Enterprise Strategy

Set out below in an A-Z checklist sequence are 49 topics that should be considered in the development of a search strategy. Not all may be relevant to a specific organisation, but if they are to be excluded then the reason for doing so should be discussed and agreed. All the topics in the list are considered at length in Enterprise Search.

1. Accessibility

Sets out the extent to which the search applications meet the Web Accessibility Initiatives

2. Acquisition

The extent to which the search applications could be extended in an acquisition or merger situation

3. Architecture

Server and network architecture requirements and server availability

4. Best bets

The user requirements for best bets and how they will be reviewed and revised

5. Big Data

Integration of the search and Big Data strategies, especially around common metadata schemas

6. Budget

License costs, vendor maintenance and support, and staff costs

7. Business cases

Summary of the evidence from user requirements research to support and prioritize specific business cases, including the potential business impact

8. Cloud search

The potential benefits and challenges from implementing cloud (or hybrid)search

9. Communications

The communications strategy and forward communications program for stakeholders and users

10. Connectors

Requirements for connectors and associated support from suppliers

11. Content analytics

The extent to which the organization will benefit from implementing content analytics solutions and the relationship of these solutions to search

12. Content quality

Requirements for content quality and content curation to enhance search performance, ideally placed within an information life cycle framework

13. Content scope

A list of the content being crawled and indexed

14. Crawl management

Optimal crawl schedules to balance user requirements with any architecture/performance constraints

15. Dependencies

Business or technical dependencies that could impact search performance and search satisfaction

16. Development plan

The opportunities for enhancing the search environment over the following two years, based on user requirements research and business objectives matched against resources

17. Disaster recovery

Disaster recovery plans with Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) requirements

18. eDiscovery

If appropriate, the touch points between the eDiscovery strategy and the search strategy, especially regarding the sharing of skills

19. Expertise search

Linking the requirements for expertise search from a knowledge management strategy with the search strategy

20. External search

The requirements for search access to external information resources on e.g.research, competitors, and market opportunities

21. Federated search

Current and potential opportunities and challenges for implementing federated search

22. Feedback

How users will be able to feedback comments and suggestions to the search team

23. Governance

The ownership of the search budget and search strategy, together with roles, responsibilities, and lines of reporting for members of the search team

24. Help desk management

The relationship between the IT Help Desk team and ticket system and the search help desk

25. Information management

A summary of the organization’s information management strategy with particular reference to the requirements and objectives for the search strategy

26. IT liaison

Service-level agreements with IT departments for support and development, including the requirement for staff with specific skills to be available

27. Key performance indicators

Definition of a set of periodic key performance indicators that relate to the business cases and business impact requirement

28. Language

Setting out any requirements for indexing and searching in languages other than the nominal corporate language.

29. Legal conformance

Requirements to conform to data privacy, Freedom of Information, and export license controls

30. Licenses

List of licenses by vendor and license renewal date so that the implications of a merger or acquisition of the vendor can be quickly assessed

31. Metadata

A summary of metadata schema, controlled term lists, taxonomies, thesauri, and relevant master data schema

32. Metrics

A summary of the suite of performance, discovery, satisfaction, and impact metrics, together with required benchmark levels

33. Migration

The implications for search as an element in a content migration strategy

34. Mobile

How the search applications will be implemented on mobile devices, together with an assessment of the need for cross-device support

35. Open source

Sets out the organization’s approach to using open source applications

36. People search

The requirements for people search

37. Performance

The technical (network/server) performance benchmarks for crawl, index, query, and result display

38. Risk register

A risk analysis relating both to operational and strategic risks for the search application, and the consequential risks to the organization

39. Roadmap

Release dates for upgrades to search applications, the basis on which they would be implemented, and development roadmaps for other enterprise applications

40. Scope

Confirmation of the repositories to be crawled and indexed in order to meet user and business requirements, the search applications to be included in the strategy, and the search applications that are being excluded

41. Search support team

Operational responsibilities and reporting lines for the search support team, including requirements for training

42. Security

Summary of security requirements covering confidentiality, integrity, and availability in line with ISO 27001

43. SharePoint strategy

As appropriate, sets out the scope of Microsoft SharePoint adoption and development

44. Stakeholders

Confirmation of the stakeholders and other members of the search community, using the RACI model

45. User training

Provision of training courses for search users, especially new joiners and staff in search-intensive roles

46. Usability tests

The scope and schedule for on-site and remote usability testing

47. User requirements

Summarizes the core user requirements

48. User interface

Sets out the rationale for the user interface to meet user requirements

49. Website search

Sets out the management and operational links between internal and external search