Friday, January 18, 2008

Knowledge Management Strategy - Web 2.0 Prespective

How web 2.0 initiatives has impacted knowledge management strategies of companies? How companies are adopting and adapting to the new KM generation options available out there from the web 2.0 world?

Initially people had rejected Web 2.0 as merely a buzz and marketing jargon. But as the new applications evolved and benefits became apparent, people started adopting web 2.0 seriously. Now CEOs and CIOs are openly advocating using web 2.0 in all spheres of their businesses and seeking new business opportunities, greater collaboration and more knowledge sharing across the enterprise. Though knowledge management talks about both explicit and tacit knowledge, traditional knowledge management was much heavily inclined in the favor of explicit knowledge as opposed the tacit knowledge. Knowledge management experts have always been trying to advocate more balance approach towards knowledge sharing and collaboration and web 2.0 has provided them with tools and technologies to press their need. Knowledge management and web 2.0 are natural partners in the new web paradigm.

Collaboration is key component of knowledge management which involves active participation of employees, partners and customers. Web 2.0 advocates collaboration and communication through giving up central control, collective intelligence, empowerment and active participation. Collaboration is extended to groups, communities and network building. There are various tools and technologies that provides opportunities and values to the business as collaboration vehicle.

Content Management (CMS) provides for effective creation, management and deployment of the enterprise content. The content published out CMS, can be accessed, repurposed and distributed in real-time. But content is created and management by handful of content writers that provides a contraint in itself. Web 2.0 advocates collective intelligence, information to be created and accesses by everyone at anytime from any device. Time is opportunity and no one has time to wait for information to be available. Everyone needs information that they want, right there, right when they need it. Wikis and Blogs are the great alternative solutions. There are used across the enterprises for both internal and external information sharing. Blogs have become effective tools for knowledge sharing and distribution. Wikis and Blogs also provide for effective feedback mechanism though commenting, rating and trackbacks. Wikipedia has replaced encyclopedia through shear collective content creation and management. The enterprises are trying to replicate the success of wikipedia by introducing enterprise wide knowledge repository using wikis. I am not surprised if you see Ciscopedia, micropedia or Oraclepedia in very near future.

Taxonomy provides effective way for organizing, searching and navigating the enterprise content. There is so much of content created every day within the enterprise and finding taxonomy place holder for the each content piece is getting harder everyday. Search engine provides taxonomy classifier which can automatically find taxonomy for the content. But it requires an enterprise wide taxonomy to start with. More so often, business do not have enterprise wide taxonomy for various reasons (outside scope of this post). Web 2.0 propose folksonomy which is collective building of taxonomy. It provides the readers the ability to create tags for content pieces so that it can be accessed faster and better.

Portals provides facade to all information available within the enterprise. It is single point of access to the entire knowledge base of the enterprise. Portal requires training to end users because of its functionality and not to intuitive interface. Web 2.0 propose intuitive rich user interface and experience. It advocates active user participation, self learning and minimal training.

Web 2.0 is not just a technology but it economic, social and technology trends for next generation of the Internet. It is any networked application that explicitly leverage network effect. The next generation of knowledge management tools aligns with new trends of Web 2.0. The enterprise technology strategist should take a look at web 2.0 principles and emerging initiatives before defining strategies for the knowledge management initiatives.

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