The act of initiating a query via search functionality is no longer seen as a magical, mythical process. According to a recent CMS Watch report, The Search and Information Access Report 2009, enterprise search technology is no longer perceived as being a stealth and secretive operation.
After having interviewed enterprise search customers from around the world to evaluate 20 solutions in the marketplace, it was evident that because of modern search offerings with the availability of improved administrative tools and APIs, the aura of search technologies has been demystified. Over time the veil of secrecy concerning indexing and algorithms had been lifted, thanks in part to Web interfaces used to control and modify the infrastructure and indexing approaches, which make users feel more in control and better able to understand search.
The report also revealed a few other trends surrounding the search technology marketplace, including a focus on ease of setup and maintenance, and a plethora of out-of-box functionalities. Allowing users to have full control over the software, as well as complete reporting and analytics, helps to increase the apparent ease of use. In addition, providing a flexible infrastructure gives customers the ability to implement different modules without having to suffer through long periods of development.
In the end, like with Web 2.0 technologies, vendors are wise to make their applications user-friendly. The more organizations understand about important technologies (like search), the more empowered they will be to implement and provide a better Web experience to their customers.
The Search and Information Access Report 2009 provides a comprehensive overview of 20 search technology products and identifies current best practices, and can be purchased online at www.cmswatch.com.