Which KM technological system should I purchase for my organization?

This question is common among many clients, both newcomers to the field making their first steps in their organization's Knowledge Management and veteran clients considering whether to replace their organization's current KM system for various reasons. The question is also common among clients that heard of upgraded KM software tools, others have purchased, and wish to acquire these features as well, or clients which are dissatisfied with their current system and seek a new solution. Sometimes it is just a matter of timing: it is time to update, replace or refresh the old system.
When clients ask this question they look to me since as a consultant I had an opportunity working with various systems. They ask for my opinion: Oracle, KMS LightHouse, Jive, Kana, or SharePoint? Which system serves their organization's needs best? Should they go with Omer, Documentum or another system? The market is abundant with systems, platforms, tools, software and apps specializing in Knowledge Management and document management and the list will probably only grow longer in recent years. These systems mostly feature similar properties and abilities for the organizations KM needs.
Before reviewing this question let's consider another. Perhaps we should inquire: what should we examine when we debate whether to purchase a Knowledge Management system. The answer is that we must consider the following criteria:
• Charting and defining the organizational need for a Knowledge Management system: target audience and business needs
• Organization size and apt infrastructure: servers, positions
• Operational characteristics of the organization: languages, authorizations, centralization/decentralization, etc.
• Organizational culture: hierarchical structure, work processes, procedures
• organizational budget; cost of the recommended systems (both annual and one-time)
• Unique characteristics of the offered systems: based on benchmarks between systems and client stories
Note: these criteria are general. Some additional criteria may exist in specific organizations.

In spite of this important list, there is one more thing that should be considered, maybe as important as the entire list together: What is the ability of the organization and its management to commit to a long term project- to manage the change, invest effort, time and money in setting up, applying and managing a new organizational KM system, and implementing it and embedding it into the organizations current work methods.

My personal experience shows that the success of a project of this sort does not depend on a specific system rather mostly on the implementation work plan and the manner in which the organizational change is conducted.
I'll end off with this: if you need a consultant to guide you through the process, you are more than welcome to contact my friends at ROM and myself. We would be glad to be your partners and assist you along the way.
I wish you luck!

 

 
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