The quest for enterprises trying to manage, organize and search content inside and outside of their organizations in a way that is transparent and easily understood, will drive worldwide enterprise search total software revenue to total $989.7 million in 2008, up 15 percent from $860.6 million in 2007, according to Gartner, Inc.
The enterprise search market, having been revitalized, continues to evolve as it faces a consolidation phase with significant market restructurings under way. Enterprise search products are expanding to include information access capabilities such as taxonomy, classification and content analytics. Offerings aligned to vertical markets, e-commerce transactions or work functions focus on specific tasks and processes, improving user efficiency and effectiveness.
“Enterprise search technologies are entering a new phase of deployment and use. Technologies are maturing and now offer improved indexing, querying, presentation and drilldown of results,” said Tom Eid, research vice president at Gartner. “However, by itself the search function has limited value. The real value of search and information access technologies is in the ongoing efforts needed to establish effective taxonomies, to index and classify content of all kinds, in order to provide meaningful results.”
Extensive technology consolidation will continue during the next several years as vendors expand their products and service portfolios, obtain vertical market centric expertise, and acquire new customer bases. The enterprise search market is rapidly shifting from high-growth to a consolidation phase. Frequent merger and acquisition (M&A) activity from current enterprise search vendors and larger vendors, such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP, is expected to continue. Also, there will be increasing use of enterprise search functionality with e-discovery requirements, as well as within structured data repositories.
The worldwide enterprise search market has experienced healthy growth since 2004. However growth will slow to low double digit percentages starting in 2008, because of continued downward pressure on license prices and market consolidation (see Table 1).
Enterprise Search Forecast, Worldwide Total Software Revenue, 2006 – 2010
(Millions of U.S. Dollars)
Note: This forecast is for enterprise use of enterprise search technologies, as aligned to licensed product and hosting service revenue. Source: Gartner (February 2008)
“As long as search and information access capability remains a compelling business requirement at both the desktop and enterprise level, many vendors, from startups to established vendors, will compete to provide basic and highly focused offerings,” said Mr. Eid. “However, no one vendor can solve all information access needs. Search and information access is not a one-size-fits-all marketplace, and the market will continue to develop, whether within individual devices, through organizational intranets, across the Web, or specialized in a digital asset type.”
Source: Gartner Inc., STAMFORD, Conn., February 5, 2008