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New enterprise search engines can make information gathering more efficient (Photo: Wikimedia)

German industry loses as many as 23 million work days a year as people search for information, according a recent study.

According to the report, which was written by consultants Q-perior, roughly 5 million German industry employees spend 15 minutes a day looking for similar information on different platforms. The loss in productivity adds up to 6.5 billion euros a year and impedes productivity, Q-perior said. Only half of all companies deploy intelligent programs to find data across different systems.

"The success of Industry 4.0 with its highly efficient manufacturing and direct connections between customers and business partners all along the value chain depends to a major extent on secundary processes," said Janko Zehe, an information management expert at Q-perior.

Because two thirds of all employees in industry work outside of production departments in areas such as purchasing, research, development or product design, speedy ways to find information are important. "Like with Google, workers are used to finding results all at once and without detours by way of several applications or platforms," Zehe added.

Q-perior said new enterprise search engines connect to all applications available within a company and aren't platform-dependent. As a result, applications such as Microsoft SharePoint or SAP systems serve mainly as containers of information. Said Zehe: "The enterprise search engine makes the functionality available that is needed to quickly find the required information."