Tuesday 11 June 2019

Why buying more technology will not solve your KM issues

Technology is not the main issue in Knowledge Management today, according to available data.

Results from the free Knoco online survey
Here in Knoco we have been taking the pulse of Knowledge Management for many years, through a number of mechanisms, one of which is a free online survey, available here. To date (June 2019) nearly 500 people have taken this survey, which shows that Technology is being the strongest and most mature of all the enabling factors of KM, as shown in the graph attached.

The survey consists of ten "maturity" factors, self-scored by the respondent. It is a "quick and dirty" approach to giving a first pass view of  where you are in terms of KM, and where your relative strengths and weaknesses are.

So what are the conclusions for you, the knowledge manager?
  • Firstly, that most companies have much of the technology they need already. Technology as a factor scores more highly than any other.  If you are looking to improve your Knowledge Management results, then just buying more technology is probably not going to help.
  • Secondly, most companies need to focus on Governance. This is the weakest area and therefore the area that generally needs most attention and which will deliver the best return on effort.
  • Thirdly, many organisations need to focus on aligning KM with the needs of the business. This is the second weakest area.  5 years ago it was the third weakest, but it seems to have gotten worse over the years. 
  • Finally most companies need to focus on KM roles. This is the third weakest element and also generally needs serious attention.
If you want to make the next step forwards on your Knowledge Management journey, then the survey results show that in most cases you would be better to work on Governance, Business alignment, and Roles than on acquiring more Technology.

Buying more technology without addressing these three areas will be money down the drain. 

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