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What is Enterprise Search? Top 4 Benefits

April 29, 2022

According to a recent report published by KMWorld, lawyers can spend up to 22% of their work hours searching documents scattered across dozens or more internal data sources. What if finding information across all the data sources in your organization was as easy as doing a single Google search? Welcome to the world of enterprise search.

The term “enterprise search” refers to technology that brings an internet-like search experience to finding and retrieving relevant documentation, data, and knowledge that are stored in various formats across multiple databases within an organization. Enterprise search empowers your teams to benefit from the combined knowledge from across all internal data sources, presented in a more holistic view.

With enterprise search, content from all your information sources, such as documents and email stored in document management systems (DMS), websites, intranets, CRM tools, financial systems, and more, can be indexed and made easily searchable.

Why Enterprise Search is Important

Knowledge is power. For knowledge workers that deal with significant amounts of documentation, such as law firms, large businesses, and public sector entities, enterprise search has become a valuable — and even mission-critical — tool for daily operations. This is because it dramatically reduces the time it takes to retrieve all the most relevant records an individual intends (and has access) to find. Everything can be found in one place versus having to search in multiple locations.

Most technology platforms are designed with the purpose of doing one or a few things really well: a CRM keeps all client data together in one place, accounting platforms track billing information, etc. But many times, a business will need to access a combination of all these different records housed within siloed sources. With enterprise search, a single search query allows you to surface the information you need, regardless of where it’s stored, eliminating the need to repeat searches in each location. Additionally, you can see the data in relation to the content in the other data sources, giving you a bigger picture view.

Enterprise search is important for businesses because it saves time, harnesses valuable knowledge, and provides an experience that makes users happy.

How Enterprise Search Works

For a piece of content to be searchable, it must first be indexed so the enterprise search system can recognize and find all available details about the file. Some legacy systems have outdated structures that require an IT department to manually submit new and updated indexes, while other systems do their own indexing of each document, email, etc.

Enterprise search can automate this process, lessening and even eliminating the need for IT involvement by using live connectors that are continuously indexing multiple data sources at once, instantly presenting all of these results together in one unified interface.

Top 4 Benefits of Enterprise Search

Enterprise search technology is changing the way businesses find and access their data in significant ways. Here are just some of the benefits you can expect by implementing an enterprise search solution:

1. Find Everything You Need in One Search

Enterprise search allows you to tap into all your available information sources and have a single, authoritative source for your organization's best and official answers. Being able to see data in context to its relationship to other data builds a more complete information picture.

Unifying and centralizing those searches in a one-stop-shop makes accessing and referencing historical documentation, data, and knowledge easier than ever before.

2. Enhance Your Organization’s Knowledge Management

Think about how many times you’ve needed to find that person in your organization who knows about a specific subject matter, client need, or information from a project done several years ago. Organizations are packed with knowledge and years of valuable expertise spread out across digital archives, as well as inside the minds of staff. Many times, our colleagues have knowledge buried in resumes or CVs from prior jobs and experience. In addition to making day-to-day operations easier, enterprise search also turns your firm’s existing records into a vast knowledge base.

With a thorough way to search, employees of all experience levels can self-serve the wealth of knowledge that already exists inside your organization. New employees can get up to speed quickly, subject-matter experts can be identified more easily, and better business decisions can be made based on historical knowledge.

3. Maintain Data Security and Ethical Walls

Protecting your data against cybercriminal activity should be a top priority, but it’s just as important to prevent unmitigated access to sensitive information by unauthorized personnel. These risks are being amplified with most organizations supporting remote and hybrid work environments and cyberattacks targeting potential vulnerabilities.

Fortunately, enterprise search honors the security set in the systems of record and allows for additional data restrictions that can help keep sensitive information away from individuals without proper access rights. When someone performs a search, they are presented with only the information to which they have been granted access — and nothing else.

4. Save Time Through Automated Document Indexing

When dealing with thousands or millions of files, the indexing process can cause delays and frustrations. Anyone looking for information that hasn’t been indexed yet will be unable to find what they need until the system has time to catch up.

Enterprise search can automate this process by using live connectors that are continuously searching multiple data sources at once, essentially repurposing the index already created by the native applications, such as Outlook, Teams, or your document management system (DMS).

Empower Your People with Search

Gone are the days of needing to go to different systems to search for the internal information you need and searches that don’t provide the experience users are expecting. Today’s modern enterprise search provides easier, faster, more relevant results that can help your organization save time, enhance knowledge management and sharing, and maintain data security and ethical walls.

Want to learn more about enterprise search for law firms? Download this free whitepaper or watch this webinar to discover all you need to know.

NetKnowledge: Enterprise Search from NetDocuments

With NetKnowledge, powered by BA Insight, you can finally replace the slow, frustrating process of searching through different systems individually with a single, secure internet-like search experience that brings everything together in one place and surfaces relevant results, so you can make intelligent business decisions. View the brochure.

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