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Looking to the Future of Knowledge Management: 2020 Insight

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Today, it is understood that more data is streaming into organizations from more sources than ever before. But it is not enough to simply collect and store it. Data must be put into usable forms to be accessible for a variety of purposes. Knowledge management systems help companies accomplish that goal.

Throughout all KM solutions and services, a wave of modern technologies, such as AI, machine learning, natural language processing, and others, are serving to enhance traditional capabilities.

“Many consumers have become well-acquainted with AI-powered assistants such as Alexa, in which information is retrieved and assembled, in near real time, in response to a spoken query—on just about any topic,” observed Joe McKendrick, lead analyst at Unisphere Research,  a division of Informa­tion Today, Inc.

“Welcome to the bold future of enterprise computing. There’s a lot of work to do. It is estimated that today’s information workers may spend up to 2 hours searching and assembling the specific information they need to do a task. AI holds great promise to take on much of the heavy lifting of sifting through corporate information sources, as well as customizing interfaces—and providing end users with the answers they need, almost instantaneously," said McKendrick.

“As the world becomes increasingly complex and the speed of change continues to accelerate, we need AI and automation more than ever,” added Art Murray, CEO of Applied Knowledge Sciences and co-founder of the Enterprise of the Future initiative.  

As we enter a new year—and a new decade—there is an opportunity to reflect on what is happening now and what may lie ahead in the world of knowledge man­agement solutions and services to deliver more timely and targeted insights to users when and where they need it. 

Customer Experience and Service Transformation

Increasingly, customer experience is being recognized as core to a company’s success. With more customer touchpoints than ever, the goal for organizations in the future will be to provide a stellar and consistent experience across all channels.

According to Gladly’s “2019 Customer Expectations Report”,  consumers today expect a smooth expe­rience, whether they’re switching from phone to text or from an in-store experi­ence to a contact center one. Yet, despite this desire for seamlessness, companies are fulfilling these expectations less than one-quarter of the time.

Contact centers in particular must be able to find accurate information quickly and consistently since often they have interactions with customers when there is a problem or when other lines of commu­nication have not succeeded.

The ability to access critical informa­tion is ranked as the greatest challenge to today’s contact centers, according to a recent survey of KMWorld subscribers sponsored by KMS Lighthouse  and conducted by Unisphere Research (“Informed Engagements: 2019- 20 Contact Center Information Flow Sur­vey”). The goal is to put information at employees’ fingertips so they can address customer requests as they come in. At this point, very few executives and manag­ers—barely one in 10—are satisfied with the availability of pertinent information to their customer contact employees, the report states.

As technology redefines customers’ standards, service is becoming a strate­gic asset and, as a result, priorities and budgets are aligning with that view, according to the’ 2019 “State of Service Report” by Salesforce.  The report asserts that the fourth industrial revolution—fueled by modern technologies, such as AI, blockchain, new computational technologies, and virtual reality, among others—is driving service transformation. The study reveals that 82% of decision makers believe that their company’s customer service must trans­form in order to stay competitive.

The study also finds that AI is viewed by decision makers and agents alike as a boon to customer and employee experi­ence, and the use of AI by customer service teams is projected to increase by 143% over the next 18 months. The expanding mobile workforce is driving new revenue streams and brand differentiation, and ini­tiatives to arm mobile workers with the same capabilities as their office-based col­leagues is viewed as key to this change.

The message is clear from the research: Organizations must increasingly work across all their customer interaction chan­nels to ensure a smooth and consistent experience, with correct information readily available, to ensure success in 2020, and the coming decade.

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