As enterprises continue to grow, information volume is growing as well with constant rate. Forester Research asserts that content volume is growing at the rate of 200% annually. With such growth rate the content easily riches the “too much information” point, when finding information without analytical tool is impossible. Giving people the right information is a key factor for employees who work with the business information to be productive. However, a large amount of content leads to “information overload” situation when people cannot find the content, and this impacts organization productivity. In such situation organizations should consider implementing Enterprise Search to discover all information company produced and continue producing.
However, the implementation search cost (information analysis, hardware, software and licencing) is usually quite large, so executives needs to see the justification of investing into the search, where the ROI of Enterprise Search is required. Enterprise Search ROI is factored by a number of parameters that depends on the collaborative scenarios that are established in organizations.
A simple calculation can help organizations see the potential ROI (based on effective Google search) is:
(# of workers) X (average annual salary/2,080 hours) X (hours saved/worker) = $ total productivity savings/year
This calculation estimates ROI from saved time. IDC estimates that effective enterprise-search could save about 53% of time (based on the research, that average employee spends 10hours per week searching necessary information)
To take into ROI account for the potential revenue increase, delivering products to market faster and other business aspects the following cost factors should be added to the formula:
- Information duplication (cost of re-creating the document that was created by someone else before)
- Lost opportunity of not knowing right information at right time (for example employees skills matrix to support sales pipeline)
- Knowledge is not shared (leading practices, known issues and etc)
- Time spent by customer to find the right product
Sources: 1, 2
In these days Internet Search became inherited element of our life. We are all “bing-ing” or “googl-ing” stuff dozen times per day, and we know how to search and what we get as a result. However, when we start talking about Enterprise Search (for example, SharePoint Search), there is a large fundamental difference from Internet Search.
Enterprise provides us capabilities to discover and deliver intranet content. However, Enterprise Search discovers content very differently. The following list summarizes the Enterprise Search differences:
- Right document exists – Internet Search returns thousands of documents to anything you search, but hundreds documents can be skipped because they are irrelevant. Enterprise Search returns fewer highly relevant documents, but nothing is missed. “If the Internet misses a few hundreds documents, few people notice; if your Enterprise Search misses one, users may consider it a failure”.
- Security is critical – Internet Search results are public for everybody, while Enterprise Search should apply security trimming to correspond to corporate requirements of exposing confidential, legal and limited documents to specific users or before/after a specific date.
- Taxonomy and vocabulary – corporations usually use different taxonomy and vocabulary to organise content, with the specific metadata that classifies differently among user types. Enterprise search should retrieve results according to taxonomies and classifications schemes aligned to the user’s context.
- Metadata – Internet Search has a lack of metadata support, due to content nature (no author, date, and etc), while corporate data is very well tagged and Enterprise Search takes into account all discovered metadata.