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Knowledge Management

Essay by   •  December 26, 2010  •  1,620 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,736 Views

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KnowledgeKnow Management and the Need for Intranet systems

Knowledge management (KM) refers to a range of practices used by organizations to identify, create, represent, and distribute knowledge for reuse and learning across the organization. Knowledge management applications/ knowledge management tools are used to tie organizational objectives to the achievement of specific business outcomes such as improved performance, competitive advantage, and higher levels of innovation. The managing of knowledge through systematic sharing is assuming a larger role in organizations around the world.

Sharing knowledge: The idea that knowledge should be shared is obviously not new. The pursuit of any significant human activity, including economic development, typically leads to the acquisition by those involved of know-how and expertise as to how the activity may be successfully conducted. Insofar as what is learned in the process can be captured, and communicated and shared with others, it can enable subsequent practitioners -- or even generations -- to build on earlier experience and obviate the need of costly rework or of learning by making the same repetitive mistakes. Even in highly sophisticated modern knowledge organizations, the most valuable knowledge -- the know-how in terms of what really gets results and what mistakes to avoid often resides mainly in people's minds. Interactive knowledge-sharing mechanisms have always been used -- from village square debates, and town meetings, to conclaves, professional consultations, meetings, workshops, and conferences -- all functioning to enable individuals to share what they know with others in the relevant area of knowledge. Today, a range of technologies from computers to video-conferencing for distance learning offers unprecedented opportunities to disseminate know-how and insights rapidly and cheaply to a worldwide audience.

Explicating knowledge: The reach of know-how and experience possessed by individuals can be greatly extended once it is captured and explicated so that others can easily find it and understand and use it. In corporations, reports of activities, minutes of meetings, memoranda, proceedings of conferences, and document filing systems maintained by organizations are traditional commonly-used devices for recording content in paper format so that it can be transferred to others. More recently, electronic databases, audio and video recordings, interactive tools and multimedia presentations have become available to extend the techniques for capturing and disseminating content. Nevertheless, even with modern tools, the process of knowledge transfer is inherently difficult, since those who have knowledge may not be conscious of what they know or how significant it is. Thus know-how tends to stay in people's heads.

The reach of the new technology for knowledge sharing: Many factors have transformed the way in which organizations now view knowledge, but perhaps the pivotal development has been the dramatically extended reach of know-how through new information technology. Rapidly falling costs of communications and computing and the extraordinary growth and accessibility of the World Wide Web has presented new opportunities for knowledge-based organizations, to share knowledge more widely and cheaply than ever before. Thus organizations with operations and employees around the world are now able to mobilize their expertise from whatever origin to apply rapidly to new situations. As a result, clients are coming to expect from global organizations, not merely the know-how of the particular team that has been assigned to the task, but the very best that the organization as a whole has to offer. Knowledge sharing is thus enabling and forcing institutions that are international in the scope of their operations, to become truly global in character by enabling knowledge transfer to occur across large distances within a very short time.

Now the merging of the aforementioned communication devices and technology and the worldwide web and its associated software and hardware has brought about the birth of Enterprise Information Portals and the Intranet. Some of the most common reasons that makes having a knowledge management solution imperative are:

в?' Volumes of unorganized unsearchable knowledge.

в?' Knowledge transfer is time consuming.

в?' Email overload due to knowledge transfer by email,

в?' Secure sharing of sensitive knowledge among limited people

в?' Loss of knowledge when people leave or hardware devices fail.

в?' Ongoing security and backup of knowledge.

Having a robust intranet infrastructure can help alleviate the enterprise problems listed above. In an organizational context, data represents facts or values of results, and relations between data and other relations have the capacity to represent information. Patterns of relations of data and information and other patterns have the capacity to represent knowledge. The role of an intranet system to an organization is to convert tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge . The main hurdle affecting all applications of ICT to knowledge management is coping with the fundamental difference between explicit and tacit knowledge. Whereas explicit knowledge is that which can be codified into documents, databases and other tangible forms, tacit knowledge is that in the heads of individuals . An intranet system that fosters communication between workers in a company plays a role in codifying tacit knowledge and transferring it as explicit knowledge through the same intranet system.

Enterprise information portals, that also form the basis of an intranet, is a private computer network that enables an organization to securely share it's information or operations with it's members. An Intranet enables the efficient use and more importantly reuse of an organization's gathered business knowledge and intelligence, which increases productivity and knowledge transfer in any organization. Increasingly, extranets are also coming into use, where external partners can also interact with an organization. Intranet services enable teams, companies or communities to create, manage, organize, store, version, search through, collaborate & share, publish and broadcast any kind of information or data. Intranet systems tend to have the following functionality detailed below:

в?' Hosted Large Storage:

в?' Content with quick formatting and image uploading:

в?' Central storage repository

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