Search is Taking a Back Seat to Other Information Governance Applications

Concept Searching has completed its annual SharePoint Metadata Survey and based on responses although search is important, it is not viewed as a key component in Information Governance.

The Concept Searching second annual survey was completed by close to 400 organizations using SharePoint and the objective was to determine how organizations are using metadata and/or the SharePoint Term Store to manage unstructured content. The survey questions sought to solicit feedback on how, or if, organizations were using metadata to drive applications such as search, records management, protection of privacy and confidential information, migration, and to a lesser extent applications such as text analytics, collaboration, and social content. The white paper containing the detailed results will be published in late March.

In response to the survey search questions, applications such as records management, and even collaboration and text analytics ranked slightly ahead of enterprise search. Yet, applications that rely heavily on search such as eDiscovery and litigation support were priority challenges faced by the respondents but were viewed as separate applications even though search forms the backbone of each application. In regards to the role of search as it applies to information governance, surprisingly there seemed to be a lack of understanding on what exactly information governance is, let alone a view that search was critical to an information governance plan.

Martin Garland, President of Concept Searching commented “This is a trend we have been seeing for years. Search is still viewed as a point solution and not as part of an enterprise wide infrastructure framework.” He added “Until organizations build search and a metadata repository into their infrastructure, search applications will deliver mediocrity at best and information governance plans will continue to fail placing an increasing number of organizations at risk.”

Within Concept Searching’s Smart Content Framework™ for information governance, organizations can no longer support the theory that the search engine will solve all findability issues. At the organizational level it is a risk and compliance issue. The traditional approach to improve search continues to fail. Until organizations realize that unstructured and semi-structured content must be managed just as database applications are, implementing effective search is impossible. Which search engine the organization deploys is actually irrelevant, as most deliver similar capabilities. What really matters is the ability to provide rich and meaningful contextual metadata that, when consumed by the search engine index, will deliver a more intelligent search experience for the end user. This improves information access, as well as ultimately playing a key role in information governance for the organization as a whole.

Concept Searching