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By Robin Neidorf

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Abstract

Do you feel your knowledge management function or skills lack visibility within the business? Which are the emerging products taking over from the likes of SharePoint? Find out more in our blog.

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A month into research on where key information functions sit in today's organisations, one thing is clear: no one really knows where to put knowledge management.

When asked where expertise and strategy to drive knowledge management sit, most people interviewed offer one of the following responses:

  • "No one is responsible"
  • "Everyone is responsible"
  • "IT thinks this is what the intranet is for"

None of these is a satisfactory response, particularly in an age in which competitive advantage boils down to how well knowledge is treated and leveraged as a strategic asset. 


The user factor

We know that effective knowledge management requires attention to the content resources (internal, external) that feed the system, the technology supporting the system, and the users who interact with the system.

Many of the information managers Jinfo works with are frustrated with the limited influence they have over either the technology or the user behaviour elements of that equation. Technology is often selected and implemented without proper input from information professionals, and as for users? Well, the biggest complaint there is that they cannot be bothered with training.

The current Research Focus, "Developing an information-savvy workforce through strategic alignments", puts our focus squarely on users and how you can improve their information interactions - including interaction with knowledge and KM systems. 

It's unrealistic to expect users across an organisation to learn complex information skills, nor do we necessarily want them to. But a baseline level of information-savvy is a requirement for today's workers to be able to make the most of internal knowledge, third-party tools and resources, and even their own work product. 

So if they won't come to training, what is an information professional to do?

The examples, suggestions, models and tips provided in this Research Focus offer a sensible, research-based approach, including:

  • Make the most of your existing touchpoints
  • Cultivate and leverage alignment and partnership with influential parts of the business
  • Prioritise segments of the workforce and create measurable goals for each.


The technology factor

As you explore different approaches to influencing and improving user behaviours, also consider the continuing evolution of knowledge management technology. Jinfo is preparing two market landscape reports that compare and contrast the products on offer in two related categories:

  • Market landscape on knowledge management systems: will cover products like Solcara, Raven, iManage, and SharePoint
  • Market landscape on knowledge management will cover products like Expert System, FirstLight, Lucidea, and Knowledge360.

The first report focuses on products that do best with structured information, while the second looks at products that use artificial intelligence and other new tools to handle a diverse range of content, both structured and unstructured.


Getting visibility

Based on the initial interviews on information functions, it's clear that knowledge management lacks visibility amongst business leaders. There are plenty of resources in Jinfo to help you make it more visible and valued, whilst embedding improved skills and investigating new technology tools.


Articles:

Reports:

Webinars - recordings available to view for anyone with a Jinfo Subscription


Current and upcoming research and events

The current Research Focus, "Developing an information-savvy workforce through strategic alignments", runs from April through June. Get immediate value by requesting a copy of the "Insights & Actions" report, which provides our top insights plus a thematic index to resources. Explore the insights in greater detail with the webinars (Jinfo Subscription required) and Community sessions (Community option on a subscription required):

Webinars:

Community sessions:

Additional Community session in this period include:

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