Why do the employees tend to search on Google/Bing for solutions and not look at the KM systems?
Some of the factors that might be pushing your employees to search on external search engines might be
- Disparate Systems – In a typical enterprise, the traditional KM systems have evolved over a period of time. The sum total of KM is usually a combination of SharePoint repositories, Discussion groups, Emails groups, Blogs or even file system dumps. Now when is looking for information, he needs to search through multiple repositories to mine the information. Instead of trying to search through this myriad of information pile, he gives up. After a few tries, he is most likely to form an opinion that these systems are not helping, so either they do not have information or are too difficult to mine.
- Usability – Another issue with enterprise KM systems is lack of usability. Since the disparate systems have been built over a period of time, they have multiple interfaces and at times multiple logins to access. So, if the user has to log into multiple systems to search or access information, he is most likely to get pissed off. Another usability factor is the speed of access. Since, KM systems are not really on high end servers with Gbs of bandwidth, these systems tend to be slow, which when compared to Google proves to be another sore point for users.
- Education – When the user’s of your KM systems were studying, the colleges they studied at, are not really very great proponents of KM. Most colleges hardly have KM systems with latest information and some of them which do have, suffer from the same problems of disparate systems and usability. The students in the end start relying on Google for solutions to all their problems. The same experience continues when they join the industry.
Today, the challenge of Knowledge managers is not really building a knowledge repository but better the kind of access, speed and accuracy of helping provide solutions to the employee problems.