KM in 2017: forecasts and expectations

KM in 2017: forecasts and expectations

Dr. Moria Levy

It's December again and the seasonal question arises (as it always does): what does the future hold in store? What trends can we expect to encounter in 2017?
In general, trends can be divided to 3 levels/categories:
Trends which have already been (substantially) actualized in past years and will probably remain in focus this coming year; new trends, which we may or may not have been discussed in the past yet we predict they will be relevant for many organizations; trends which are discussed yet will remain in the realm of theory and forecasts.
Specifically referring to 2017, hereby are the central trends:


1. Social:
a trend we've encountered in the last couple of years and will become increasingly dominant in 2017: the ability to converse (especially through instant messaging); group or one on one dialogues; content related to individuals and tracking abilities; sharing; Like, etc. Terminology and abilities which we encounter and consume in our personal life are slowly seeping into our organizational context.

2. UX Focus:
Knowledge Management which provides us not only with content but also presents it esthetically and experientially. Contemporary tools allow us to effortlessly generate flexible, esthetic and fashionable designs. Organizations indeed actualize these abilities and the new portals' design differs from their previous versions. This is an ongoing trend, i.e. not necessarily a new one.

3. Cloud solutions(SAAS):
Another trend we have encountered in the past that is becoming a dominant factor in an increasing number of Knowledge Management solutions. Cloud solutions (also coined as SAAS- software as a service) allow flexibility, mainly through remote access and logging onto additional digital channels. Furthermore, clouds serve as a quantum leap for small organizations or organizations making their first steps in the world of Knowledge Management and can save them the infrastructural investment.

4. Visual:
Based on the general flocking from Facebook to Instagram and successful IPAD apps (Pinterest, Behance) we will probably see more visuals prominently featured in portals and KM solutions. This is a slowly evolving trend which will become visible this coming year

5. Customer oriented KM:
A necessary trend which is unfortunately stagnated and will probably not be prominently featured in 2017. Customer oriented KM is being discussed constantly yet hasn't been substantially implemented. This is probably because speciifc groups in organizations dominate customer relations. This is also the reason for the lack of optimal integration between internal and external content in realms we would expect it to be obvious.
6. Knowledge Management and decision-oriented data management:
Portals and other KM solution which integrate executive reports (BI) together with key documents (KM) targeted towards concrete decision making in executive work processes- this has been a dream discussed for years, and unfortunately it will probably remain merely a dream this year as well. Although we occasionally encounter an example related to this need, strategic KM which supports decision making processes is an unfulfilled promise in organizations.

7. Mobile:
I've saved the best for last. This year is definitely going to be the year of mobile technologies; much more KM apps, mainly as copies of content from computers (especially portals). These coming years we will see independent apps acting as complementary tools towards KM solutions.
That said, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

In conclusion: we have advanced greatly in past years and continue to advance into 2017; we still have some room for improvement which will hopefully be accomplished in coming years.