After a long period of benign neglect it would seem that there is a renaissance in enterprise search, with major acquisitions and a number of new application areas emerging. One result of this is to question whether ‘enterprise search’ is the correct description for either the technologies or the outcomes of the process of information discovery and analysis.  The enterprise search industry, no matter how it is defined, is going through a major structural change as open-source search applications being increasingly adopted for enterprise use (in particular as a replacement for FAST ESP as it moves close to the cessation of main stream support in 2013), cloud-based search services are launched and some of the major vendors are in the process of being acquired and integrated into IT companies with global sales networks and a significant customer base.

At the Enterprise Search Europe 2012 conference there was considerable unanimity that the factors influencing this renaissance were Big Data, mobile search and cloud services.  Intranet Focus Ltd Research Note 06/12 sets out some of the opportunities and issues arising from these and some other factors, and looks at the emergence of Big Data, search-based applications, unified information access, federated search, mobile search and federated search. Recent major acquisitions in the search sector are reviewed.

Even so the evidence from the recent Findwise global survey of the adoption of enterprise search is that enterprise search is still not taken seriously by organisations, with evidence of limited budgets, inadequate support teams and a lack of appreciation of the value of effective enterprise search to achieving business objectives.

Martin White