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Gartner: Enterprise search pervasive by 2012

The analyst firm says infrastructure vendors need to respond to the need for effective search

Enterprise search is set to become a pervasive and demanding force in IT over the next several years, according to Gartner analyst Whit Andrews.

“Information access technology will locate and analyze more than 90 per cent of data in more than 50 per cent of Global 2000 enterprises” by the end of 2012, according to materials from a presentation Andrews gave at Gartner’s Symposium ITxpo conference in Las Vegas this week. Gartner refers to enterprise search by the more general phrase “information access technology.”

Some observers saw Microsoft’s recent move to acquire enterprise search vendor FAST Search & Transfer as a validation of the market. It will compete with a range of large vendors, such as Autonomy and FAST, along with a series of smaller companies, including Recommind and X1 Technologies.

“All the infrastructure vendors need to respond in some way to the need for effective search technology in their products,” Andrews said in an interview on Thursday.

Whatever path companies choose regarding enterprise search, they will face major challenges, chiefly the high expectations of users, Andrews noted in his presentation: “End-users of information access technology do not recognize, respect and treat as reasonable the divisions that application architecture have forced on information access strategy.”