Lee Romero

On Content, Collaboration and Findability
November 5th, 2008

The future is search enabled applications, not enterprise search

In an exchange in comments on Stephen Arnold’s blog, Stephen states the line that is the title of this post:

“the future is search enabled applications, not enterprise search”

I’m somewhat familiar with Stephen (I’ve seen him speak at a couple of conferences and also have followed his writing on his blog for some time), but I had actually not seen this declaration in the past (though Stephen says he’s accused of saying it too much).

In any event – I find this an interesting claim and I think I would agree with the sentiment but I also think that it depends on how you look at it.  As I wrote previously in trying to lay out what I thought enterprise search is, I think that the key aspects of an enterprise search are that it’s available to all members of the enterprise and that it covers all relevant content.

Down in the details, if access to the enterprise search is through embedding that it in numerous locations or one location, I do not believe it matters.  In fact, as I wrote previously, embedding access through multiple points is probably ideal – let workers access it within the environment in which they work, regardless of what tool(s) they normally use to do their job.

On the other hand, if the expectation is that you can embed search in single applications and expect that search only within that application is sufficient, I do not think that is now or will in the future be sufficient.  The information needs for any organization are diverse enough that no one application can realistically handle all of them – email, document management, CRM, support knowledge bases, intranets, policies, etc.


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