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Future of Knowledge Management

In today’s business trends, knowledge management has already plumbed the depths of disillusionment. However as it moves towards maturity as a business discipline, it is spawning successors that offer more direct business traction. The basic purpose of knowledge management is to enable an organization to leverage the knowledge and in turn improve productivity. The hype that surrounds the concept of knowledge management has made it even more difficult to manage and deploy to attain better business results. Managers of today need more focused view on these issues, so that they take the right action.

The rapid evolution of intensely connected global economy has resulted in the development of knowledge capabilities. This is very crucial for the growth of any business activity. The pioneers of knowledge management have developed valuable tools and approaches which are now being applied to a wide range of emerging business disciplines. There are five key frames that are emerging as the successors to knowledge management, for leveraging knowledge in organizations. They include social networks, collaboration, relevance, workflow, and knowledge-based relationships.

Traditional organizational charts and business process maps does not provide a clear picture about the way in which work is actually performed in an organization. The reality is that, work and knowledge flow in often highly informal patterns, based on who the people actually communicate with in doing their work. Leading companies around the world have started to apply the analysis of social network to gain insights into the invisible organization. In addition, the companies also apply this social network analysis to design interventions that enhance the productivity and effectiveness of knowledge work.

In an economy based on highly specialized knowledge, collaboration is essential. Many of the approaches such as, communities of practice pioneered in knowledge management are extremely relevant and useful. However, focus on fostering collaboration between individuals, teams, divisions, and organizations is the most critical. Nowadays, collaboration tools such as video conferencing and web conferencing are being widely used. Now companies are working as a top priority on developing the skills and culture that enable high-value collaboration. However, implementing a whole new set of business processes is also required to unlock the full potential of collaboration.

In today's world of massive information overload, we want to see only information that is highly relevant to our work and interests. Among the many evolving technologies that support this, there are two key practices that will be central to enhancing information relevance. Implicit profiling works from what we are searching for and looking at, when, and for how long, to improve over time at understanding what we find useful. Collaborative filtering allows us to draw on the insights and discoveries of people having similar profiles and interests. The future lies in finding relevance for individuals from the vast amounts of information.

Knowledge work literally flows through an organization. The Future of knowledge management would be that of companies shifting their business processes to platforms that enable smooth and efficient workflow. This shift will enable you to reconfigure the way in which work is done as your wish and even allow clients and suppliers to participate in your processes which create a powerful lock-in. The emerging discipline of workflow learning integrates access to every type of learning, whether it is information, e-learning modules, or human experts into the everyday flow of work. This ensures that the information is available as and when they are needed.

In the present global hyper connected economy, the drive to commoditisation is relentless. This means that an increasing proportion of business value resides in trusting knowledge-based relationships that allow companies to create value with clients, suppliers, and alliance partners. Organizations have started realizing that outsourcing and off shoring will work only if there are effective flow of knowledge between companies. Professional firms are finding that clients are increasingly demanding knowledge transfer. In addition, the professional firms are finding that engaging in knowledge-based relationships increases customer loyalty and profitability. Therefore relationships are the future of society and business.

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