Knowledge management is vital for all businesses. It’s the process of collecting, organizing and sharing information, making it easily available to everyone in the organization. Without a well-tailored knowledge management strategy, it’s much harder for an organization to function effectively. Quality enterprise search solutions are a key tool for knowledge management.
What is Knowledge Management?
Knowledge management (KM) refers to the identification, creation, storage, structuring and dissemination of knowledge throughout an organization. All organizations generate large amounts of useful information and data. It’s important to have strategies in place to ensure that this is recorded and structured in a way that makes it easy to utilize. Information also needs to be available across different departments and levels of the organization so that everyone can benefit from it.
Why is Knowledge Management Important?
Organizations that lack an effective KM process can find themselves facing many unnecessary obstacles and burdens. If knowledge isn’t accessible and easy to find, valuable work hours are wasted hunting down information. Information silos can quickly develop, where information that is held by one part of the organization isn’t readily available to others.
This can create confusion, delays and conflicts, reducing efficiency and directing attention away from outcome-focused activities and tasks. Information is lost when people move to a different part of the company or leave the organization. It becomes harder to learn from either success or failure.
Work is duplicated and teams can’t benefit from each other’s knowledge. This affects the organization both internally and externally, causing frustration for staff and potentially impairing the company’s reputation.
Knowledge Management Benefits
- It’s highly beneficial to implement KM strategies. Having a KM process in place helps to create a culture of knowledge sharing within an organization.
- Employee productivity is increased, as less time and energy is wasted tracking down pieces of information.
- Experienced employees’ knowledge isn’t lost if they move within or outside of the company, as their valuable tacit knowledge is recorded and made available to the rest of the workforce who might need it.
- Allowing staff to find information for themselves improves morale and relations. Rather than having to identify and locate another individual with the knowledge that they need, possibly distracting that person from their own tasks, a staff member can quickly and easily locate and utilize the required information.
- A knowledge management process reduces confusion. Instead of disparate and conflicting versions of a particular piece of knowledge, staff members will have access to information that’s accurate and timely.
- Engagement is improved as employees have clear channels to provide feedback and make information available to others.
- Information silos have no chance to develop, as all relevant knowledge is available across the entire organization.
What is Enterprise Search?
Enterprise search is sometimes called information retrieval. The term covers a range of software solutions that provide search functionality that’s specifically designed for use within business organizations. This technology facilitates the identification of information, its storage, indexing and its display. A wide variety of enterprise search solutions are available today so every organization can find a system that’s right for its specific needs.
Knowledge Management and Enterprise Search
You may now be wondering exactly how to manage your enterprise knowledge. Enterprise search is an invaluable knowledge management tool. Most people nowadays are very familiar with internet search engines such as Google, as well as more specific search tools used by libraries and other organizations. Enterprise search solutions function in much the same way.
Knowledge is added to a content management system by members of an organization. It is then categorized and indexed by the enterprise search software. Staff members can then use the enterprise search system to look up any information that they happen to require. For example, someone might want to find a particular invoice sent to a client, look up sales figures for a specific time period, or check maintenance records for a piece of equipment. A good enterprise search system will be able to take a simple query and recover the information, displaying it to the searcher. Enterprise search is important for the process of corporate knowledge management, providing structure and facilitating access to the vast amounts of information created by modern organizations.
Selecting Enterprise Search Software for your Knowledge Management Needs
There are a number of considerations when choosing enterprise search solutions. How many data sources does your organization use and which will be relevant to your KM strategy? What about commercial security and privacy — will a piece of software be able to restrict access to sensitive information effectively? How will your enterprise search solution improve and develop in response to user feedback? It’s important to identify your specific requirements and choose an adaptable, AI-driven search solution that can grow with your organization.
Knowledge management is only going to become more vital to every organization, as new data is created every day. With the right tools, your business can remain ahead of the curve.