03 May 2016 19:23 IST

Digital advancement can boost knowledge management

The possibility of integration of knowledge with newer, smarter technologies is vast

Imagine this: you leave for your office in your new car on a Monday morning. Your car senses your enthusiastic mood through the smart seat and steering wheel grip. The car automatically adjusts car features to suit your mood — the driving mode is selected as sporty, the music system creates a playlist based on your historic selection pattern, and the climate control gets the temperature just right.

As you reach your office, you receive a notification on your smartwatch, “Your tasks on business development”.

You open your phone to find five e-mails for each of the tasks for today. You open the mail on “New business lead conversions” and it contains a dashboard showing you real-time lead conversion rates for different regions. The system has already identified the areas with poor progress and sent reminder mails to relevant people with a review call scheduled in the afternoon.

Doesn’t it sound out of the world?

Well, this could well be something which we will experience in the near future.

The digital landscape has changed dramatically in the past three-four years. Artificial Intelligence, smart collaboration tools, intuitive user interfaces and increased accessibility have introduced advanced digital technologies in our day-to-day life. Cognitive technologies and analytics are witnessing an exponential increase.

With these technologies, traditional management of knowledge is transforming into a capability which forms an integral part of business decisions. Today, organisations use knowledge across the value-chain to provide differentiated and customised experiences to customers and employees.

The question that all business leaders must ask themselves is: how can organisations gain a competitive edge by leveraging knowledge through digital technologies?

Organisations need to couple knowledge management with advanced digital technologies in order to get a multiplier impact on business benefits. They need to start considering knowledge management as a business-centric tool rather than an internal document-centric process. Knowledge management should be leveraged for borderless collaboration with a larger eco-system which includes customers, vendors, employees and thought leaders.

Using knowledge management as the core over which layers of digital capablities drive business results, organisations can enable intrinsic and explicit ‘knowledge’ to get a ‘brain’ of digital technologies.

Knowledge management coupled with analytics

With knowledge management at its core, analytics engines can automatically source and structure information from multiple sources like knowledge management systems, internal databases and external sources to derive actionable business insights. Further historical analytics can help predict future trends and consequences of decisions taken.

Knowledge management coupled with social media and big data

Organisations can combine the core of knowledge management with social media and integrated big data technology. ‘Social listening’ tools can help organisations track consumer activities on social media to analyse user sentiment and needs. These insights when coupled with insights from internal archives can help determine actions the organisation needs to take.

Knowledge management coupled with the Internet of Things (IoT)

Organisations can also combine knowledge management with IoT technology. Information from machine-to-machine interaction can be from within or outside the organisation, depending on the extent of integration across the value chain. This will allow organisations to build strategic alliances and drive business model innovation.

Knowledge is growing exponentially across multiple dimensions and companies must be ready to leverage the same. The possibility of integration of knowledge with newer, smarter technologies is vast and the right application will be critical in order to flourish in tomorrow’s world, which will be more digital than ever before.

(Jayesh Pandey is a Managing Director and Shuchi Mehta a Senior Manager, with the India Talent and Organization practice in Accenture Strategy.)

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