Around this time of year, one of my bosses used to say to me, “Isaac, read
the tea leaves.”
I was a CIO at the time, and he wanted me to review the economic forecasts,
company financials, and the other executives’ moods to sense what
innovations and investments people would be most receptive to over the next
AI Search is a force multiplier delivering efficiencies and improved
If I were doing this analysis today, inflation, recession, and news of
layoffs at high-tech companies and large enterprises would dominate my
close-range field of view.
But when I look a little past these economic conditions, I also see how
improving customer and employee experiences are critically important for the
company. We need to grow by retaining customers and adding new ones while
energizing employees on a knowledge and tech-enabled future of work.
These conditions suggest that improving AI search experiences should be at
top of my digital transformation priorities. I know AI search experiences are
because they impact revenue and cost efficiencies when improving customer
and employee experiences.
CIOs can consolidate platforms and reduce maintenance costs
Today, CIOs should prioritize AI search to reduce costs. Recent research
published in the report
Enterprise Search: The Unsung Hero
points to several areas where high-tech and large enterprises can find them.
26% only use internal resources for enterprise search implementation,
maintenance, and tuning needs, without considering more efficient
outside partners with deeper expertise.
85% manually tune search experiences to improve relevancy, and 26%
report tuning is a significant effort.
25% or more of respondents report that enterprise search implementations
are complicated by many issues and significant delays.
These three points suggest that companies can find cost reductions and
efficiencies by revisiting their search experiences. CIOs are likely
to find multiple search technologies being used to support search in
different business units, customer-facing experiences, and employee
workflows. IT and digital transformation leaders can consolidate into a
single platform, deploy across multiple business units, and connect
experiences from marketing and sales through customer support.
But consolidating to which platform and with what capabilities?
It better be easy to use and deliver speed to value. In the research, only
19% said yes to having the resources and expertise necessary to deliver
excellence in enterprise search.
CIOs must also select platforms that help reduce ongoing support costs, and
some platforms are
just not easy buttons
that simplify development, tuning, or maintenance. It’s one reason why many
DevOps teams spend too much effort on search experiences and have too few
business outcomes to show for it.
The solution: Low-code, AI-search experiences led by a search center of
So how can CIOs reduce costs and deliver improved experiences? Here are
three key ingredients:
Research, POC, and select an AI Search platform that delivers
better end-user experiences while reducing maintenance costs from all
the work to tune result rankings. An AI Search platform has
to personalize search results based on how different user personas
respond to the content.
Improve DevOps productivity to optimize end-user experiences with
a search platform that supports pro-code and
low-code development capabilities. This provides product managers and DevOps teams flexibility in
implementing multiple experiences from a centralized search platform
managing both structured and unstructured data. For example, marketers
and salespeople can have a search embedded in Salesforce, while customer
support has a customized low-code app with richer search features.
optimize customer journeys by developing personalized experiences
Establish a search center of excellence (SCoE) that enables
collaboration between business and DevOps while
promoting best practices in developing end-user experiences. Each business unit or department can develop search experiences by
establishing a multidisciplinary agile team that includes subject matter
experts from the business, user experience specialists, and pro-code or
low-code developers. The SCoE supports each team by reviewing
architectures, recommending solutions, sponsoring hackathons, and
coordinating learning and training events.
Like a good recipe, creating a delightful customer experience requires
harmony between a few key ingredients. For search, it’s the intersection of
embracing AI capabilities, leveraging low-code development options,
empowering customer-driven implementations, and enabling standard best
practices. A flexible solution with these ingredients enables stakeholders,
product managers, enterprise architects, and DevOps teams to focus on the
experience rather than debate implementation details or struggle with
ongoing maintenance issues.
The culture shift helps drive consolidation and efficiencies, and CIOs can
demonstrate cost savings and how better customer experiences drive growth. A
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The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do
not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Coveo.