Searching, But Not Finding: 13 Tips and Recommendations

By Bryant Duhon posted 07-22-2014 13:48


How many times a day do you think, “where did I put that document?” Expand that over an organization of 10s, 100s, or 1,000s of employees. Think about the lost productivity from not being able to have quick access to your research. (By the way, this cover of a farmer "searching" for his cows is one of my favorites from my time as editor.)

Our latest Industry Watch report is focused on uncovering the state of enterprise search for both productivity and for ediscovery. Take a few minutes to answer our questions by clicking the button below; you could win a Microsoft Surface or an Apple Air.


Until then, enjoy these results from previously unpublished AIIM research focused on search

Key Findings

1. Search is essential to business productivity. 74% of those surveyed consider it is “vital” (38%) or “essential” (36%) that employees have an effective way to search internal content and documents in order to carry out their tasks.

2. It is much easier to find things on the Internet than it is in the office. 65% consider their current search mechanism is much less effective than Internet search. Only 10% feel they have better tools.

3. A third of organizations rely on the most basic file-searches, whilst others are accumulating multiple search tools. 40% of responding organizations are using three or more search tools. Most consider search within ECM as their main search tool, but 27% of those with a dedicated tool have a search-server box.

4. Too many results, not enough answers. Relevancy is the biggest issue with dedicated search tools, particularly for on-server applications outside of ECM.

5. Integration with other systems is a challenge. Nearly half of those with dedicated search tools are able to search multiple repositories from one tool, but 31% are using customized connections.

6. Search tools are increasingly seen as part of the infrastructure. 39% did not need to make a business case for purchase of dedicated search tools.

7. Solid ROI: More than half of respondents saw a payback in 18 months or less. The benefits lived up to or exceeded the expectations of 77% of respondents


1. The full benefits of Enterprise Search can only be achieved if the search portal extends across all of the main systems in the business where useful content might be stored. This may include legacy content repositories as well as transactional systems like finance and ERP.

2. A dedicated search tool is no substitute for a carefully implemented ECM system – they complement each other. Classification and tagging within ECM will add value to the content for lifecycle management, but also for findability where a search engine is used.

3. Native search applications within an ECM system should be the first candidate to be considered for upgrading to an enterprise search tool, but it must be capable of dealing with multiple file types, be readily interfacable to other enterprise systems and be easy to use for non-experts.

4. Opting for a dedicated tool outside of your ECM may increase the initial costs, but as well as a potentially improved performance, the ready availability of standard system connectors and the overall scalability and pricing model may offset those costs for a wider enterprise roll-out.

5. Carry out a security audit of your content repositories before connecting up the search tool.

6.    Whichever search tool you use, be prepared to invest time and resource into optimization and tuning, both initially and as more repositories and file types are added. This will produce better results.

As I was posting this, saw an email with a link to Gartner’s latest Search Magic Quadrent. It’s licensed by search vendor Coveo (who performed well, of course), so you’ve got to fill in their form but it’s free otherwise.

#search #EnterpriseContentManagement #Search #e-discovery #enterprisesearch