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Unfortunately, there exists no ecumenical definition of knowledge management (KM). Equally, there is no accord as to what makes up knowledge (Barnes, C., 2001). Consequently, it is best to broadly toy with knowledge management in context. Concisely put, knowledge management is the operation through which administrations create value from their noetic and knowledge-founded assets. Frequently, yielding value from noetic and knowledge-founded assets requires codifying what the staff, collaborators and clients know, and sharing that information among staffs, departments and even with other administrations with the aim of devising best practices.

It is crucial to mention that the definition of KM articulates nothing about technology. Although knowledge management is many times facilitated by information technology, technology by itself is not knowledge management (KM). Wilson, T.D. (2002) asserts that for the disciplines of information science as well as information systems, it is distinctly essential for to differentiate information and knowledge. Wilson continues to state that if information and knowledge are not differentiated, one of these terms can be taken as a synonym for the other, and thus confuse an interested party learning what each independently means. However, the paper at hand demonstrates why knowledge management is critically important in information-based organizations and how information-based organizations could add value in creating knowledge management system in today's world.

Knowledge and Information in Relation to Information Technology

By defining knowledge and information, Wilson, T.D. (2002) argues that the ambiguity in 'knowledge management' can be removed and the fundamental nonsense therein can be demonstrated. Knowledge is understood as what people know. It consist of the mental processes of conception, understanding as well as learning which take place only in the mind, although those processes involve contact with the cosmos outside the mind. On the other hand, information is what is constituted in uttered messages that can be oral, written, graphic, gestural; information is what a knowing mind can be able to absorb, interpret, comprehend and integrate into its knowledge structures.

The usual business such as the one dealing with IT will have to be knowledge-based. An IT business is usually largely made up of experts who conduct and correct their own performance via interaction with their coworkers, clients and company’s headquarters. Consequently, an IT company running in such a manner can be said to be information-based. In such a company, the management of information and knowledge turns out to be fundamental to acquiring competitive advantage.

Knowledge Management is applicable to Information Technology because Knowledge Management is viewed at as four distinct activities characteristic to Information Technology. Information Technology:

  • Captures information- an IT company needs to ascertain that it is not abruptly and desperately in need of critical data when a significant staff leaves for another company. For instance, The Cap Gemini Ernst and Young creates newsgroups for its staffs to promote ideas and information exchange (Loudes, J., 1999).
  • Generates ideas- All IT company’s staffs have to be motivated to innovate ideas, especially by communicating through ‘ideas boxes’ or by being honored for worthy ideas which make the company to gain or save revenue.
  • Stores information- conventionally, an IT company has to have data warehouses. Data warehouses need to be planned, organized and managed in such a way that the information therein can be accessible to every authorized staff and stakeholder who may be in need of it. For instance, Deloitte Consulting gives system consultancy and implementation services for knowledge management solutions in various application programs and scales, such as data warehouse systems (Eyler, N., 2001).
  • Distributes information- IT companies have to encourage the distribution of information to other people who may necessarily need it. For instance, PricewaterhouseCoopers has a global Website with a number of pages dedicated to two books authored by its staff.

The above four features of an IT organization raise the need for managing information and knowledge. It is a further manifestation that Knowledge Management is very crucial in Information Technology based companies.

Implementation of Knowledge Management

In order to implement a Knowledge Management system in an organization, the organization is required to take care of some key elements. The organization is supposed to convince its workers to support the knowledge system and the changed way working. An organization should also find an expert who can identify and update the knowledge management in each field. An organization should also include their employees together with the experts in the decision-making process. Finally, a company should employ a measurement-oriented culture whereby the expenses are well accounted for and also includes other IT professionals in the implementation process (Knowledge Management Implementation Best Practices, 2007).

Knowledge management application

In earlier days, companies used to have physical machinery that they used to make their products and services of high quality. These machinery could either breakdown or be stolen hence not as reliable. Today, companies best resource, which is knowledge lie in the brains of their employees, the administrators and in databases. This knowledge helps companies to acquire a competitive edge in the corporate world.

Advantages of knowledge management

Low cost in service

Knowledge management assists firms to lower the amount of cash they spend on various customer services. For instance, companies number of calls they make by adopting web self-services and other instant online services. Knowledge management will help companies maximize the level of output from their employees.

Improvement in services

When a company adopts knowledge management, it is able to offer better services in terms of quality and quantity. Knowledge management will enable a company to be more prompt in customer services and give right answers and faster to their clients. This directly adds value to the services of that particular firm.

Consistency in service

Many company managers do realize the worth of knowledge management. For instance, the senior executives’ survey of 1998 in North American, 77 percent of the officials stated that improving development, distributing and using knowledge throughout the business is extremely important (Foote, W., Eric, M., & Nicholas, R., 2001). A company that employs a knowledge management system will be ensure consistency in services by ensuring that customers questions are answered accordingly and that clients with same questions get the same answer regardless of the channel they receive the their answer through. By doing so, a company can improve proficiency and value.

Conclusion

As this paper has demonstrated, the significance of Knowledge Management links-up directly to the efficacy with which knowledge management systems can enables staff members of any organization to cope with the situations and challenges of today’s world and also to create their future. These knowledge management systems have ensured that when situations arise, they can be addressed with almost total correctness since previous answers and questions will have been analyzed unlike before where situations are addressed based on the individual or group.

Custom Knowledge Management Essay

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