Digital knowledge management – the key to business survival and success
Today we are living in a totally new environment. Quarantines and lockdowns, once completely alien to humanity, are now our reality. In a world dealing with a global pandemic, businesses are investing in transformational technology that can digitally empower them.
Technological innovation is the driving force that will keep society moving by supporting greater automation, job redefinition, and remote working. But there is one area that is in danger of being overlooked in the drive towards digital: knowledge management.
As organisations become digital, so must knowledge!
All organisations are now facing challenges that are brand new. To solve these, we need new solutions. Technology can be used to drive organisational processes, automation, data and insights. Yet organisations are still falling short in terms of the agility, efficiency and effectiveness.
Stagnating productivity figures highlight that to achieve the true promise of tech, we need more innovation to propel organisations. By equipping new digital knowledge management systems – organisations can set themselves up for success now and into the future. Traditionally, knowledge was scattered within the organisation, hiding in silos, structurally inaccessible or sitting idle. Often key information was forgotten or lost when an employee left the organisation or when a contract expired with a partner or a vendor. In certain cases, information was intentionally withheld from building a strong leverage in the marketplace. The traditional system encouraged inconsistency, silos, misperception and misinterpretation of knowledge leading to adverse operational and financial impact on the business.
To meet growing digital needs, the majority of organisations have had to completely reassess their knowledge-holding model. The digitisation of their knowledge has increasingly becoming a key pillar in an organisation’s strategy.
**Moving to digitalised knowledge **
Digitalised knowledge management is a meaningful and powerful tool because it helps organisation see knowledge as a tangible business asset. This perspective enables an organisation to better observe, protect and leverage what it knows best, and use it to meet its business needs more effectively.
Consider a scenario where there is a hostile exit of a partner or a vendor. In a traditional organisation, the business would have to wrestle to get a hold on the situation. In a digitalised organisation, all the information and knowledge is digitalised and stored in an accessible standardised format. This helps the organisation move quickly and minimise disruption. Moreover, the digitalised system allows the organisation to continuously assess its vendors and partners, and source better value easily. An organisation with digitalised knowledge can shift to a new partner/vendor easily and save money. The primary focus of digital transformation is to use cutting-edge technology to simplify and improve overall efficiency, collaborations, data driven insights, governance, and customer experience. Digitalised knowledge management ensures success of a business by making knowledge available to its stake holders at the click of a button.
**Driving business with structured knowledge **
Now is the time for business to use their knowledge to deliver value-producing opportunities, actionable insights, create superior customer experiences, and perfectly optimised operations. This is no longer a luxury but a valuable asset in a highly competitive, digital world facing unprecedented business conditions. Once knowledge is digitalised, it can easily be structured to work for the company.
Structured knowledge provides an opportunity to slice and dice information and identify opportunities for improvement, leading to innovative analytics driven transformation solutions.
As more and more businesses go digital due to remote working, automating information management through technology is even more vital for success. Omni-channel knowledge management provides better collaboration and exchange of knowledge in a far more efficient manner in comparison to manual interventions.
Digitisation also enables robust decision making. When individuals have sufficient, well-planned data they are able to make informed decisions. The sounder the decisions, the better the chances of achieving the organisational goals in the long run, leading to better profitability.
Knowledge must be managed digitally in totality to derive the maximum gains. Capturing everything in a digital format - from skills, task, process, methodology, approach - encourages easier access and consumption. It further helps organisations to learn from past mistakes and successes. True digitalised knowledge enables a continuously improving and forward-moving organisation by stopping obsolete knowledge creeping back into the system. Inbuilt access control helps organisations protect knowledge and competencies from being lost or copied. Knowledge management continuously pushes individuals to stimulate innovation and drive cultural changes to evolve and meet the changing business demands.
Effective digitalised knowledge management binds a business and orients it towards success. By removing information silos, employees can truly understand the business and identify its growth potential. Now more than ever, digital strategy is important. The key to true transformation and ultimate success is how accessible knowledge is, which will determine if a business will survive and flourish.
By ThangaPrakash Kanagaraj, Associate Vice President, Business Platforms, Wipro