 Environments

McLean, VA, US and Stevenage, UK – August, 2015
Concept Searching, the global leader in semantic metadata generation, auto-classification, and taxonomy management software, in its recently published third annual SharePoint and Office 365 survey results white paper, ‘SharePoint and Office 365 State of the Market Survey’, has found a distinct change in organizational priorities. This results in actively refining the management of unstructured content, and focusing efforts on improving or implementing information governance, content lifecycle management, search, and collaboration.

Compared with previous survey results, management of unstructured and semi-structured content was shown to be a low priority, and organizations were content to maintain the status quo. This new focus can be attributed to organizations adopting cloud solutions and meeting challenges in providing a process to manage unstructured content, as an integrated enterprise approach. The other impetus is the amount of unstructured content that is being created and consumed by organizations, where it is impacting applications such as records management, eDiscovery and litigation support, data privacy and protection of confidential information, and intelligent migration.

What is still lacking, as revealed by the survey, is an awareness that metadata is the key component in solving these priorities. According to the survey, 93% of SharePoint and Office 365 organizations still rely on manual tagging by end users. This injects human error and severely limits the ability to enforce an information governance plan, manage content from inception to disposition, improve search, and facilitate internal and external communication. This appears to be an overarching problem that remains unresolved, due to a lack of knowledge about available tools to automatically generate metadata and classify content. It represents a disconnect between business professionals and IT teams on the importance of accurate and relevant metadata as a business necessity that has been proven to impact the bottom line, increase organizational risk and non-compliance, and reduce profitability.

The SharePoint and Office 365 State of the Market Survey was conducted from November 2014 to March 2015, and 432 unique surveys were completed by organizations that currently have one or more versions of SharePoint in use or are using Office 365 in a hybrid or cloud environment. The survey was made available via the Concept Searching website and participants were reached via social media postings and news items. The survey was not sent to the Concept Searching client base or prospects, as it was felt responses could skew the results. Participants were sought in this way to ensure unbiased results. Best efforts have been made to maintain neutrality in the analysis of the results of the survey, and the white paper does not contain Concept Searching product information.

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