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by not providing better search facilities, enterprises are letting down their knowledge workers and impacting productivity

Organisations acknowledge the importance of search to knowledge worker productivity, yet only 11% of them have enterprise search capability.

Silver Spring, Md., September 16, 2014 – A majority of enterprises are failing their knowledge workers, with only 11 per cent having an enterprise search capability, according to new research by information management analysts, AIIM.

The importance of search was widely acknowledged, with 71 per cent of organisations saying that search is vital to productivity, effectiveness and compliance. Improved search was even stated to be a priority over big data/content analytics for 73 per cent of respondents.

Yet the new study, ‘Search and Discovery – exploiting knowledge, minimizing risk’, which looks at the importance of search in modern business, also revealed that more than half of the organisations surveyed show little maturity in their approach to search, with no strategy, no allocated budget and no identified owner.

“Discovering information online is very straightforward and knowledge workers expect equally speedy searches in the workplace,” said Doug Miles, Director Market Intelligence, AIIM. “And while searching for information in email archives, multiple content systems, documents stored in enterprise systems, internal social media, sound files and image files is much more complex, by not providing better search facilities, enterprises are letting down their knowledge workers and impacting productivity.”

25 per cent of responding organisations have no advanced or dedicated search tools, including 19 per cent of the largest, although a similar number have five or more, mostly acquired through their ECM product or provider. 31 per cent of organisations in the survey use SharePoint this way, and a further 17 per cent extend other ECM systems as search portals.

Beyond SharePoint, intranet and ECM systems, most content is beyond the scope of the search tools. Only 19 per cent have advanced search across email, with less than 10 per cent extending to other enterprise systems.

Search across emails is one of the biggest requirements, often driven by legal discovery, yet very few organisations have a reliable search and hold capability within email. Manual methods prevail, and 52 per cent agree that their discovery procedures are “ad hoc, manual, disruptive and expensive.” 47 per cent feel that their policies and mechanisms were putting their organisations at risk.

“Search is of pivotal importance for the knowledge worker but there is also a need for strong search functionality for compliance audits, freedom of information enquiries, and legal discovery mandates, all of which require enterprises to uncover all of the relevant electronically stored information,” continued Miles. “Our research has shown that many organisations are not properly equipped to manage such requests and this could have serious consequences.”

Better decision-making (47 per cent) and faster customer service (43 per cent) were cited as the main benefits from improved search tools, although the next most popular benefit was fewer complaints from knowledge workers (36 per cent).

The survey shows that those who currently do not have any search tools are most likely to acquire them as part of an ECM/DM/RM project (42 per cent), but a major litigation case (37 per cent) or compliance issue (34 per cent) would be the next most likely to trigger an evaluation.

42 per cent of respondents say that they have achieved payback from their investment in search tools within 12 months or less, with 62 per cent achieving payback within 18 months.

“Internal search is fast becoming a must-have for knowledge workers and for meeting compliance requirements,” concluded Miles. “Enterprises have acknowledged this and the rapid payback that existing users are achieving makes for a very strong business case."

The research for ‘Search and Discovery – exploiting knowledge, minimizing risk’ was underwritten by BA Insight, Iron Mountain, OpenText, Search Technologies and Zapproved.

The full report is free to download
The survey was taken using a web-based tool by 415 individual members of the AIIM community between 11 July and 2 August, 2014.

About AIIM
AIIM has been an advocate and supporter of information professionals for 70 years. The association’s mission is to ensure that information professionals understand the current and future challenges of managing information assets in an era of social, mobile, cloud and big data. Founded in 1943, AIIM builds on a strong heritage of research and member service. Today, AIIM is a global, non-profit organisation that provides independent research, education and certification programs to information professionals. AIIM represents the entire information management community, with programs and content for practitioners, technology suppliers, integrators and consultants.

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Paul Allen
Sarum PR
+44 (0) 1 722 322916

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