How to Unite Knowledge and Workers: Closing the Information Access Gap

The enterprise technology market is responding to the demand for cost-effective ways to improve user collaboration and increase organizational effectiveness. Business leaders are asking for flexible environments where users can create, organize and share knowledge, while IT wants secure, low-cost, high-impact technologies to support this. By letting users access and share high-quality, relevant knowledge, Knowledge Center contributor Phil Green discusses here how social knowledge networks foster user collaboration and increase employee productivity.


The term "knowledge worker" was coined by management consultant Peter Drucker in 1959. Despite decades of knowledge management practices and technology advancement, most knowledge workers still spend more time searching for knowledge than capitalizing on it.

Generations of KM systems have promised to help workers capitalize on information bottled up in the IT systems that power global organizations. But the technology has not lived up to its promise.

Consider that most companies have myriad systems in place to capture, house, find and share enterprise knowledge. Many companies use blogs and microblogs (WordPress, Yammer, etc.), cloud-based document repositories (Google Docs, Zoho Docs, etc.), content management systems (CMSes), corporate library management systems (LMSes), digital asset management (DAM) systems and document management systems (DMSes).

Many other companies have systems in place such as e-mail, enterprise content management (ECM) systems (for example, SharePoint), enterprise message boards, enterprise portals, enterprise search engines, enterprise social networking (ESN), KM systems, shared network drives, wikis and Websites.

All this smart technology-and businesses still struggle to find, organize and distribute knowledge to the right people at the right time.