Enterprise Search Market Trends

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Enterprise Search
Market Trends

by Faulkner Staff

Docid: 00011229

Publication Date: 2201

Report Type: MARKET


Enterprise search is the practice of identifying and enabling specific
content from multiple enterprise sources, such as files, databases, e-mail
repositories, calendars, intranets, etc. The term is used to describe
software that searches for information within the enterprise. The
enterprise search space is occupied by multiple vendors, most prominently Coveo, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP.

Report Contents:

Executive Summary

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Enterprise search is the practice of “identifying and enabling specific
content from multiple enterprise … sources"1 such as files,
databases, e-mail repositories, calendars, intranets, etc. The term is
used to describe software that searches for information within the


Enterprise Content
Management Software Market Trends
Federated Search Marketplace
e-Discovery Planning Tutorial

Web vs. Enterprise

An “enterprise search” is not to be confused with the more
consumer-oriented term “Web search.”2 Table 1 summarizes the
differences between the two.

Table 1. Web Search Vs. Enterprise Search

Technical Feature

Web Search

Enterprise Search

Content Web pages Web pages plus internal enterprise
repositories and cloud-based resources
Format Web page (homogeneous) All formats, both structured (such as
databases) and unstructured (such as e-mails)
Access Universal access to the same
Granted according to prescribed access
rights, with security and privacy considerations factored in
Scalability Web search engines index only
a part of the Web
All existing and new documents within
the scope of the system must be indexed
Implementation Web-based Choices include on-premise and SaaS
(Software-as-a-Service) implementations

Enterprise Search Goal

The primary reason for using enterprise search is to locate or discover
information that resides on a device – whether a server, storage unit,
personal computer, or mobile phone – as well as assets stored via a
cloud-based service.

Apart from gaining valuable intelligence, the ability to locate
information of a specific type or origin is important since third-parties
such as courts and regulatory agencies may exercise their authority to
obtain specified enterprise information via subpoena or other legal
instrument. Ironically, this realization can put backward pressure on enterprise
officials to mitigate the need for sophisticated search systems,
establishing – and enforcing – protocols to eliminate obsolete or unneeded

More generally, however, information is considered a form of enterprise
currency, to be employed for the purpose of increasing enterprise
productivity and profitability. Thus, the need for effective enterprise
search is firmly established.

Market Dynamics

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While important enterprise data was once mostly confined to databases –
which are structured and therefore facilitate searching – today’s
enterprise data can be contained in word processing files, spreadsheets,
e-mails, and other sources that may not lend themselves to searches. The
advent of the cloud has also complicated this environment.


Per a 2019 study from IT consulting firm Findwise, about 54 percent3 – up
from 2016’s 33 percent4 – of organizations now find it
“difficult” or “very difficult” to locate specific information. While
technology development would presumably cause this problem to lessen over
time, the growth can no doubt be attributed5 to increased,
diversified, and more complicated information types, as well as diminished
resources, information quality, and a decreased focus on what Findwise
called “traditional information management activities” such as content
lifecycle, vocabulary, and metadata.

For its part, metadata is either produced automatically (for instance,
the author’s name is automatically stored) or manually entered. In either
case, it cannot account for all the queries that a user could potentially
make. It should also be noted that the labor involved in metadata tagging
is too intensive to be performed for all enterprise data.

Cross-Network / Networks

Enterprise search technology allows a user to search across a network or
collection of networks, finding data regardless of file type or storage
medium. Most products allow users to search using natural-language queries
rather than Boolean searches, the syntax of which may confuse some.

Sector Needs

Influencing the growth of enterprise search over time have been:

  • The US government sector, given that the Electronic
    Government Act of 2002 compels the public to increase their use of the
    Internet to find information or request public services. The need to:
    (a) electronically organize such information and services; and (b) make
    it easy for citizens to find what they need has made the government a
    prime user of search technology.
  • E-commerce, as in services that allow customers to
    search through product and service catalogs online.
  • Legal, including support for external data requests
    such as e-discovery demands. For example, the US Federal Rules of Civil
    Procedure (FRCP) were amended to establish a new form of discoverable
    data, called “electronically stored information,” as well as prescribe procedures for handling electronic evidence. In revising the FRCP, the US Supreme Court imposed a specific burden on enterprises to
    deal proactively with electronic documents. Part of that responsibility
    involves the development of document retention and litigation hold
    policies, in the latter case a policy designed to halt the routine
    destruction of relevant or potentially relevant documents.

Market Leaders

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While the enterprise search space is occupied by a wide range of vendors,
the more prominent providers, by a broad consensus, are:

  • Coveo
  • Microsoft
  • IBM
  • Oracle
  • SAP

Oracle Secure Enterprise Search

One of the more comprehensive enterprise search offerings – and one that
is representative of the best enterprise search utilities – is Oracle’s
Secure Enterprise Search (SES), which provides uniform search capabilities
over multiple repositories.

