Business Case: Knowledge management systems

Experiences within large international Physics collaborations have imbued our team with a deep understanding of effective 'knowledge management' processes.

What is Knowledge Management?

Knowledge management recognises the fact that the real value in an organisation exists in the form of its knowledge, that is, the information that is acquired and acted upon. For an organisation to develop and grow it must strive to establish formal management practices that encourage the exchange of useful, internal information between its personnel, and it must also aim to channel other useful, external sources of information to relevant personnel.

The need for knowledge management

An Ernst and Young survey of 431 US and European firms revealed that 87% of respondents named knowledge as being critical to their competitiveness, while 44% also said they were poor or very poor at transferring knowledge within their organisation. According to a Faulkner report, the two primary KM business drivers are:

Knowledge management tools

Intranets are fast becoming invaluable tools for facilitating knowledge management so it is vitally important that they are well designed, navigable and user friendly. If an intranet user fails to find the information that he or she needs to do his or her job, or is ill informed about new developments that may have some bearing on that job, then his or her effectiveness will be diminished. Therefore a well designed intranet, or "enterprise portal", adds value to an organisation.

The Surfability team specialises in providing intranet redesigns with guaranteed measurable improvements.

"Knowledge management is the new frontier for most companies. Corporate managers understand the benefit of capturing and sharing intellectual capital, but they do not understand the process of putting it into action."

Greg Dyer, senior IDC research analyst, June 2001.

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