Role of Technology in Knowledge SharingEstimated Reading Time: 7 Minutes
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Most people have an argument, that "Knowledge Management" is fundamental to people and doesn’t require technology for its implementation. Because of advancements in technology, there is absolutely no way that one can share knowledge effectively within an organization, even a small one, for large geographically dispersed organizations; It is a must.
Need for Technology in Knowledge Sharing
Technology plays a crucial transformational role and is a key part of changing the corporate culture to knowledge sharing by making knowledge sharing and collaborations among co-workers around the globe. The right knowledge-sharing platform allows you to access the information anytime and anywhere and helps in automating and standardizing the knowledge management but there are several challenges at the time of implementing this system. The most prominent challenge is to create a culture of knowledge sharing and collaboration. Therefore, a knowledge-sharing tool must support all the phases of the knowledge life cycle.
A knowledge life cycle helps in building the processes and stimulates knowledge transfer within the organization. The life cycle of knowledge is mainly concerned with the organization of data and outlines the building, storing, pooling, and extending of the knowledge. Here, the role of IT in knowledge management becomes very important to support this learning community. Using technology helps you streamline communication, discussions, knowledge dissemination, and much more.
Therefore, the basic requirements for a knowledge-sharing technology are; a centralized repository for storing and sharing knowledge and the dissemination method for communicating and transporting knowledge among individuals. The first approach is the use of a proper repository or the repository model of a knowledge management system, which is related to database management and organizational memory. The tool helps to capture knowledge, categorize, search, subscribe to relevant content or information, and present it in more meaningful formats across multiple contexts of use. The second approach is the use of a communication medium or role-based dissemination of knowledge in a knowledge base system. It is used to support interactions, direct communication, and contact among individuals.
Knowledge Sharing Platform Features
A proper knowledge-sharing strategy has become a vital necessity for modern enterprises, as new employees join the organization, and the old approach to retirement and official memory is becoming transient. For instance, there is a high possibility, that employees tackling the same issue without knowing that their colleagues are also doing the same. Hence, using the right knowledge management tool to streamline the knowledge-sharing process and break down company silos is the need of the hour. Below are some features that are part of any efficient knowledge-sharing platform.
An efficient knowledge management system would keep you away of worries of content management and content sharing and helps by unifying the relevant results in one place and providing easy access to information to employees.
The companies are no longer confined to single premises; they have geographically dispersed branches. The employees are always mobile and demand flexibility. Hence, a knowledge management tool should be accessed from anywhere and on any device, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or workstation. This will facilitate the employees in performing their tasks successfully, regardless of where they are. Companies can easily share valuable content, for instance, work aids, practical procedures, or tutorials from any part of the world.
Knowledge sharing is not a one-way process; it is a two-way process where companies ask employees to share their valuable knowledge and experiences as well. To encourage workers to share what they have within their heads, a tool must have Q&A features and feedback options such as comments where employees can comment on the shared content. Moreover, they should have a facility to contribute ideas, give feedback, and post queries easily. These features engage employees in healthy discussions which help in breaking down barriers between senior and junior employees and promote a learning culture for everyone.
Most of your employees use mobile phones while on travel. Mobile access to the knowledge-sharing platform will speed up the information-sharing process, allowing access to information at any time, from any location. Therefore, make sure that the software works with the same efficiency on a mobile phone as it does on a laptop or a workstation.
An employee spends his time mostly searching for relevant information which is dispersed all around in different files. Time restraints and insufficient knowledge of how to locate relevant information as the main hindrances that prevent workers from finding the knowledge they want. Hence, a knowledge-sharing tool must be equipped with a smart search option, and this is only possible if the files are indexed and categorized properly.
Dynamic Search Options
A knowledge management system should offer intelligent search options to reduce the time spent searching for information. For example, PHPKB has a smart search engine with an AI-based algorithm to search content swiftly. It also offers features to help you organize the shared content with tags and categories, allowing for easy retrieval; this way a marketing department can extract the contents of its department by filtering the search by its categories, and the sales department can search for its contents.
A good knowledge management platform is progressive and offers multiple content options like resources, modules, courses, knowledge sheets, etc. across different subject genres. These templates are reusable, save time and provide an overview of possibilities to the organization.
A knowledge management tool should provide role-based content access within the organization. For example, a CEO should have access to all the information, however, a manager needs information for only his department. Similarly, down-line requires information to perform their day-to-day activities and does not have to do anything with analytics and reports. Therefore, an efficient tool should serve level-based information requests. PHPKB knowledge management system has not only role-based access but also supports group-based access to share the right information with the right people.
Reports help the managers to track how much information is being shared, which users are contributing the most, and which articles or documents are most required. This knowledge can help a company identify its knowledge gaps and devise strategies to fill those gaps. Statistical reports help companies analyze their knowledge sharing patterns and help in reducing problems of knowledge hoarding and information overload, by checking who is contributing and which are duplicate contents. Hence, this feature reduces admin overheads and helps businesses remain on top and concentrate on their weak points.
Integration with Other Software Tools
Deploying a completely new knowledge-sharing tool from scratch is sometimes not workable for an organization especially already having a company application with all member accounts and deploying a new application would require significant efforts. Therefore, a knowledge base management system should have facilities such as an API or SAML-based Single Sign-On (SSO) to integrate it with other systems.
A knowledge-sharing system not only provides efficient feedback options but also helps in socially sharing the knowledge on different platforms such as social networks. Employees spend most of their time on social media sites and sharing important information in closed groups on these platforms helps in reaching the information desired by users at a right time. It would be difficult to disseminate the information twice; in a knowledge repository and social platform. Therefore, a knowledge base system should facilitate sharing of knowledge content on social media platforms.
Technology is an instrument in a collection of processes that govern the creation, dissemination, and utilization of knowledge to fulfill organizational objectives. It is a means of transferring explicit knowledge that will allow internalization of that knowledge and thereby its incorporation into the understanding and experience of the individual.
Information technology plays a vital role in Knowledge Management which includes the following:
- IT plays as a facilitator in Knowledge Management (facilitates documents management, data storage, access of information, dissemination, exchange, and sharing of ideas)
- IT provides solutions to Knowledge Management
- IT is a tool used to increase the efficiency and capability of Knowledge Management.
Information technology has been known to be an enabling tool in facilitating knowledge management. It is capable of assisting knowledge seekers and experts involved in different types of knowledge acquisition processes. For example, for tacit knowledge to be transformed into explicit knowledge, computer technologies such as e-mails, discussion lists, bulletin board multimedia conferences, and brainstorming applications are used. These computer technologies enable user interactions by assisting them to communicate with one another by making organizational knowledge to be spread throughout the entire organization.