Enterprise Search: pros & cons

Enterprise Search benefits a company by its advanced search capabilities helping it save time, money, customer support tickets, employee productivity, churn, and more. Let's look at the advantages next.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in time savings

An excellent study from International Data Corporation indicates that a company could be 30% more productive by just improving their searching habits.

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If you want to calculate time savings for your company, simply think of your total payroll and calculate 30% of it. Your company is paying all that money in salaries for redundant, repetitive searches. This is why building/buying an enterprise search solution is often one of the first steps by a growing company.

Much lesser time wasted. How? By changing your company’s knowledge loop.

There's 8 steps behind every question that gets asked on MS teams or Slack

Enterprise search saves time for all 8 steps and replaces it with a new loop:

  • Ask
  • Get an answer. If not, submit question as unanswered
  • Relevant folks get notified and do it
  • No employee ever spends time on finding the a to that q ever again.

Improves your company’s information infrastructure

Your company’s information consists of structured and unstructured data. Enforcing adoption of an enterprise search, is directly dependent on how much of your data is structured v/s unstructured.

While tools do a good job of processing unstructured data, using a search solution encourages employees to store information in a more structured way as well.

Better customer experience

Enterprise search speeds up issue resolution and information retrieval, improving customer satisfaction and service. There’s even a whole category of customer-focused knowledge bases to help customers give a single source of truth to customer service representatives look up features, etc. right from one place. They’re called customer service knowledge bases.

If Enterprise Search is so good, why doesn’t every company build a search bar on their own? Because it’s very hard to build a good solution.

Challenges of building an Enterprise Search Engine

It’s hard to build Enterprise Search systems because of technical complexity. To maintain, think, build, onboard, maintain, and improve a dedicated solution is tough. And there’s even more challenges that emerge on deeper digging. Some of them are:

It’s hard to collect different data from different apps

Enterprises often have vast amounts of data in various formats (structured and unstructured) stored in multiple databases and across disparate systems like file shares, databases, cloud storage, document management systems, and CRMs. Centralising and indexing this massive data is complex and can be resource-intensive.

It’s hard to scale a tech solution

An enterprise search solution needs to scale seamlessly as your organisation and data grow. Designing a system that can adapt and perform effectively under increasing loads requires expertise and can drive up costs.

It’s hard to design

Enterprise Search often needs tailoring to meet specific organisational needs and workflows. Customizations add to development or licensing costs depending on the solution's flexibility.

It’s hard to build Security Compliance

Ensuring fine-grained security controls and respecting data access permissions for different users within an organisation is essential, but adds another layer of complexity.

It’s hard to have cutting-edge improvements

Implementing features like natural language processing, AI-powered relevance tuning, and federated name search capabilities (searching across multiple systems) requires specialised skills and can drive up costs.

It’s hard to maintain post deploying

Choosing the right deployment model (cloud-based vs. on-premises) and the ongoing maintenance, updates, and support further impact the overall cost and effort of implementation.

Ishaan Gupta
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Ishaan Gupta is a writer at Slite. He doom scrolls for research and geeks out on all things creativity. Send him nice Substack articles to be on his good side.

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