Algorithms were originally developed by mathematicians *for* mathematicians. Thousands of years ago the Greek mathematician, Euclid, devised the very first algorithm, which was used to determine the lowest common denominator in a set of numbers.

The use of algorithms is now going through a dramatic revolution. Essentially a set of step-by-step instructions, algorithms are used in a multitude of applications we use every day. When I take a photograph, for example, the Face Detection Algorithm systematically identifies the components of a face, regardless of size or shape, and thereby enables the camera lens to focus.

A plethora of search engines, such as Alta Vista, Bing, Google, Lycos, Magellan, Yahoo! and countless others rely on algorithms. In 1995, Sergey Brin and Larry Page developed the PageRank algorithm and a more efficient search engine was born: Google. Today, this ranking algorithm is responsible for 3.5 billion web searches each day. Its efficiency relies on its ability to look at incoming links and determine the relative importance of those pages, based on the frequency of other relevant links.

Searching for IT solutions requires new algorithms to discover a “feature document.” A feature document is an expression of an IT solution that is readable by search engines for retrieval and which can execute the operations: monitor; manage; and provision.