Concept Searching is compiling the statistics from its 2015 SharePoint and Office 365 Metadata survey, currently unpublished. One of the findings, gathered from over 360 responses, indicates a renewed focus on improving enterprise search.

Based on the two previous surveys, supported by analysts and in line with a recent AIIM survey, results indicate that enterprise search has become a stumbling block in many organizations, and instead of proactively managing content, they have learned to live with the problem. The 2015 SharePoint and Office 365 Metadata Survey saw an increase in the focus on enterprise search, despite the fact that 23% of participating organizations stated that enterprise search works as intended. On the other hand, 15% have escalated it to a high priority, 30% are actively improving now, and 26% have it on the agenda of application improvements within the next twelve months.

The crux of the problem can be attributed to manual metadata tagging, which is still the most widely used approach to tag content, at 93%, which is down only slightly from the past two years. This contributes to increasing the challenge of improving the relevancy and accuracy of search results, because efforts are largely manual and reiterative in the tuning of a search engine, as it must continually adapt to the fluidity of the organization. Despite the fact that tools are available to automate metadata generation, classification, and content management, many organizations are only now moving to the awareness stage on a metadata maturity model. This factor has made the most impact on organizations’ ability to accomplish and solve metadata challenges.

“A new focus on enterprise search can be viewed as a step forward in the management and use of unstructured content. Organizations are realizing that the issue isn’t going to go away and is now impacting applications such as records management, security, and litigation support. This translates into real business currency and increases the risk of non-compliance and security breaches. You can’t find, protect, or use what you don’t know exists,” said Martin Garland, President of Concept Searching. “For those organizations that are using, or intend to deploy, a hybrid environment, the challenges of leveraging metadata across the entire enterprise can be daunting, without the appropriate technology to automate tagging,” Garland concluded.

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