Silver Spring, Md. — In a new study on Findability to be released by AIIM, a community that provides education, research and best practices to help organizations find, control and optimize their information, 49% of survey respondents “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that it is a difficult and time-consuming process to find the information they need to do their jobs. The new survey of more than 500 businesses conducted in May 2008, suspects that a prime culprit for the failings of Findability in the enterprise is the admission that 69% of respondents believe that only 50% or less of their organization’s information is searchable online. Given the ready access that users are supposed to have in this “Age of Google”—how is this possible?
“Findability has been a common source of frustration in the enterprise for decades,” states AIIM VP Carl Frappaolo. “As information has become more and more digital, from its creation through to management, the pain of finding enterprise information has moved from the piles of paper on the desktop and in storage cabinets, to the digital landfill of file servers, e-mail inboxes, digital desktops and content management systems. Despite the advances made in search on the Internet, enterprise search leaves most users frustrated.”
Finding content digitally, according to the report, is only possible if pointers to content—or the content itself—are in native digital format, made available for indexing by search, and/or accessible by information organization and access techniques (such as navigational structures, taxonomies, bookmarks, etc.). The lack of such functionality in the enterprise is at the heart of user frustration.
But fault does not lie with technology solution providers. Most organizations have failed to take a strategic approach to enterprise search. Forty-nine percent of respondents have “no formal goal” for enterprise Findability within their organizations, and a large subset of the overall research population state that when it comes to the “criticality of Findability to their organization’s business goals and success,” 38% have no idea (“don’t know”) what the importance of Findability is in comparison to a mere 10% who claim Findability is “imperative” to their organizations.
The lack of strategic understanding, implemented plans and technological pros and cons to address Findability in the enterprise continues to cause pain in most organizations, although slow progress is being made.
The companion research paper, the AIIM Market IQ on Findability, will be published in July 2008.
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