Oracle SES uses a crawler to collect data. The crawler supports a number
of built-in source types as well as a published plug-in (or connector)
architecture for adding new types. These source types include:

  • Web – A Web source represents the content on a specific Web site.
  • Table – A table source represents content in an Oracle database table
    or view.
  • File – A file source is the set of documents that can be accessed
    through the file protocol.
  • E-mail – An e-mail source derives its content from e-mails sent to a
    specific e-mail address. When Oracle SES crawls an e-mail source, it
    collects e-mail from all folders set up in the e-mail account, including
    Drafts, Sent Items, and Trash e-mails.
  • OracleAS Portal – An OracleAS Portal source lets you search across
    multiple OracleAS Portal repositories, such as Web pages, files on disk,
    and pages on other OracleAS Portal instances.
  • Oracle Calendar – An Oracle Calendar source represents the content in
    an Oracle Calendar repository.
  • Oracle Content Database – An Oracle Content Database source
    represents the content in an Oracle Content Database repository.
  • Oracle Applications (Oracle E-Business Suite 11i and Siebel 8) –
    Search Oracle Applications with an Oracle E-Business Suite 11i source or
    a Siebel 8 source.
  • Federated – A federated source lets you search secure content across
    distributed Oracle SES instances.

Additionally, Oracle SES 10.1.8 provides access to the following source

  • Files in Microsoft NT file systems (NTFS)
  • EMC Documentum Content Server DocBases
  • IMB Lotus Notes databases
  • FileNet Content Engine object stores
  • FileNet Image Services libraries
  • Open Text Livelink
  • Microsoft Exchange

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Market Growth

According to Coherent Market Insights, the global enterprise search market
should have reached $4.5833 billion in 2021 and should realize a compound
annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.5 percent over the period from 2021
to 2028.6

Information Proliferation

With the world’s information doubling every two years,7 the
need for fast, secure, and reliable enterprise search capabilities will
grow concomitantly, as enterprises struggle to mine:

  • Big data
  • Internet of Things (IoT) data
  • Internet content data

Search Productivity

Enterprise employees spend considerable time searching for information,
reducing their overall productivity. In today’s hyper-competitive
environment, enterprise officials are anxious to add labor-saving tools,
like enterprise search, to their operations portfolio.

ES Adoption

According to Maximize Market Research, enterprise search is being
embraced, not surprisingly, by the banking and financial services sector,
accounting for 34 percent of the ES market in 2020. In terms of geographic
penetration, North America accounted for 35 percent of the 2020 ES market.8

Search Integration

It is uncertain whether search products will have more success in the
coming years as a standalone technology or as technology that is
integrated into other applications. The trend of large software
companies adding search capabilities to their products suggests that the
integrated approach will become more popular, although in many cases the
search technology that is integrated into other applications may be
developed by smaller, third-party companies, not developed in-house by the
large vendors.

Intelligent Search

Expect next generation enterprise search solutions – and even some
current models – to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
For example, IBM’s Watson Discovery is an award-winning AI-powered
intelligent search and text analytics platform that leverages natural
language processing to uncover meaningful business insights from
documents, Web pages, and big data, which can cut research time by more
than 75 percent.

Strategic Planning Implications

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For an organization evaluating its enterprise search options, there are
many choices to consider, among them:

  • Information source
  • Algorithm quality
  • Data creation and storage needs
  • Paper-based records reliance

Enterprise search:

  • Is available as software, as hardware, or as a service
  • Can run as a standalone vehicle or as part of a broader offering
  • Can be specialized (e.g., not capable of sorting certain file types)
  • May lack the capability for indexing and presenting certain results as

With these pluses and minuses in mind, one would be wise to begin the
selection process by identifying the information sources
to be searched. Many search products are intended to be comprehensive, but
potential customers should remain open to the possibility of using more
than one solution to meet their search needs. Although a multi-vendor
approach undermines the goal of having a single search interface, and
although it adds to expenses, it may be the best option in some cases. The
technologies offered might overlap in some areas, but they may also
compensate for each other’s deficiencies.

Another consideration is the quality of algorithms
needed. An organization should test – perhaps even conduct limited trials
– of several search solutions to identify the most effective in returning
the desired information.

One should also consider changing how data is created and stored.
Enterprise searching can be difficult as data tends to be stored in
disparate and unstructured forms. Rather than relying exclusively on
enterprise search technology for data discovery, use enterprise content
management policies and programs to create more searchable data.

Finally, to fully empower enterprise search facilities, convert

to a digital, i.e., searchable, form.


1 “Enterprise Search Market Is Going to Boom | Microsoft, Attivio, Google.” Digital Journal Inc. January 4, 2022.

2 Pierre-Jean Benghozi and Cecile Chamaret. “Economic Trends
in Enterprise Search Solutions.” JRC European Commission. 2010.

3 “Well-Known Findability Challenges in the AI-Hype.” Findwise. 2019.

4 "Enterprise Search and Findability Survey 2016.” Findwise.

5 “Well-Known Findability Challenges in the AI-Hype.” Findwise. 2019.

6 “Enterprise Search Market 2021 Analysis by Market Trends
(Drivers, Constraints, Opportunities, Threats, Challenges and Investment
Opportunities), Size, Share and Outlook.” Coherent Market insights
Pvt. Ltd. December 27, 2021.

7 Ibid.

8 Maximize Market Research Pvt. Ltd.

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