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KM: LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

This article appears in the issue January/February 2019 [Volume 28, Issue 1]
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With information being collected from more sources and in greater volumes than ever before, the challenge of distilling data into actionable information that is available when and where it is needed is growing. At the same time, new technologies continue to expand the value of what’s possible with corporate knowledge, including text analytics, cognitive search, machine learning, natural language processing, mobile email management, and new policy efforts.

The global knowledge management market was valued at around $206 billion in 2016 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 22% between 2017 and 2025, according to a new report from Zion Market Research.

The chief driver behind the growth of the knowledge management market is an increasing focus on customer retention and satisfaction amid rising competition among the global players in the world. To survive in a tough competitive environment, organizations need to concentrate on customer experience and customer satisfaction as a key element of their business strategy. Rather than price, customer churn or satisfaction hinges on the quality of service provided by companies, the report notes, pointing out that satisfied customers contribute 14 times more revenue than dissatisfied customers.

Keeping track with content management

The key to putting the right information at the fingertips of an expanded assortment of users—at all levels—is content management. Content in a variety of forms, including PDFs, Word documents, graphics, videos, and audio files, contains business-critical information, but it is frequently spread across various systems in organizations, making access difficult.

The worldwide enterprise content management market is estimated to exceed $93 billion by 2025, according to a study conducted by Grand View Research, Inc.

In line with the expectation of strong growth for the content management market, budgets for content-related technology are expected to increase over the next 5 years, according to a new survey conducted by Unisphere Research in partnership with Quark Software, Inc.

A majority of companies are planning to bring in content automation solutions—both cloud and on premise —to help manage the growing volumes of content required by customers and employees, stated analyst Joe McKendrick. In addition, he noted, managers do not feel favorably toward ad hoc or manual approaches proliferating across enterprises.

While “customer experience” is critical to content and digital transformation, there is an increasing focus as well on internal content. The ability to serve employees is an important part of content’s role in digital transformation, and many content managers are also committed to delivering their companies’ content online so it is easily available, said McKendrick. A key aspect to anytime, anywhere availability is greater mobile access, which frequently is the preferred choice of internal users as well as customers.

Collaboration is key

Knowledge management tools are critical to the exchange of knowledge among teams. Making information available to a wide variety of participants and stakeholders can help align goals and support a unified approach for enabling business initiatives.

Underscoring its importance, collaboration—including services such as file sharing, messaging, audio and video, enterprise social network, intranet and portal, and project and calendar management—is expected to reach $53.83 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 11.15% during the forecast period 2018–2023, according to a Research and Markets report.

More and more, the research found, organizations have a heightened focus on internal communications to increase their productivity with faster interaction among teams and employees. In addition, the increased use of mobile devices for collaboration and rapid growth of social networking websites, combined with the “bring your own device” trend, is driving the growth of the enterprise collaboration market. Enterprise collaboration tools such as cloud-based software are being adopted by small and medium-sized enterprises.

Moreover, according to research from APQC, the chance of success for KM initiatives improves greatly if the KM team strives to collaborate with strategic partners within an organization. In addition, KM programs have more favorable reviews and fewer problems getting budgets approved when integrated or tightly partnered with learning development groups, IT/information strategies, or quality/process improvement.

The advantage is particularly compelling for KM teams that work closely with the IT department. KM programs with strong IT relationships are 70% more likely to be perceived as effective or very effective by leadership. And, IT-linked KM programs are 40% more likely to expect that their next budget approval will be easy or very easy.

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