Do you want to know the major knowledge management systems? If YES, here are the two major knowledge management systems with their pros and cons in 2021. Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) is a priceless tool for big and small businesses, external customers, and internal employees.

There are multiple types of Knowledge Management Systems that you can easily leverage on in your organization to boost business knowledge. With a little expertise in knowledge management systems, you can help customers to find answers. A knowledge management system is known to support the functionality of IT systems, organization of documents, while creating a culture of flexibility and collaboration.

It is a combination of the FAQ, tutorials, academies, how-to articles, or forums, and every other fact related to information. Have it in mind that knowledge management programs are an internal resource that scores over a traditional filing system. It organizes a vast amount of document management that ensures easy retrieval, quick updating of a piece of knowledge to hold specific roles, and efficient weeding of redundant data.

Management consultants were the first to preach the importance of acquiring, organizing, and sharing knowledge within a company. As the business world entered the IT era, consultants saw that intranets, databases, and wikis could be used to share information between veterans and newbie, headquarters, and branch offices. The term “knowledge management” was first used in 1987.

Knowledge Management (KM) also plays a very important role in organizing content, and for such cases, content management systems come into action. They are responsible for creating, managing, and distributing the article, specifically in terms of intranet, extranet, or website.

Two Major Types of Knowledge Management Systems

Knowledge Management Systems provides numerous benefits to businesses. But, these systems can provide unique advantages, depending on the type used. They have two major types: the enterprise-wide KMS and the knowledge work KMS.

  1. Enterprise-Wide Systems

An enterprise-wide system is a general-purpose system that collects, stores, distributes, and uses the digitized information and its related knowledge of the organization.

Enterprise-wide KMS provides the key benefit of streamlining work and maintaining organizational productivity. A key advantage of this system is that it allows the organization to focus on the processes rather than on data alone.

In return, this system helps increase efficiency at the organizational level. Furthermore, it helps businesses reduce various production costs. Portals, Search Engines, Collaboration tools, and Learning Management System (LMS) are the major examples of technologies that maintain management systems.

Such systems offer online directories, tools, and other implementation details to locate firms and knowledge workers with specialized professionals’ essential sources.

Pros

Improved Record Keeping and Compliance: Using enterprise systems can benefit your company when it comes to record keeping and compliance. Due to built-in security systems, the data you collect in enterprise systems is less at a risk for loss or theft, although the risk is not zero. In addition, that data is of use when you need proof of your business’s performance for some regulatory body.

Better Productivity and Flexibility: One of the primary benefits of an enterprise system is that it makes the jobs of managers and employees easier. These systems automate repetitive business processes so that your staffs are more productive.

At the same time, these systems help organize key information in a place for easy access regardless of location. That means your employees will all have access to the data necessary to do their jobs even if they work from home or do field work.

Easier Business Planning: Another benefit of enterprising systems is that they make it easier to make business plans and track how your company is reaching its goals.

Whether you want to check how production is going, monitor your business expenses or see customer satisfaction results, it’s quite as easy as taking a look at an online dashboard that groups this information into easy-to-read charts and tables.

These systems also have alert capabilities that can inform you when potential problems occur, such as a spike in product defects or a low inventory.

Cons

Data Loss and Downtime Risk: Although enterprise systems come with security and accessibility benefits, there is a disadvantage when you depend on a single system for your business’ most important processes. If someone from inside or outside the company hacks your system, you risk that person getting confidential data.

In addition, if something in the system fails, your company may experience downtime that leaves workers unable to do their jobs and customers without their needs met. You could even lose key information if backups aren’t regularly performed

Cost of investment: Note that this will ultimately depend on the number of users, level of customization, license type (perpetual or subscription), and desired application modules. Depending on the system you choose, you may pay yearly subscription fees and maintenance costs that go beyond the initial license fee, and you might have to buy new hardware as well.

However, cloud-based enterprise systems are more affordable initially. For instance, Software Advice listed an estimated budget of $87,209 for a cloud-based enterprise system for 21 to 50 users versus $205,533 for a perpetual license.

Additional Work for Implementation: One notable challenge is the additional work you’ll have to do to get the system ready for optimal use in your company. You will more or less need to customize the modules for what you need to do in your business, train your employees on how to use the systems, and possibly move data from an existing system.

Also, you’ll have to convince your employees and managers to actually want to use the system. All of these require time that you’ll have to take away from other business tasks. This can be a challenge if you’re already struggling with other demands.

  1. Knowledge Work System

The other type of KMS is the knowledge work system, which provides business-wide knowledge management that focuses on different systems. This subset of systems may include (but are not limited to) the following: knowledge graph, knowledge database, and knowledge repository. Knowledge Work System is a part of a specialized management system designed for engineers, scientists, and other knowledgeable individuals.

Note that such effective knowledge management systems contain an online directory to search for the company’s knowledge of management professionals that help the people and corporate workers with their required information.

With the aid of the standardized expert systems, this knowledge management system benefits employees in finding accurate information from the available knowledge database using best practices methods for future purposes.

Pros

  • Better communication.
  • It’s easier to find, use and reuse relevant information.
  • Better knowledge can help you recognize market trends and spot problems.
  • You get the maximum use out of your team’s existing skills and expertise.
  • By having more knowledge and experience available, you can make better decisions.
  • Improved agility as you have the information to make faster decisions.
  • With best practices and lessons learned organized in the system, you can solve problems more quickly.
  • The resources in your knowledge work system can support your employees’ growth and development.
  • Specialists can share their expertise with multiple employees with one entry in a wiki.

Cons

  • You are expected to motivate your team to share their knowledge, and to use the information you have made available.
  • You and your people have to get and record business knowledge efficiently.
  • You have to decide and implement a system that works with your company’s existing processes and fits with your business strategy.
  • The knowledge work system is a continuous process. It is not enough for experts to enter their information – they have to go back and update it regularly as things change.

Conclusion

The best knowledge management system is that which suits your business needs, follows the best practices and norms, is a strategic asset in today’s information economy, possesses lower response time, lower costs, and competitive advantage.

Choosing the appropriate option from various types of knowledge management systems may differ depending on the business value and goals.

Ajaero Tony Martins