The Social Intranet: The Knowledge Management Hub For Today's Organizations

 

group_project.jpgKnowledge management used to be the purview of technical information, but no longer. Today, knowledge management includes information from every corner of the business, from marketing and sales to operations and human resources.

That isn’t a bad thing. Consolidating data makes businesses better able to respond to changing conditions – not only in the marketplace but also the workplace. It’s a double-sided coin; by responding to the marketplace, businesses ensure the longevity of the workplace. And, by addressing needs in the workplace, businesses remain competitive, thereby maintaining the lead in their respective industries.

But where are businesses to find and store that information? To date, it’s been scattered throughout the organization. While some applications like CRM software have integrated certain data sets, few have coordinated all of them. In addition, the tools may join data together but not files and other information, leading to delays in response times and confusion about version control.

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The solution is a robust social intranet that houses data, documents, intellectual property and other information, as well as enables other key functionality such as wikis and blogs. Through it, businesses develop the agility and adaptability needed to survive and thrive in today’s world.

The Single Source of Truth

Having a single source of truth can be a dangerous mantra, but the premise is sound: a single place where data can be viewed, monitored and acted upon. In that regard, it may be more helpful to think in terms of data management rather than a “single source of truth.”

When it comes to data, don’t think of it as “the truth.” Always check it against other sources. Make sure it’s sound and hasn’t gotten jinky somewhere along the way before taking action. You want correct data, not just any data. Correct, or intelligent, data drives results; any-which-way data leads to errors, some of which can be costly.

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Using a social intranet as a knowledge repository isn’t good only for data mining and business intelligence. It’s also good for information gathering.

Think of how an employee’s work grinds to a halt when they can’t find the file or expertise they need. Solving the inefficiency is simple. Store information and documents in a single location, i.e., your social intranet. Next, make people available on the very same social intranet, too. When employees have access to the information and expertise they need, they’re empowered to do their jobs.

It’s an effective and strategic move – just watch the numbers. You’ll see operational efficiency improve, as proven by a better bottom line.

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Protect Intellectual Property

When BYOD came on the scene, it improved employees’ work-life balance. However, it posed huge risks for the business in terms of not only security but also intellectual property (IP). If an employee were to lose a work laptop, company information could be set loose in the wild.

And what if the employee were using a personal device to do company work? A kid who simply wanted to play his game could compromise the information. Then again, the employee might leave the company—possibly with IP in tow.

Companies can use social intranets to protect that property. Employees complete and share their work within the application, which means no more email attachments—a cause for celebration if ever there were one—and keeping information within a gated and firewalled system. Regardless of the device employees use, the information is safe and secure inside the intranet. It doesn’t matter if the employee leaves, either. Their access to the intranet is revoked, which cuts their ties to company information and IP.

A social intranet is a solid investment as a knowledge management hub, but it’s more than, too. It’s an investment in security, risk management, and business value. Having your information in one place simply makes for faster and more informed decisions. It improves workflows and processes, which allows employees to save time on existing tasks and tackle new opportunities. Finally, it safeguards one of your most prized assets: people’s ideas and intellectual property.

What’s Your Incentive? Find out by taking Incentive’s social intranet for a spin. It’s free!

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