Why are companies so focused on search? Two words: data overload.

Incredibly, we are closing out a year in which the world will have created 1200 exabytes of data — with only 5% of it structured. For companies, that means it is harder to store, harder to make sense of and harder to leverage this important asset. That is, unless Enterprise Search 2.0 is at work.

Enterprise Search has evolved from its repository-centric start to today’s ever-changing landscape where Enterprise Search 2.0 powers and supports critical business processes. In fact, often Enterprise Search 2.0 doesn’t even look much like search, because the search – of virtually any and all enterprise systems – is conducted in the background, the information is housed in an always-on index, and it is presented in composite information mashups for high value decision support.

Enterprise Search 2.0 has at its core the central, unified index of information. Whereas early Enterprise Search (1.0) solutions were primarily repository-centric, or attempted to federate the results of multiple point-solution searches, Enterprise Search 2.0 federates content instead, and brings it together in the always-on index. Enterprise Search 2.0 and its powerful index are behind the conversion of raw data into actionable insights – and this transformation is critical to businesses of all types. What makes Enterprise Search 2.0 so transformative?

There are three major characteristics:

    1. It’s system agnostic. It doesn’t care where the data resides, or in what format it appears. You can think of it as the power in the walls of your enterprise, streams of data that you can plug into at any point in time, from any place at all. Data can be in documents, emails, pictures, video or voice, or any combination thereof, and it can be presented in the composite view of your choice.
    2. It’s relevant, contextually sound, and easily consumable. The next most important characteristic of Enterprise Search 2.0 is the presentation layer – how will employees and other constituencies interact with that indexed information? How will they “plug-in” to the streams of information coursing throughout your company? Dashboards of composite information – which is personally relevant and contextually sound – correlate disparate pieces of data into actionable knowledge. Knowledge that can help your employees and executives make better decisions. Knowledge that can provide better service – even self-service – to your customers. Knowledge that can lead to increased competitiveness for your company.
    3. It’s modular, flexible and easy to implement. And it works, right out of the box, and scales to billions of documents and hundreds of data sources and formats – cost effectively. It isn’t just about search, although search is certainly a strong part of it. It is about on-demand knowledge access. It is about monitoring information, and pushing information into the hands of the right people at the right time. It is about correlating and matching data to the speeds and needs of your business.

Just as Enterprise Search 2.0 enables conversations within information, providing users with the ability to ask questions, find people, find more information, and even better understand what they are looking for, we’d like the Coveo Enterprise Search 2.0 Blog to be a conversation that helps you leverage your company’s most important, and yet hardest to access, asset – its tremendous amount of data. What are your data challenges? How do you think Enterprise Search 2.0 could benefit your organization? Are you already benefitting from Enterprise Search 2.0 and have successes to share?

We hope that you’ll join in the conversation. Thanks for reading; please feel free to let us know what Enterprise Search 2.0 topics you’d like to see covered, and to comment on what you find here.