What do pizza and Enterprise Search Operations (SearchOps) have in common?
We all know that for a search application to meet its full potential and maintain its effectiveness over time, it can’t be left alone to fend for itself. It needs a lot of love, care and attention. The search environment is dynamic, complicated by growing amounts of disparate content, new data sources and types, advances in technology and the increasingly demanding expectations of users that have grown familiar with the Google search experience. Search applications need to be continually nurtured and developed to meet these challenges. Failure to do so typically results in a gradual decline in search quality and a mob of dissatisfied users.
So, what are your options when it comes to maintaining the health and fitness of your search application? Well, it’s a bit like satisfying a craving for pizza, you can either: buy all the ingredients and bake one at home, buy ready-made from a store or get one delivered.
You could do it all in-house. To do so you will need to build and maintain a team of people to manage and iteratively develop the search application. But a successful home bake requires a good recipe, the right ingredients and, most critically, the right training and experience. Overall, it can be resource intensive. You will need trained engineering people to support the system as well as to optimize performance and develop new features. And in practice it is often difficult to justify engineering resources dedicated only to search. In addition to your own people, expert help from outside your organization is often required, either for troubleshooting or to deploy advanced features. So, the team becomes an expensive blend of trained in-house resources and outside experts.
A major advantage of making pizza at home is the ability to control every ingredient. Knowing exactly what ingredient to use and how much you are putting into your food can help you make healthy choices. On the flip side, baking requires know-how and takes time and commitment. Buying a ready-made pizza or having one delivered are the easier options and in some cases the quality can be just as good.
There is a growing trend to use cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) search applications and associated managed services. There is no question that SaaS solutions help with the deployment of a search application. They are scalable and take away the headache of maintaining IT infrastructure and deploying software upgrades and new versions. However, the application still needs to be configured and you are responsible for providing all other search related services such as ingesting data, data quality analysis and engine tuning. It’s a bit like going out to buy a ready-made pizza, easier than making one yourself but you’ve still got to drive to the store, pick up the pizza and have a working oven when you get home. Not everything is taken care of for you.
If you don’t have experienced search engineers, or maybe you have a search skills shortage because colleagues have left the organization, then chances are you regularly find yourself in break/fix scenarios. Your team is consumed by solving search performance and/or data issues, and very little time is spent on enhancements. So rather than hire-in contractors to fill the resources gap you could investigate how cost effective it might be to outsource the day-to-day management of your search application.
Enterprise SearchOps is a new operating model that we liken to ordering a pizza for home delivery. Your pizza is delivered ready to eat, hassle free.
With Enterprise SearchOps, an expert partner company takes on full responsibility for the operation of your entire search application regardless of whether it’s on-premise or in the cloud. It is the partner’s responsibility to deliver the search experience you want for your users. Simply put; you hand-over your search bar to experts who have the technology and expertise to deliver a consistent Google-like search experience.
What to Expect from Enterprise SearchOps Providers
So, what can you expect from an Enterprise SearchOps provider? Well first they need to be a strategic partner, an organization you feel comfortable sharing resources with, and one with a mission to provide an outstanding search experience for your users. Ideally, they will have:
- A full-service solution, from content ingestion to user interface, supported by people who understand search.
- Experts that understand how to utilize AI technologies like Machine learning, Natural Language Processing and Knowledge Graphs to provide a Google-like search experience.
- The ability to measure search quality and continuously improve it.
- A predictable monthly fee.
The benefits of Enterprise SearchOps should be apparent: a future-proofed application, proactive monitoring and issue resolution and predictable pricing. But more importantly you have a trusted advisor who can educate you in the art of the possible and tackle more complex issues such as adding Google-like features. A partner that can help analyze and suggest ways to improve. In most cases Enterprise SearchOps can save money over managing search by yourself, just like getting a pizza delivered often costs less than making one yourself or buying ready-made. And as a bonus, you can use the time you save from maintaining your Enterprise Search application to focus on your core business.
Could be that you think nothing beats homemade, “my mom makes the best pizza ever!” If making your own pizza or buying ready-made is the way you want to go, then Pureinsights can help. We have the experts to assist you and one of our Search Application Assessments might be a good place to start. And Pureinsights is one of the few organizations out there that can genuinely offer a full Managed Service. With Pureinsights, you get delivered pizza that tastes like mom made it. And mom was a Chef.
Entrust your search bar (and pizza) to us!