Do you remember the advent of enterprise search solutions over a decade ago? When first introduced, they held a great deal of promise. Yet, as with many new technologies, there were challenges to their implementation and use. Although a good percentage of companies adopted early enterprise search solutions, they were not well accepted by knowledge workers themselves. In fact, data from IDC shows that although use of enterprise search solutions has increased in recent years, satisfaction and adoption of these tools lags that of most other enterprise productivity tools.

These legacy Enterprise Search 1.0 solutions are very different to what’s available today with modular, easy to use and implement, Enterprise Search 2.0 solutions. Enterprise Search 1.0 is solution-centric. Enterprise Search 2.0 is a high value platform that allows companies to harvest more value from their entire IT infrastructure. Here’s a breakdown of the key differences:

Legacy Enterprise Search 1.0 solutions, whose primary business benefit was to simply “find stuff faster,” are embedded in specific systems or content sources, rarely access both structured and unstructured data, struggle with relevancy, and in some cases, due to the proliferation of search within different systems, can only “federate” search results.

Enterprise Search 1.0 results often comprise hundreds of pages of possible matches, with only rudimentary functionality for deeper matching or content analysis. If knowledge and information reside within a single application, Enterprise Search 1.0 will meet the need, providing that the requirements for information access are fairly basic and that information remains fairly static within the system being searched.

On the other hand, Enterprise Search 2.0 integrates with the full knowledge ecosystem, from systems that are behind the firewall to those in the cloud, and includes access to social networking and community content, and web content as well. Whether the information is unstructured, structured, in text, video or voice, Enterprise Search 2.0 will bring it into a single, unified index from which companies can provide self-service information access to various constituencies, from specific groups of employees and customers, to prospects and partners.

With near real-time indexing, Enterprise Search 2.0 solutions reveal information about related clusters of information and then present the resulting intelligence in dynamic dashboards. These dashboards meet the needs of each group of users and unlock the latent value of information by ensuring that it is timely, comprehensive, and relevant.

Enterprise Search 2.0 solutions are easier to implement, have much higher rates of relevancy, and expand far beyond a simple search box, to power new, usage-specific applications. Examples include customer support and service, investigations, expertise finding, and other dynamic mash-ups of enterprise data that provide composite views of related information specific to a certain area, such as sales or operations – in effect providing a new view of enterprise information that redefines business intelligence.