This week Coveo issued a news release about the success of Harris Corporation’s enterprise search program. Like most companies, this was a second or even third-generation approach to enterprise search for Harris. Lately there have been several articles published about the resurgence of enterprise search as a key enabler of the digital workplace. These articles highlight all the great functionality that highly advanced enterprise search systems, led by Coveo, have brought to market. And yes, such capabilities are great and even transformational: Companies can now help their employees to upskill in the flow of work because Coveo understands what they’re working on–or what they usually work on–and can present them with contextually relevant information to help them learn incrementally, as they are doing their work.
But many of the articles miss a key, hugely important, foundation element of enterprise search success: Security. Without security, companies simply cannot and will not open their data sources. Therefore the search index will not contain the majority of an organization’s information — quite often the most important information, the most sensitive and the most relevant, will simply be left out, due to security concerns. So when employees search–and don’t find what they know exists–they lose trust in the search appliance and simply stop using it. Their peers may hear the new system doesn’t work, and they won’t even try it. This is one important reason why adoption is the key challenge we hear about, over and over, with prospective customers.
It’s one important reason why companies like Harris switch from using the Search Appliance, or open-source solutions, to Coveo. Without out-of-the box connectivity that simply respects each and every underlying system’s security–in fact indexing the security along with the content–security by obscurity will continue to rule, and users will not trust the Search Appliance because it does not contain information that they know exists.
Broad, stable connectivity (without spending years developing your own connectivity and updating highly complex security rules that may change with software updates) allows broad connectivity and enables the long tail of enterprise knowledge to help companies like Harris and Lockheed Martin, another Coveo client in the defense industry where security is not only mandated but regulated, increase productivity, innovation, and their own customers’ success.