Why you probably need an internal search engine

August 10, 2020

What is an Internal Search Engine (or "ISE")?

An internal search engine is, in a company, a system connected to all productive digital tools (mailboxes, file systems, ERP, CRM, project management tools...) to find relevant information.

Historical context for this type of solution

Historically, these solutions were reserved for large companies. The complexity of setting up such systems required very specific missions with customers to connect all the company's tools. We are talking about long - in years - and expensive implementation projects. Small and medium-sized companies that do not have the same means could not turn to this type of solution. In any case, these companies were not processing a large enough volume of data to need an internal search engine: using it would have been like using a bazooka to squash a small fly.

Where are we today?

Volume of data produced

The global volume of data doubles every two years: to put it simply, this year (2020) companies will produce 100 times more data than they did in 2008. A problem that was then reserved only for large companies is increasingly a problem for all structures, regardless of their size or sector.

Number of tools become available to collaborators

The data present in companies is multiform and above all multi-source. On average, between 8 and 10 tools are accessible to each employee of a company: these are messaging tools (email or collaborative messaging such as Slack and Teams, project management tools, ERP, CRM (such as Salesforce), file storage systems, document bases, business tools, etc.). 

According to Okta, in 2020, an average of 88 tools are implemented per company. This represents a 6% increase over the 83 applications in 2019, and a 21% increase in 3 years. This figure increases with size: 10% of companies deploy 200 applications or more.

Time wasted searching for information

This mountain of data is a veritable gold mine, but all too often employees are asked to explore it with a simple pickaxe. Providing the wrong tools to collaborators introduces several main problems:

The trend for SaaS tools

It will not have escaped you, the tools deployed in companies are more and more online tools, or SaaS (Software as a Service), i.e. accessible from your browser: 78% of software publishers were offering this model at the end of 2018. The SaaS market is booming (+24% annual growth) and nearly one new tool of this type is deployed every year for employees. The problem mentioned above is already very much present, but the growth in the volume of data and the number of tools available to employees only accentuates it.

Why we created Outmind

As mentioned above, ISEs were historically reserved for large companies because interfacing with their internal tools was a difficult task. It was also necessary to deploy such a tool systematically On Premise, thereby increasing the size of the organizations for which it was intended.

Today, we are facing a real paradigm shift: the vast majority of SaaS tools have an API that allows external developers to interface very easily with the data. And it was after looking at what was available on the market and seeing that the existing tools (data storage tools, collaborative platforms, EDM, and other knowledge management tools...) did not effectively meet the needs we discovered that we created Outmind, the first internal information access engine in SaaS. We connect to the company's internal tools, from a few dozen employees, to provide them with an experience of access to information that was previously inaccessible to them. Outmind allows you to replace the "pickaxe" of your employees, so that they can finally extract the gems from this mountain of data.