The Search Network is a community of expertise. It was set up in October 2017 by a group of eight search implementation specialists working in Europe and North America. We have known each other for at least a decade and share a common passion for search that delivers business value through providing employees with access to information and knowledge that enables them to make decisions that benefit the organisation and their personal career objectives.  The Search Network is an informal community, not a hub-and-spoke network. You can talk to any one of the members and they can bring in others as appropriate.

Members of the Network have web site search, enterprise search and search application development expertise with on-premise, hybrid and cloud implementations. We can work as individuals or micro-companies.  We have no commercial relationships with any search vendor or implementation partner. We often assist in identifying vendors for evaluation and consideration. In the course of our work we have gained a substantial amount of experience in application selection and application procurement and implementation which can be matched by very few IT managers.

Some of us have experience with commercial vendors (including SharePoint) and others work mainly with open source search applications. We recognise that the best option is the one that most closely meets the requirements of the organisation. Often these requirements involve members of the Search Network bringing in colleagues with specific skills or to extend our geographic scope.  But successful search implementations are not just about choosing the best technology. Search is not a product or a project. It requires an on-going commitment to support changing user and business requirements and to take advantage of enhancements in technology.

Search Insights 2020 is our third annual report. Our objective in writing this report is to summarise some of the insights we have gained from these projects and make this knowledge open to the search community world-wide. That is why there is no charge for this report, and it carries no sponsorship. We have tried not to duplicate the content of the 2018 and 2019 reports so that together they represent a compendium of information and advice that you can trust.

In total the contributors to Search Insights 2020 have well over 50 years of experience in helping organisations to find business-critical information, working with enterprise search, e-commerce and web site search, and with specialised search applications. Not only do we work with different types of search applications, but we also write in our own style and from our own individual experience. As was the case with Search Insights 2019, we have invited guest writers to share their views on specific topics.

Our most significant contribution to our clients is a very good understanding of what an effective search application can deliver in terms of business benefits and employee engagement. Very few organisations have had an opportunity to see and use the range of search applications that we have worked on.

We look forward to helping you achieve search excellence.