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Enterprise search has notoriously been a problem in the content management equation. Various content and document management systems have made it possible to store files. But the ability to categorize that information intuitively and in a user-friendly way, and make that information easy to retrieve later, has been one of several missing pieces in the ECM market. When will enterprise search be as easy to use and insightful as Google's external search engine?
If enterprise search worked anywhere near as effectively as Google, it might be the versatile new item in our content management wardrobes, piecing content together with a clean sophistication that would appeal to users by making everything findable, accessible and easy to organize. Enterprise search could be the new black. However, making search a more integral part of ECM strategy will involve part taxonomy-building skills, part metadata and part machine learning approaches to teach applications to understand and connect similar concepts.
While that day may not yet have arrived, it could be approaching, say experts. Advances in search technology, such as content analytics and the incorporation of classification techniques like predictive coding, may help companies take a proactive approach to organizing their content. The jury is still out on which methods will best help enterprises out of the wilderness of information chaos, but they seem to be a step in the right direction.
Other trends, such as more contextually based search on externally facing websites may hold promise for new ways to connect concepts semantically. Search-based applications (SBAs) also hold great potential. In some cases, SBAs may be built into the content management system. In others, though, they can be built on top of a system to provide additional functionality. Behind the scenes, you need a crackerjack technology to power these SBAs and ultimately, to organize and search content.
The challenge for companies is to invest in search technologies and techniques that will be most useful for their particular needs. But it's clear that enterprise search innovations have at least caught our attention and made us reconsider our worn-out content management style.
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