Knowledge Management in the Cloud: Is 2017 Your Year?

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Experienced business leaders are constantly looking for ways to improve and make the most of their resources.  Whether driven by a need to cut costs, or by the pursuit of a competitive advantage, cloud adoption supports many organizational goals, while allowing a business to develop new strategies and invest in its digital transformation.

Moving content and its management to the cloud drive great benefits in terms of reducing IT storage costs and support requirements while providing substantial flexibility and scalability. However, these tangible savings and productivity benefits often introduce risks in terms of compliance, data privacy, and information security.

Is a happy union of knowledge management and the cloud possible?

Yes. The key to success in cloud-based knowledge management is a management commitment to a knowledge program, behavior change from management through knowledge workers, information governance and a solid approach to and set of enabling technologies.

The intent of a Knowledge Management System (KMS) is typical to help a specific set of people and teams collaborate faster and more effectively and access information for efficiently.  Often, a KMS supports business processes as well.   With a cloud-based knowledge management system and strategy, an organization can respond faster and make more effective decisions because people will have more direct access to the knowledge and tools they need, where and when they need them, with a sustainable strategy in place for managing knowledge in a way that benefits everyone most.

Improving an organization’s capabilities for collaborating and sharing knowledge, both in physical and virtual environments, paves the way for continuous improvements in processes and end products.

Managing cloud-based knowledge management systems with an effective strategy increases an organization’s potential for growth and expansion to new markets.

Growing and expanding an organization requires the ability to quickly learn and adapt, which is much easier with the right knowledge systems in place. A strategy that considers the right combination of methods, policies, principles, processes, strategies, technologies and tools provides the kind of foundation that fosters growth well into the future.

Think in terms of the amount of knowledge that is transmitted to and by the typical manager in a mid-to-large-sized business each and every day. The volume can be overwhelming. Emails, documents, memos, collaborative communications and other forms of information continue streaming in and out at an increasingly rapid rate. The rate of information growth is often so fast, in fact, that managers and senior staff members could never possibly read, retain and keep all the data at their disposal organized.

The cloud is not just about storage, cost savings, mobile access and flexibility.

As cloud applications continue to mature in both feature and security strength, business leaders are becoming more comfortable with making them part of their digital transformation strategy. In fact, mobility, file sync, and share, and integration into varied leading business applications in support of a digital transformation strategy is not only conceivable, all are achievable with cloud-based knowledge management. The cloud represents a unique opportunity to rethink and reconfigure how business processes can evolve.

The cloud is shaking up the world of collaboration, document management, knowledge management, and information architecture.

One tip before moving forward with a cloud implementation: A cloud readiness assessment is critical. Look at your organization’s content, how that content is used, what business processes exist that are aligned with content, and what other applications are used on a day-to-day basis that could be impacted by a move to the cloud. Take a top-down look at your organization. Use the assessment results to develop a strategy, and identify the answers to why you should or should not move to the cloud.

Keep in mind, going to the cloud means changing how you provide or use collaboration, document management, and other services within your organization. If you’re wondering whether migrating to a cloud-based knowledge management environment or other cloud service is right for your organization, it would be wise to get an expert opinion before moving forward.

Jim Kane
Director, Collaboration and Knowledge Management, Paragon Solutions

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