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Enterprise Search in the European Union: A Techno-Economic Analysis

Martin White () and Stavri G. Nikolov ()
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Martin White: Intranet Focus, London

No JRC78202, JRC Research Reports from Joint Research Centre (Seville site)

Abstract: The term enterprise search (ES) refers to the information retrieval applications that use a range of different core technologies to search enterprise repositories. It includes the search of the organisations external web site, intranets and other electronic text held by the organisation in the form of email, database records, and documents on ?le shares. One reason for adopting Enterprise Search solutions (ES) is the growth in data generation; however, more worrying than the huge amount of information is its structure. It is clear that quick access to information is of strategic importance for enterprises and in general for the Information Economy. Although the issue is acknowledged as of extreme importance, only a small number of companies benefit from dedicated search technologies. The global enterprise search business probably has no more than 200 companies. Six vendors, all of them multinational IT companies, have a major impact on the development of search technology but only a limited impact on the development of the search market through promotional activities. One main barrier to making a business case is a lack of awareness of the functionality of enterprise search applications and the benefits that effective search can have on the enterprise. The installed base of enterprise search applications is still low in the EU (probably no greater than 10,000 organizations) and no dominant supplier of search applications exists. However, data suggest that there is a significant market potential in the EU for enterprise search and we can assume that the potential is considerable particularly for mid-sized companies that could benefit from using ES solutions. Moreover, the market for search applications is significantly larger than just the corporate sector and potential customer sectors would include Government departments and agencies, Hospitals and University. These are some of the insights emerged from a Delphi study conducted by IPTS and Intranet Focus Ltd in 2011 and from further analysis about ES. This report builds also on the results of the expert workshop organized at the IPTS, Seville, on Enterprise Search in Europe in October 2011. In particular, a number of challenges have been identified that need to be addressed at European level. For instance, efforts to meet changing business requirements, the lack of support post-implementation, or the lack of a search support team. Six important areas of technical development for enterprise search over the next five years have been identified (e.g., Integrated search of structured and un-structured content) in which, there are evolutions of current search technologies and products. Moreover, future trends in ES have been envisaged (for instance, in cloud-based and user-demand approach, open data models, interoperability). To our knowledge, this report contains the most complete and detailed techno-economic analysis of the ES market in the EU and includes an up-to-date list of existing ES vendors.

Keywords: Enterprise Search; European policy; search engines; multimedia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D2 D4 D5 K2 L1 L2 L5 O3 O4 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 94 pages
Date: 2012-12, Revised 2013-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur and nep-ict
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