These Factors are Contributing to the Renaissance in Enterprise Search

Enterprise search is slowly making comeback. Just this week, Google released its Cloud Search services that enables search capabilities across G-Suite products including Drive, Gmail, Sites, Calendar and a few others. Previously known as SpringBoard, Google Cloud Search leverages intuitive machine intelligence and card-style visualizations to improve the search and discovery of information in G-Suite environments. Cloud Search also includes a mobile-first experience as an entry point to the platform.

Google is not the only company reimagining enterprise search. Startup Swiftype has put together a very innovative platform that leverages machine intelligence and a modern user experience to power search across common business systems such as ZenDesk,, Office365 and others. The platforms also enables the search experiences in popular websites such as TechCrunch.

Google and Swiftype’s efforts are a strong indicator of the renaissance of the enterprise search space. A few years ago, enterprise search was regularly highlighted as one of the biggest and most promising trends in enterprise software. Even though the space produced some winners such as FAST(acquired by Microsoft), Endeca(acquired by Oracle) or Lucid Imagination, it largely fell short of becoming a foundation trend in enterprise software systems.

There are many factors that have used to explain the “failure” of enterprise search. The unfriendliness of most enterprise search experiences as well as the complexity of its underlying infrastructures are two of the factors that contributed to the disappointment of organizations looking to build a “Google experience” for their business.

Now, a few years after, enterprise search is staging a second act and there are many factors contributing to it.

1 — SaaS Adoption: The growing presence of SaaS business systems and its corresponding APIs in the enterprise has definitely simplified the requirements for building enterprise search experiences.

2 — Elastic: The emergence and wide adoption of the Elastic platform is another factor that has lower the bar for the implementation of enterprise search solutions. With Elastic, companies can focus on enabling a killer user experience and higher level search services while relying on Elastic for lower level tasks such as indexing, data storage optimization ,etc.

3 — Artificial Intelligence: AI enables the implementation of novel search techniques such as knowledge inference or document relationships which are very relevant in enterprise environments.

4 — Natural Language Processing: The advancements is NLP makes possible to implement search experiences that leverage natural language sentences.

5 — Voice Search: Voice search is a new and exciting area in enterprise search .

6 — New UX Paradigms: New UX techniques such as Google’s card-style visualization help to power new search experiences in the enterprise.

7 — Enterprise Data Growth: The massive growth rate in enterprise data has increase the need for comprehensive search experiences.

8 — Serverless Computing: Serverless computing stacks drastically simplify the architecture of components such as data crawlers or connectors that are an essential part of enterprise search solutions.

9 — Image & Video Search: Enabling intelligent image and video search capabilities bring exciting opportunities to the enterprise.

CEO of IntoTheBlock, Chief Scientist at Invector Labs, I write The Sequence Newsletter, Guest lecturer at Columbia University, Angel Investor, Author, Speaker.

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