• Choosing the Right Content and Knowledge Management Tools

Choosing the Right Content and Knowledge Management Tools

Effective content and knowledge management is a combination of theory, practice, and technology. You should not focus too much on the technology part without considering other parts.
However, effective technology deployment are essential to content and knowledge management success. The challenge is that there is no such thing as "content and knowledge management tools" marketplace. Depending on the application, content and knowledge management can include different types of technology, comprising many diverse market segments.
Today, content and knowledge management practitioners need to follow technology developments.
For many years, the main platforms for content and knowledge management revolved around searchable knowledgebases and discussion forums. Enterprise portals emerged to try to present enterprise information via a single dashboard. That didn't usually work out so well, although portal technology still plays a key role for many use cases today.
Similarly, enterprise search held and important part in the enterprise content management where the right information easily retrievable from multiple repositories through the single interface. Search technology still plays a critical role in many cases.
Now content management practitioners have to take into account a wide range of repositories and applications, from enterprise video to social media monitoring and intelligence. The diversity of content management technology is growing and proliferates.
Of course, knowledgebases still remain important, but the way we build and manage them has changed dramatically:
  • Wikis now power some of the most definitive knowledgebases within and beyond the enterprise.
  • Sophisticated social Q&A applications are generating impressive, demand-driven knowledge sets in many environments.
  • Digital community spaces are not new, but richer community platforms with increasingly important facilitation features have made them far more accessible in the enterprise.
  • Ideation (a.k.a., open innovation) applications are also coming of age, amid much healthy experimentation.
For content management practitioners, this means mastering a new set of technologies to address old problems. But the opposit is also true: some older technologies are finding new use within the enterprise.
Digital asset management and media asset management platforms are not new. What changed is their increasing adoption within broader enterprise contexts. More and more of our digital knowledge is not textual any more.
Much of our textual knowledge that does remain still resides in files waiting to get more liberated. Hence the meteoric rise of file sharing services, most of them based in the cloud, and many of them now targeting enterprise scenarios.
The rise of social media monitoring and intelligence has given new life to the field of text analytics, even while exposing the limitations of individual analytics engines.
Not every organization needs all those types of tools. But the savvy content management practitioners can help guide his or her colleagues to the appropriate technology for their organization.
Very often over the past decade, when content management practitioners began new projects, the preferred solution was Microsoft SharePoint - a platform that seemingly can do it all. You need to remember to not to focus too much on any one platform but base decisions on your organization business requirements.
For most organizations, initial investments in social computing have centered on creating social spaces where employees could go to engage in more informal discussions and networking. The actual results have often proved uneven, yet promising enough to sustain further investment and experimentation within most enterprises.
Social features are important to effective enterprise collaboration. More social and collaborative digital workplace experience has become increasingly essential for all enterprise computing. Your colleagues really want a social layer across their digital experience. But it could be the opposite as well. Again, remember your business requirements.
Many of new tools come with their own repositories and, left alone, will lead to more information silos reducing their long-term value. Many vendors argue that search technologies will solve that problem. You need to focus on things like filtering services for activity streams and appropriate levels of information management.
You will also add value by demonstrating that collaboration and knowledge sharing are not places people go, but things they do.
With the rise of mobile, that kind of contextual relevancy has become more urgent. But it is going to require an understanding of a wider choice of technology choices.
Content management practitioners are uniquely positioned to help the organization to put new tools in the context of daily work. Understand the suitability of the right tool for the right job. Advocate for a scenario-based approach to all technology selections. The right tool is not sufficient for content and knowledge management success, but it is an increasingly important condition.
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