In many ways, the new trend towards unified knowledge base software is merely a continuation of the impulse that drove companies into the computer age in the first place. The promise of digital technology has always been that the full hierarchy of company records, product lines, and people could be funneled through a single access point that would permit people to know everything about what was going on.
For example, instead of asking a sales manager for a report, it would be possible to examine the actual figures or else have the software suite generate a report on its own without the need to spend costly employee hours on what are in essence routine administrative tasks. The manager’s time could more profitably be spent on selling the product or encouraging his sales force, as opposed to pulling together mundane factoids. Likewise, upper management is freed from the suspicion that information reaching their level is perhaps being massaged to create a slant on reality rather than reality itself.
The operational basis of knowledge management software is the recognition that filters that can alter perceptions. If every facet of a company can be accessed through a single entry point, it is no longer necessary to pull the information together from multiple sources, which may yield contradictory or incomplete information. Time that would otherwise be spent in assembling and generating guidance memoranda for management is liberated for reallocation into more profitable avenues of endeavor.
Another advantage of knowledge base solutions is that weaker members of the team can be strengthened and supported by the inherent sharing capabilities of the software. An effective new sales pitch or revolutionary approach to organizing inventory in a local distribution center can be swiftly disseminated to all corners of the organization and turned into standard practice virtually overnight. Customer service reps can find the results of previous contacts taken by other employees and see what has already been done about the problem. Customers themselves can follow up on orders or locate appropriate support materials with ease.
The net outcome of all-encompassing knowledge software platforms is to create a sort of exclusive social media club for the company, its employees, customers, and suppliers who can all share and access through one specific portal. In addition to the benefits of having all possible forms of information available through one option, this unification of all systems into a single package offers real hope of controlling misuse or theft of proprietary data. Considering the recent rise in industrial espionage, having only a single doorway to guard offers significant benefits over the typical assembly of mostly compatible linked, cross-linked, and back-linked packages, which offer multiple opportunities for unauthorized entry into the system without easy traceability.
It is apparent that the integration of social media methodology into business management packages is not just a trend, but a real advancement over previously acceptable practice. Reducing redundant report generation and opening up the totality of information to everyone who can make use of it greatly cuts down on the cumbersome world of request submission and approval that eats up so much time at less-advanced enterprises. Freeing human initiative from routine allows companies to create greatly enhanced value from everyone who comes into the orbit of the system.
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