How the benefits of knowledge management software can transform your business

Does your organization give knowledge management the attention it deserves? 

Within companies, different types of knowledge are scattered everywhere, from internal email and instant-chat threads to content management systems that house presentation decks, sales contracts, self-service FAQs written by the help desk support team, employee onboarding material, customer-support data, and more. And there’s also plenty of firsthand know-how stashed away in employees’ brains — information that would ideally be available through a knowledge management system to those who most need it. 

Small businesses and large organizations alike can benefit from putting user-friendly knowledge management practices in place. Knowledge management software ensures that informational assets are readily available to help those in your enterprise do their jobs and achieve their goals at work. Knowledge base software plays a critical role in that it lets employees share information across your business. In essence, knowledge management software sets up and streamlines your organization to convert knowledge into value. And that, in turn, can turn your company into an agile, thriving life force that has a distinct competitive advantage.

What is a knowledge management system?

The term “knowledge management” sounds self-explanatory, but let’s just review this concept as defined by business guru Gartner to make sure we’re all on the same blog-post page:

Knowledge management (KM) is “a business process that formalizes the management and use of an enterprise’s intellectual assets. KM promotes a collaborative and integrative approach to the creation, capture, organization, access, and use of information assets, including the tacit, uncaptured knowledge of people.”

So don’t most companies have good knowledge management practices? After all, it seems like a pretty fundamental way to succeed in business.

Um, that would be a gigantic no. If statistics are to be believed, in most organizations, knowledge management functionality is vastly underappreciated, if never even considered. It’s often only when something goes drastically wrong in an organization, such as when key data ends up lost in a former colleague’s email client, that management might think about the importance of protecting the company knowledge and subsequently embrace consideration of a knowledge management system. 

The timing with something like that may be too late or better late than never, but to truly maximize the value of knowledge management, it helps to cement it as a central part of how your business runs, making it the foundation on which your cloud IT setup can grow. When you get it right, you’re going to get a lot of other things right, too, like employee access to badly needed information in less time on the intranet, better worker collaboration, comprehensive, up-to-date training material, and an improved customer experience, to name a few areas where improvements are possible.

How much could good KM help your business?

To assess the current state of your knowledge management capabilities, here are some great questions:

  • When experienced employees leave your company, does their wealth of knowledge simply move away with them, never to be seen again, or is there some sort of formal or informal knowledge transfer? 
  • Are your employees able to easily share knowledge within their workflows? 
  • Is knowledge sharing actively encouraged by management? 
  • Are there documented knowledge-sharing processes in place? 
  • Do employees feel like they can readily access your corporate “hive mind” if they need to? 
  • If documents or other assets are required for handling governance issues, are these easily accessible by the people who need them?
  • Are information-access permissions clearly designated for different corporate groups so that people can access the right levels of data?

If your answers to these thought provokers indicate that things aren’t admittedly quite hunky-dory in the knowledge management department, that’s OK. If your business is sorely missing out on the benefits of knowledge management for whatever reason, the good news is that you can still rectify that situation with any number of available options. 

And now for the benefits that you could conceivably unlock with the right knowledge management solution:

The knowledge management benefits that could transform your business

The prospective scope and scale of knowledge management benefits are vast, however, many businesses are not unlocking that full potential. The Deloitte 2021 Global Human Capital Trends survey found that 55% of respondents think knowledge management is only as extensive as “simple documenting and disseminating of knowledge.” And only 36% see knowledge management as a way to drive value.

Let’s correct that misconception right now. And to back it up, here’s a list of the key benefits of putting a great KM system in place for your business. 

With knowledge management software, you can:

Authentically own and protect your valuable knowledge

If you want to become or remain competitive, company knowledge is a form of power that you simply cannot afford to lose. Ease of use and quick access to knowledge are essential, whether for the purpose of boosting productivity, improving teamwork, or satisfactorily meeting governance and compliance requirements.

Whether and how you make use of your informational assets may be a key competitive differentiator for your employees or customers (or both). With knowledge management software, you can choose to actively take ownership of and protect your private knowledge base data, which you can then harness in ways that make sense in order to advance your business objectives.

Standardize the information-access process

There are significant benefits to standardizing the processes around storing, sharing, and retention of company knowledge. Figuratively, it puts everyone “on the same page” and facilitates efficiency. When all your data is accessible in a single system, you no longer have to deal with a subset of people needing to get data out of antiquated information silos; your information access is completely consolidated, streamlined, and simpler. 

Drive innovation to stay ahead of the pack

 In a fast-changing business environment, you need to outthink your competition, which may require spontaneous or planned problem-solving and innovation. Being able to innovate depends on having the right information at execs’ fingertips, organized in a way that lets them share it and then make better decisions. When you have a first-rate document management structure in place, you have a better chance of being able to take the innovative steps needed to move you in the right direction, such as toward enhancing your customer satisfaction.

Free up your people to work remotely

Where is your workspace this week? What about those of your team members? 

Chances are that at least some of you are dialing in from home or another remote location. And with good knowledge management software on board, you can, because you don’t have to trudge into the office to get your hands on the docs or data you need to get your job done.

Knowledge management software means that if any of your people work remotely either part time or all the time, your business isn’t going to be compromised one bit. 

Setting up the channels and processes for easy access, retention, and sharing of corporate data gives everyone the information access they need regardless of the spot where they’re actively engaged in helping you succeed. And not only does effective knowledge management allow your employees to implement strong project management and connect with each other despite their locations, it boosts the quality of interaction on team collaboration tools such as Slack messaging, and thereby enhances employees’ well-being and long-term satisfaction related to their ability to work remotely. So in essence, good knowledge management translates into employee retention.

Improve team decision making

It’s easier to make the right decision when you have easy access to all relevant information through the right knowledge management tools. Intuitive decision making improves when employees can dive deep into the full data, as well as mine their colleagues’ experiences and opinions. Knowledge management software makes that part relatively easy.

Encourage never-ending employee learning

Need your people to stay current with everything that’s crucial to success in your industry? In a world where technological innovation is challenging the status quo and driving disruption across industries, it pays off to build your operational structure around training and the sharing of knowledge base articles. Knowledge management software can play a key role in helping you optimize in this area and foster a corporate culture of continuous learning. 

Improve worker productivity

Enabling people to find relevant information quickly can help reduce the amount of time they need to devote to rote and repetitive tasks. The result: streamlined processes and reduced expenses. With access to the knowledge, experience, and previously completed work of colleagues, employees don’t need to spin their wheels by starting projects from scratch, and projects can run more smoothly. It doesn’t take long for these key features to make an impact on your company’s bottom line. 

The best knowledge management software

Ready to start transforming the way your company operates and get positioned for success?

When you join your systems, processes, and people under one internal knowledge base, one informational “roof” — one single source of truth — you check the box for seamless knowledge sharing. 

Algolia is one excellent way to make this happen. Our best-in-class workplace SaaS software lets you protect and manage all your valuable assets related to information. Our flexible site search instantly guides people to the right knowledge across systems and lets you:

  • Index without limits
  • Customize with flexible integrations
  • Connect back-office systems

Our software pricing allows you to pay only for what you use. Contact us now to hear how our knowledge management platform can unlock the full potential of knowledge management benefits for your business!

About the authorCatherine Dee

Catherine Dee

Search and Discovery writer

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