Why push, not search, is the next step in enterprise evolution

When search engines hit mainstream, it became easier and easier to find the information we needed. They transformed the way we find information about almost everything, from the products we buy and the restaurants we eat at, to our next vacation destination. Search engines have become the connecting force in our everyday lives that allows us to access anything we need with a quick search online. While Google handles more than two trillion searches per year, this same convenience hasn’t yet translated to the enterprise.

The end of enterprise search as we know it

In the workplace, the search process is much more complicated. Employees lack an easy way to quickly view the important information necessary to do their jobs. Instead, they are often forced to manually pull the data from various business systems and click through many different pages to find the right information and data that impacts their decisions. The average employee ends up wasting about 108 minutes each work day searching for information. Take, for example, a task as simple as approving a PTO request. A manager is required to log out of their current system and log back into an HR platform with different credentials – a process that is not only time-consuming, but one that also disrupts their workflow and requires them to remember multiple passwords.

With that said, many business applications have a search bar and in-app search capabilities that have improved over time. Microsoft’s new email search app helps users quickly find information stored in their Outlook inboxes, and JIRA has both quick search as well as the ability to do complex queries to search issues (albeit through the use of SQL-like syntax that is hardly user-friendly for those who aren’t power users). However, enterprise search remains less efficient than search in our personal lives – and the truth is, it may never get better.

With the rise of predictive intelligence and as software becomes better at anticipating our needs and questions before we even have them, push computing –not search—will likely be the key to modernizing workflows in the enterprise.

How we engage with information is changing

Did you know that the average worker spends one day a week searching for information across various systems to make business decisions? The sheer volume of information that is collected and regularly accessed in enterprise companies has grown tremendously. By 2020, only 37 percent of digital data will be tagged and analyzed. In addition to the amount of data, the variation of data types has caused information to become siloed and isolated between systems, leaving data to become obsolete before it can be used. After all, what good is great data if it can’t be leveraged as valuable intelligence quickly? Sixty-five percent of employees actually ignore data when making a business decision. Organizations need a better way to sort through data – they need solutions that can deliver cross-business insights that employees need, when they need it, so they can increase their productivity and effectiveness on the job.

When an application can be personalized to deliver the most relevant information and tasks, the result is faster, smarter, and more productive work. More than four in 10 employees say features like push notifications make them more efficient and more collaborative. We’ve seen this transition before with social channels like Facebook, which uses machine learning to learn user preferences and send push notifications about content that it predicts users will like. Now, it’s time for enterprise companies to follow suit and start implementing software that can deliver information with personalized features like push notifications, instead of inadequate search tools.

This is where push computing, personalized notifications, and machine learning come into play for the enterprise. Engagement is moving away from pull-driven experiences and shifting toward push-driven notifications. Push computing is a new way for humans to interact with technology, and IT teams should embrace it.

Micro apps simplify push and personalization

Sapho uses micro apps –single-purpose apps, built on top of existing legacy systems –to push the most important information and tasks uniquely targeted toward each employee. Not all employees care about the same information, so Sapho delivers a unified feed accessible from mobile and desktop devices, messenger clients, and browser or intranet sites.

Micro apps allow organizations to leverage the valuable data in their existing system, but separate them from their clunky and feature-bloated interfaces. As a result, employees are delivered the information they want without having to search for it manually. Micro apps break down workflows into bite-sized tasks that can be easily dealt with straight from the channel of their choice. For any urgent information, employees receive a push notification to ensure a timely response.

Employees can also customize their feed and turn off notifications they don’t care about. The information that’s pushed to users becomes an actionable activity, removing the standard delay that comes with data and tasks spread across multiple systems –with numerous logins and complex workflows. In addition, Sapho uses machine learning to continuously monitor usage to learn what information is most important, when it should be delivered, and where it needs to go to be most effective.

With machine learning, the evolution of push computing is ushering in a new era of intelligent apps that will transform the enterprise workplace and the way we work, for the better. Enterprises are at a critical tipping point to implement the proper and most efficient systems.  This means a solution that can learn and predict employees’ needs, while delivering an integrated view into data from multiple systems. Sapho micro apps make it possible, and easy, to take this next step.

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Elle Sidell is a Digital Marketing Manager at Sapho. She joins from AVG Technologies where she worked on web content for business stakeholders. Her previous experience includes content creation, copywriting, and managing the online presence of several SaaS services.

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