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Trends and innovation in Knowledge Management in 2016

1 January 2016
Elad Piran

[This article is based on my lecture "trends and innovation in KM in 2016", delivered at the 2015 KMDM Convention which took place on 11.16.15 on behalf of "People and Computers"].


I intend to briefly examine the technological and organizational trends which I predict we will experience in 2016. We shall begin with our starting point.


Starting point

Let's take WhatsApp for example…

Nearly everyone seated here has the WhatsApp application installed on their mobile phone. Most of you are members of numerous WhatsApp groups. We are all members of personal groups, family groups, social groups, workplace, etc.

The new technologies, such as WhatsApp, are attractive, intuitive and easy to operate. The user therefore adapts to them quickly. This type of technology spreads globally in no time. WhatsApp, for example, has expanded greatly and now features a PC version. We rapidly adapt and adopt innovation when it comes from an outer source. Yet, intra-organizational processes are slow. That is our starting point.

In what areas do we predict technological application?

Let's examine the social networks used in organizations: it seems that the future has arrived. Pioneering organizations are already setting up social network applications for organizational use.

Yet these are only the "early adaptors". Most organizations nowadays are not even nearly close to thinking in this direction. Even those few aforementioned organizations mentioned above are only making their first steps in this field, with mostly modest advancement. Some of the applications available nowadays are: 


What about our Mobile Phones?

Our mobile phone is our most close and personal tool. We all have one in our pocket! It is therefore a matter of time and data security till all data we require for performing our jobs will be received directly to our palm via mobile phone and will therefore be constantly available. Furthermore, add the abilities social networks enable, and WhatsApp as well- and you have Full Collaboration. Here's a spoiler: During 2016, ROM Knowledgeware will be launching a designated application which will enable organization workers to access procedures from any location.

What else is new in the technological aspect?

The organizational search will play an increasingly dominant role, leading to an increase in its number of users which will in turn obviate other search utilities featured on knowledge websites and networks.

We are living in the age of Google, which means the Google approach will be increasingly implemented in organizations. Therefore, it is natural to assume that organizations will invest many resources in improving and upgrading the organizational search. Technology-producers are already investing in this field, e.g. SharePoint 2013.

What is the new Buzz we will be hearing about all year long, which will only later materialize?

It is the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), a term originally used in the field of instruction. The larger the number of participants the virtual world will be able to include, the more the field of instruction will utilize video clips as a main work tool.

These videos will be short, concise and address specific subjects as well as be efficient and instructive and will make up the organizational VOD or YouTube. This is an example of a crossover between the fields of instruction and Knowledge Management, mutually enriching each other.

According to instruction experts- this video library will soon be the main component of organizational instruction. Nevertheless, let's not forget that this initiative is a costly one; the financial aspect of producing many videos will most probably lead to a slower development of this field than the aforementioned enthusiasts predict. It seems that organizations will feature a combination of the MOOC and more traditional tools.

In order for all the above to succeed, we need to remember: Implementation- OUT; Change Management-IN.

Our current approach is not based on the implication of tools and technologies. It is a more holistic, change management-oriented approach (which can include a technology-implicating component). Organizations are increasingly using the term 'Change Management", since they understand that saying that something has changed is just not enough; a change process must occur and this process must be managed as a project in itself in order for this change to succeed.

So, what will be new in 2016? In recent years, we have seen mostly certain academic and theoretical approaches to change management. There is lately a turn towards more practical and organized approaches, a turn which I believe will develop into a full-grown method.

Click here for articles on Change Management from the ROM Knowledgeware website.

 Conclusion: what can we expect from 2016?

We will see the baby steps of these new trends:

  • Social Networks

  • Mobile Applications

  • Search Expansion

  • MOOC

  • Change Management

Knowledge Management requires that we- KM consultants and organizational Knowledge Managers- play a big part in the materialization of these objectives. It all depends on our energy and intellect, in order to encourage the organizations and slowly but surely achieve our shared goals.

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