Rethinking the Knowledge System as a Service

Companies know the value of knowledge and its role in fueling innovation, but they have struggled to get their hands around that value promise. Knowledge systems haven’t delivered. We believe knowledge systems themselves need innovation before they, themselves, can fuel innovation.

Knowledge as a Service vs. Knowledge Systems

Knowledge systems have traditionally been hard wired parts of various processes. They are expensive to build and tough to maintain making agility and adaptability almost impossible. They tend to function as static libraries sitting next to the process. It’s time to change the model from system to service. Knowledge as a service is part of the process. As a living, proactive service, it links to process tools like CAD, design simulation technologies, and product life-cycle management (PLM) systems. Any tool your organization uses should be able to subscribe to and use the knowledge service. It brings you all the relevant knowledge you need for the specific task at hand. And when something changes, it has a qualitative response, tracking the change and reacting with new information and impacts on interdependent processes.

Key Benefits for the Service Model for Knowledge Management

Knowledge management is an imperfect term. To extract value, knowledge has to be more than managed, it must be used. The economist Theodore Levitt quoted at the start of this post had it exactly right. Knowledge only has value when it is used, which is why the service model is the wave of the future. When relevant knowledge is pushed out where it is needed and becomes an active part of the work process, companies make more use of it. Knowledge in use is what gives your organization agility, speed and efficiency—and the competitive advantage to profit and grow.
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