This will be my final blog. In my previous blogs I have talked about how information systems have help businesses be successful so in this blog I will talk about how these information systems fail.Knowledge management information systems fail most often because they are seen as an end in themselves. Knowledge is the result of the human brain processing, analyzing and filtering information to reach conclusions. Information is not knowledge. Yet many organizations fail to understand the difference and are disappointed when a huge investment in technology does not deliver the expected results.
If employee knowledge can be harvested and turned into corporate knowledge that is widely shared and appropriately used it can provide a business with a competitive advantage. For this to occur strategic thinking and planning must precede any action to implement knowledge management information systems.
Without a guiding strategy to deliver growth or increase margins the collection of knowledge in information systems will be unfocused and inevitably remain unused. At its base knowledge management is a business strategy not a technology strategy.
When a knowledge management initiative is seen as the exclusive mandate of the technology department it can become an exercise in information and document storage and retrieval. Successful knowledge management is about fostering an environment in which knowledge is shared and questions asked and answered across the internal barriers of departments and teams.
Most organizations are still structured along hierarchical lines that are not conducive to interdepartmental collaboration or cooperation and yet this collaboration is essential to knowledge management. Finding and managing the flow of knowledge in an organization requires a very different approach to managing information.
Creating an organizational culture where knowledge sharing is the norm is the most important and most difficult part of implementing knowledge management within a business. As with all organizational change, technology can and does play an important and integral part but it cannot alone be the driver. Often technology deployment is the largest and sometimes only action that is taken and inevitably the “knowledge management strategy” fails.
Only when the organizational culture supports knowledge sharing will implementing knowledge management information systems have the best chance of success. However even where the culture supports knowledge sharing there are some common mistakes made when introducing knowledge management information systems that lead to their failure.
Businesses cannot become too dependent on information systems.