Technology and KM

Technology and KM

KM vendors are in agreement that the roadblocks on the path to knowledge have changed little in the last 12 months.

Darren Adams, MD with PC DOCS Group in Australia, said there isn't any one particular reason why the roadblocks have changed little but rather a plethora of reasons.

He said that firstly, there is a general misconception among company management that technology can be used as a panacea for KM.

"This is a fallacy, and what tends to happen is that the technology works, but the culture and people do not," he added.

"To be clear, from a technology perspective, KM is not about groupware, workflow, document management, imaging, record management, intranets, searching and retrieval, smart agents, artificial intelligence, etc. It is about the combination of all of these things working seamlessly together."

He said companies must then spend 80 per cent of their efforts in implementation, training, and constant evolution of the system itself.

Alex Paris from Insight Technologies said it has taken the last 12 months to convince people that using technology as part of a KM solution is not simply the re-badging of document management, records management or BI tools.

He said the hype surrounding KM and enterprise portal technology has meant that traditional document management vendors, for example, have jumped on the KM marketing bandwagon and subsequently have created a lot of skepticism in the marketplace.

He said the major roadblock to KM, however, is due to the ongoing cultural battles that ensue in changing organisations from essentially hierarchical and political structures to knowledge-centric organisations.

Mr Adams said other roadblocks include IT departments running the project without significant input from general business divisions, and finally, commitment from the management.

"CEO's know that the marketplace of the future will be knowledge based. The problem is they are unsure how to take advantage of this, and continue to wait for others to make the giant leaps necessary to get moving. People are scared of making mistakes and wasting money."