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Knowledge Management in Cloud Technology – Part 2

1 March 2012
Michal Tzadka
A person drawing a cloud computing diagram

In the past, I wrote an article about business intelligence in cloud technology. The following questions are raised:

  1. Can a knowledge management solution in cloud technology provide a solution for organizational management?

  2. What is the advantage of a knowledge management solution in cloud technology over purchasing off-the-shelf knowledge management products?

Despite the growing awareness of the importance of knowledge organization and management within organizations over the past decade, most organizations still lack computerized solutions for management. In many management systems, knowledge is organized in folders, in the worst case, as printed material in folders, and in the better case, in folders/email on a computer. One of the main reasons for this is that acquiring an off-the-shelf knowledge management product in the country is often associated with enormous costs - purchasing servers for knowledge storage, investing in infrastructure and installations, investing in developments to customize the off-the-shelf product, paying high ongoing fees to the supplier, and more.

A knowledge management solution in cloud technology can provide a solution for small-to-medium organizations, with the emphasis being that there is no need for technological requirements or purchasing servers beyond an internet connection. Organizations pay for a service, enjoy storing a large amount of knowledge, and in relevant contexts, they can benefit from developments made by other customers (of course, with consent). Another significant advantage of a cloud technology knowledge management solution over purchasing off-the-shelf products is the ability to use content templates, display templates, and even shared knowledge (as detailed above), thereby saving time and costs in planning and building content during the initial setup of the management system.

Let's take the example of a medium-sized organization with two centers:

A customer service center primarily provides information to existing customers and supports them, and a sales center provides information to potential customers and sells and upgrades offers to existing customers. Currently, the information is organized in computer folders in Word, with updates via email, and some operators use printed material placed at their workstations. Needless to say, there is no consistency in providing information, and the variance in the professionalism of the representatives is high.

A knowledge management solution in cloud technology, in addition to organizing and managing knowledge, providing professional support, and improving customer satisfaction (as is also the case with off-the-shelf products), will also allow sharing similar content and display templates used in the other center, as well as shared content at the click of a button online without the need for a particular installation, waiting for a new version, or additional payment. As knowledge continues to grow in today's world, storing all knowledge in an off-the-shelf product requires the organization to invest in extra storage and infrastructure repeatedly. In contrast, with a knowledge management solution in cloud technology, there is no significance to the computing power required and no need for additional investment.

Let's take another example of an organization with a similar organizational structure and responsibility, such as government authorities. An authority that relies on a cloud-based knowledge management solution can quickly set up a management system by sharing and using templates from another authority that uses the same solution. For example, implementing regulatory regulations in one authority will be similar to implementing in another. The technology allows for content sharing between the authorities (non-competing entities), and information sharing between them can lead to time and money savings.

Since knowledge sharing, using content, and displaying templates are advantages of cloud technology, the company offering the service should examine its experience in designing knowledge management solutions to ensure that they are truly understandable, user-friendly, and practical.

In summary, a knowledge management solution in cloud technology allows small-to-medium organizations that have previously foregone the solution to support achieving their business goals, just as off-the-shelf knowledge management products have assisted large organizations until now. It is reasonable to assume that in the future, we will see more and more small-to-medium organizations benefiting from cloud-based solutions, whether they are knowledge management solutions, business intelligence solutions, or CRM.

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