Is Google the new Knowledge Manager?
In today’s world, whenever you are facing a problem, the first impulse is to open Google and see if other people had already faced the similar problem and how they did they resolved the same. The good part is you are most likely to find the solution to the problem also. Does that mean, Google is the new Knowledge Manager for your enterprise?

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.

4 Comments To ' Is Google the new Knowledge Manager? '

Anonymous said...

Last reason is a bit lame. But the first two, I couldn't agree more.

Frank Leistner said...

I actually think there is something wrong with the question, already. It assumes that a tool or system can be equivalent to an entity that is in charge for a process (a knowledge manager). In my view (as outlined in my recent book Mastering Organizational Knowledge Flow - I am trying to get people to rethink KM being a lot more about the human aspects of making people share their knowledge than about tools like SharePoint sites, search engines or information bases. So the role "Knowledge Manager", the one that thinks strategically about how people, processes (and tools) fit together ongoing is on a completely different level than a tool.

Munish Gupta said...

@Frank - I am trying to equate the organization knowledge management system to public search engines. The role of Knowledge Manager to set up the processes and tools to create the knowledge management systems. In this case, Google as an entity plays that - providing tools to create a vast repository of knowledge. I guess the difference whether you look at Google as an noun or a verb.

Zita said...

Off course, Google is fully a new Knowledge Manager.. Because, as we know Google is more brilliant as well technical... No one can beat Google! What do you think about it?

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