The secrets of search success part 2: developing a search strategy, and selecting the right technology

The second part of our Q&A with experts in search, information architecture, intranets, content management and usability.

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Q: What are the Top 3 things to consider if I have to select Search software?

Sam Marshall: What will be the total cost of deploying it as a service? How will we put in place the skill set needed to manage it? How smart will it be about the kinds of information that matter to me (e.g. does it differentiate text, slides, people and client search results and display them intelligently)?

Paul Nelson: How well does it integrate into your business systems? Can it handle a wide variety of content sources (different sizes, purposes, metadata)? Is it elastically scalable? These days we recommend acquiring a separate tool for content acquisition and processing. New products which specifically focus on connectors, corporate security, and content normalization are starting to dramatically reduce time to market (and cost) over traditional search engine-based solutions.

James Robertson: Modern search tools are all incredibly powerful, so it's not about features. Instead, look at the broader picture of how to find the right partner to deliver success.

Tony Byrne: Do we have sufficient internal resources to really make this technology work? (A: probably not...) Do we have the means to truly test and tweak competing search platforms at some length to find out their real strengths and weaknesses with regard to our corpus (A: You should...)  Will new search technology really solve our manifold content hygiene problems? (A: probably not...)

Charlie Hull: First, (not my quote but still marvellous): The demo is never the product. Second,  don't believe the hype - most if not all search engines use the same underlying principles and they don't 'understand' your data in some magical fashion. Finally, plan not just for what you need to index and search today but for tomorrow and the future.

Thanks to our experts, who are blog supporters of Enterprise Search Europe, London, 29-30 April 2014. Links to their blogs can be found here

Explore more questions like this at Enterprise Search Europe, London, 29-30 April 2014

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