Enterprise Search: The Missing Link for Information Silos

Roy Shaked
By Roy Shaked
Joel Taylor
Edited by Joel Taylor

Updated August 16, 2023.

Enterprise Search: The Missing Link for Information Silos

Are information silos killing employee productivity at your organization? Chances are the answer is yes, even if you don’t realize it.

Companies today are increasingly using more apps: Studies from the last three years found enterprises, on average, now use between 100 and 288 SaaS apps. Switching between so many apps makes it harder for employees to find information when they need it.

But before you decide to cut back on the number of apps you use, consider using a tool that bridges your apps together by searching everything at once. You need an enterprise search tool that’s built for today’s SaaS-centric workplace. Enterprise search simplifies the process of tracking down information across many disparate information sources, reducing employee legwork, and increasing access to institutional knowledge.

Information Silos Create Bottlenecks and Frustrate Employees

Employees are tired of clunky software that wastes their time and makes tracking down the information they need a hassle. In fact, an Oracle survey uncovered a major problem for employee engagement and productivity when they talked to salespeople about their experience at work: “72% need to have at least three screens or windows open at once.”

That’s not ideal, but it’s not the end of the world. Switching between windows could get irritating or slow employee productivity, but it’s not, in and of itself, a crisis. However, when you consider the employee experience, it’s clear many organizations have a lot of work to do.

In the same survey, when Oracle asked these respondents what they would rather do than deal with the software they have to use at work, the answers revealed a major problem. Two-thirds said they would rather go to the dentist, wait in line at the DMV, or clean the bathroom (among other unpleasant tasks). It’s no wonder employees are having trouble tracking down information when the software they use each day is comparable to a root canal. If the software you provide for your employees is so frustrating to use they would rather do some of the most universally-hated chores, you need to rethink your tech stack.

Sadly, this issue isn’t new. In fact, information silos have been helping companies shoot themselves in the foot since at least 2007. And the problem has made plenty of headlines over the years and has been the subject of many surveys and polls, like this poll from 2012 that found “the unnecessary replication of pre-existing work is the biggest productivity challenge among engineering and product development teams.”

So if this has been a problem for a long time, why hasn’t it gotten better by now? The short answer is that the tools available to tackle this issue haven’t measured up until now. And other issues have contributed to the challenges employees face.

✶ Learn how making the most out of Dropbox search can help with knowledge hoarding

Cloud Sprawl Scatters Information Across SAAS Apps

Adding to the problem of information silos is cloud sprawl – the increasing number of cloud-based applications and storage options organizations of all sizes are using. Specialized apps are perfect for adding new tools and functionality for employees, but they make it even harder to find the information employees need.

Cloud sprawl is making the problem of information silos worse, and tech leaders are looking for a better way:

“Since the beginning of IT, there’s been a history of unused space, underutilized compute, unchecked storage growth, and limitless levels of virtual systems that weigh down organizations financially and expose them to security risks. The cloud was created, in part, to mitigate this waste, but cloud sprawl has created new challenges due to lack of governance and strategy.”

If enterprises are already using hundreds of apps, what happens when employees at these organizations are looking for specific files or numbers? How long does it take them to find what they’re looking for? They have to already know which of the 100+ apps contains the data they need or search apps one by one.

Unfortunately, while the general issue of cloud sprawl is increasingly being addressed, the issue of search is rarely part of the conversation. This is a big missed opportunity — the core problem is accessing and sorting information in the many SaaS apps, not the existence of the tools themselves.

The Right Enterprise Search Tool Makes Information Easy to Find

Most enterprises will not be able to stop using cloud-based applications altogether, nor should they. Apps provide too much value to be replaced at this point in time. Instead of attempting to restrict the number of apps and services you use, it’s more efficient to simply change the way you approach finding information.

With a good enterprise search tool, organizations don’t need to perform regular tech stack audits to cull SaaS tools to prevent overwhelming their employees. They simply need to download the tool and connect their apps. Within minutes, they can search across the entire tech stack at once.

This general concept isn’t new. In fact, one of the most successful brands of all time has tackled this issue in another context: Google.

When they started in the late ’90s, Larry Page and Sergey Brin were on a mission to organize the world’s information through search. They recognized that even though the internet had only just reached widespread use, it was already quickly becoming cluttered with web pages and no good way to sort through them.

Google is a good example of how a smart approach to search can simplify finding information. With just the internet, enterprises can quickly amass a lot of information without an easy way for people to find what they need. One well-designed tool can change everything.

If you want high employee engagement and the ability to attract highly qualified applicants, make sure your systems and processes aren’t draining employee morale and productivity.

✶ Learn how to deal with GitHub issues quickly

With Unleash, you can give your employees a central place to search everything across the enterprise. That includes searching inside emails, documents, calendars, and more. Unleash provides a Google-like search solution that enables everyone in the organization to find every piece of information in one spot.

We save each of our users about 1.5–2 hours a week searching for information because Unleash adapts to the way you already work. For a 100-person organization, Unleash could save up to 200 hours every single week.

Our AI-driven search technology connects SaaS applications and isolated data silos, like Slack, Notion, Jira, G-suite, Confluence, GitHub, Salesforce, AWS, Microsoft365, and many more. Detailed search filters let you browse through your information just as quickly as searching.

The comprehensive index the search engine builds, combined with our advanced relevancy and ranking algorithms, creates a seamless, personalized search experience for each employee that gets better the more they use it. Unleash also includes features outside of search to make your day even easier — you can search and then launch applications or compose a new document in just a few clicks.

Unleash provides a wide variety of client experiences, from desktop to mobile, browser extensions, instant spotlight search bar, a Slack bot, intranet embedding, and more. No matter how you work, Unleash can accommodate your workflows.

Learn more about how Unleash can solve the search problem at your organization.