Data volumes have skyrocketed in recent years. Statista estimates that a mind-boggling 59 sextillion bytes were generated in 2020 alone – more than twice the amount generated in 2017.
What are we, as businesses, doing with the vast quantities of knowledge we now have available to us? In most cases, absolutely nothing. Only half a percent of knowledge collected by organizations ever gets used or analyzed and, of that, less than half plays any part in business decision-making.
More worryingly, the deluge of data we are now facing (the Radicati Group estimates that more than 293 billion emails were sent and received every day in 2019) appears to be making life harder, not easier, for employees. In 2016, 87% of respondents to Cognizant’s Work Ahead survey said that digital technology made them more productive. In 2020, that figure had dropped precipitously to just 46%.
This is hardly surprising. As increasing numbers of digital technologies are deployed – but not integrated – it is getting more and more difficult for employees to know which tool, software or service to use for knowledge searching. This slows down decision-making and leads to organizations becoming less agile and productive, as workers waste hours sifting through documented knowledge and emails, many of which are outdated or irrelevant.
It would be easier, you might think, for employees to seek out colleagues who have the answers they need. But how are they supposed to do that? Collaboration tools are designed to connect team members to people they already work with, not to problem-solvers they aren’t aware of in areas of the business they don’t know. So workers are forced, again, into laborious knowledge searches. And the more internal mobility and remote working there is in your organization, the harder it gets to find people with specialist knowledge, if they can be found at all.
The upshot of all this is that the average knowledge worker now spends an astonishing 36% of their time consolidating and searching for information. That’s more than a third of every working day essentially wasted. Imagine how much better off your organization would be if you could find a way to claw even a small proportion of those hours back. (Actually, you don’t have to imagine. Richard Joyce, a Senior Analyst at Forrester, has already worked out that just a 10% increase in knowledge accessibility will result in more than $65 million additional net income for an average Fortune 1000 company.)
Here’s another way to look at it. Endless knowledge searching is a real problem for your organization. It’s a problem that is costing you time, money and competitive advantage. And it’s a problem that is only going to get bigger as time goes on.
The good news is that it is a problem that can be solved. Not by traditional knowledge management tools, which are slow and inefficient. Nor by collaboration tools, which, as we saw above, struggle to connect people across different teams and silos. What is needed, instead, is a “knowledge collaboration” solution that empowers users to rapidly find the person with the right knowledge and experience to solve the problem, wherever they are in the organization. To be truly effective, your knowledge collaboration tool should adhere to some key basic principles:
- Accessibility – to succeed now and in the future, organizations must have a knowledge collaboration platform that provides workers with reliable access to answers and expertise. The platform needs to be simplified, centralized and virtual, offering a friendly user experience
- Democratization – everyone in your organization should have access to the knowledge collaboration platform. Only then will you be able to unlock the full human potential of your business, connecting employees based on their knowledge no matter what their status, location or role.
- Flexibility – your customers, employees and business partners operate in hybrid or physically remote environments. So should your knowledge collaboration platform. It’s vital that you have a fully flexible model that allows company knowledge to be accessed, delivered and enabled anywhere.
Starmind is a unique knowledge collaboration tool, designed to help organizations overcome the endless search for information. The AI software connects employees with up-to-date answers and people who know — across geographical, hierarchical and cultural boundaries. Reliable and easy to use, it enables employees to access the full knowledge potential of your organization, gaining time, productivity, employee satisfaction and wellbeing.
To learn more about how Starmind gives employees access to knowledge, when they need it most watch this video.