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Knowledge Management in the Digital Workplace

Without question, 2020 has come with its share of challenges. But for many organizations, the crisis has been a catalyst for transformation. One of the main challenges businesses faced was the abrupt shift to remote work, a trend that wasn’t expected to become the norm until 20351. The digital workplace now is our reality

Not only has remote work required the adoption of new communication software to keep us connected, but has also presented the challenge of managing knowledge in a digital workplace. 

Now more than ever, effective knowledge management is crucial. So, how is it expected to adapt?

Where We Are: Current Knowledge Management Trends

Remote work has forced businesses to find new ways to support the flow of information across their departments and teams. Many organizations weren’t prepared for the interruption of the typical ways knowledge was shared, such as face-to-face conversations or a casual chat at the watercooler.

Businesses can suffer from knowledge gaps, due to siloed or disparate teams, a lack of centralized knowledge platform and the inability to access and distribute tacit knowledge or identify experts. Gaps in knowledge impact both organizations and their employees leading to lagging productivity, poor employee experience and lack of visibility into where crucial skills lie within an organization.

The business case for effective knowledge sharing was detailed by a recent research report, carried out by Starmind and Unisphere Research. The survey, ‘A Knowledge Streaming Enterprise for Turbulent Times: 2020 KMWorld Digital Transformation Research,’ revealed that friction felt within knowledge management, especially within large enterprises, has only been exacerbated by the shift to a digital workplace.

Of the businesses surveyed, 40% stated that it’s likely they’ll be supporting the majority of their employees in remote work in the aftermath of the pandemic, an increase of 30% since the start of the crisis.

The survey was built from the responses of a mixture of individuals, the majority being knowledge management professionals (43%), followed by IT professionals (23%). The questions examined the impact of COVID-19 on corporate knowledge-sharing within multi-location enterprises (roughly 35% of respondents’ companies employ 10,000 plus) and identified the ongoing challenges of knowledge management.

Consensus from the research underlined that the crisis has been a springboard for change. What’s clear is that businesses no longer have the luxury of time to implement the right solution.

Challenges for Organizational Knowledge Management

While knowledge management was an important topic before the pandemic, most organizations didn’t anticipate the need for knowledge sharing or management to be carried out completely digitally. 

According to the research, 50% of organizations are currently ‘somewhat agile’ when it comes to supporting remote workers. Organizations such as these have some remote employees but have faced challenges adapting to a full-scale remote workforce. 

Leaders surveyed reported that their organizations are facing knowledge management challenges related to:

  • Ensuring employees remain connected. 
  • Providing real-time access to knowledge at scale.
  • Identifying experts for problem resolution and then connecting them across silos.
  • A lack of access to tacit knowledge. 
  • Outdated knowledge sharing methodologies.
  • Having to manually update any knowledge bases.

Even before the shift to remote work, employees lost valuable time searching for reliable information and expertise. In fact, 23% of survey respondents stated that time spent validating information was a barrier to productivity.

With 52% of organizations citing siloed information as a key barrier to remote workforce productivity and 40% experiencing difficulty identifying the right expert for problem-solving, addressing these challenges is more important than ever, as each is pivotal to a business’s continued success. 

The research report states that “More than 40% of respondents indicate they are not satisfied with their current levels of collaboration and information sharing.” clearly highlighting a widely-felt lack of flexibility.

The Need for Flexibility 

Companies that were already utilizing cloud-based technology were at a distinct advantage when workplaces transitioned to working remotely. Despite this, the call for flexibility and integrated technology with cloud capabilities has also included the need for improved knowledge management processes. 

The survey found 33% of respondents stated employees in their organizations struggled to find real-time solutions from the right knowledge experts. While communication platforms that enable video conferencing were relatively easy to implement, flexibility in the form of efficient problem-solving and intelligence sharing was harder to find.

A Solution: Implementing an Intelligence and Skills Management Platform

The research has highlighted that organizations don’t have a system for managing the intangible assets of human knowledge, intelligence and skills. Traditional systems that have been used to document knowledge are static, manually-updated and not scalable.  

53% of those interviewed stated collaborative software for knowledge sharing was the most helpful solution within a potentially turbulent economy. As a result, knowledge management processes need to be designed to support remote workers more efficiently.

Implementing the powerful capabilities driven by a digital intelligence and skills management platform can mitigate these challenges. To find a solution, organizations are looking for the right knowledge-sharing platform.  

Starmind’s platform helps companies to capitalize on knowledge sharing, providing real-time access to 80% of that undocumented human knowledge that goes untapped. On demand-access to crowdsourced intelligence increases efficiency and productivity by providing employees with quick access to the information or expertise they need.

Starmind uses human-centric AI to create skill maps, which help pinpoint where strong organizational intelligence lies and where room for improvement and development can be found. 

Starmind’s skills intelligence platform brings human capabilities to the forefront to the benefit of both employees and organizations. Providing real-time access to the intangible assets of human knowledge, delivered through a cloud platform that requires no manual updating. It also creates individual and company-wide skill profiles, which are updated in real-time and are fully GDPR compliant. 

Access to the most valuable intangible asset within a business, employee knowledge, is the solution to solving knowledge gaps widened by digital work—it’s the competitive differentiator that will help businesses thrive through this crisis and beyond.

Building a Knowledge-Streaming Enterprise for Turbulent Times

Download the full research report to learn more about the comprehensive business case for transforming your knowledge management processes.

With the latest statistics sourced straight from industry professionals, the survey describes the current business needs towards both digital transformation and remote working. You’ll discover why knowledge management software is the right choice for expanding businesses, ensuring the right knowledge and skill-sharing conditions for a successful future.

To download the full research report, click the button below.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT1. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/318666

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