How does IT benefit?
The complexity of enterprise IT is not to be underestimated, and IT experts are in high demand. As anyone who has ever had a problem with their office computer knows, PC problems can bring everything to a screeching halt until the IT guy shows up. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With a knowledge management system, even the very busy professionals in the IT department can share their expertise with others. And that helps the entire company.
Knowledge management solutions take pressure off IT support staff. Users are no longer forced to conduct lengthy searches for solutions if they are having difficulties. They are also no longer dependent on the availability of IT specialists. Instead, the IT department makes its support expertise available online or via the helpdesk. This way, employees from other departments can simply help themselves at any time. Instead of bothering their coworkers in the IT department with what amount to the most elementary questions for an IT expert, staff can use tree view navigation and a search feature to locate the advice they need and solve their problem themselves. If for instance a field service employee temporarily has no access to an important folder they need for their next customer appointment, they can use the knowledge management system and find out how to establish a secure connection from a remote location.
This type of knowledge management solution not only frees up IT support resources, it also gives back a sense of self-determination to remote workers. What’s more, it can even be used to support freelancers, suppliers, and customers. Most knowledge management applications offer the ability to make knowledge available to external users as well. Instead of being forced to rely on very limited and frequently outdated FAQs, the third party is then able to easily locate answers to corporate IT questions. That makes life easier for the IT help desk — and increases the satisfaction of all employees.
Knowledge management for daily IT operations
Of course knowledge management solutions are not only good for IT support — they also provide assistance for the everyday tasks the IT department must accomplish. Even experts benefit from having information on IT issues, software manuals, source code, licensing agreements, and hardware setups stored in a central repository that is properly maintained and always up-to-date. This is particularly relevant at larger organizations whose employees do not all work at the same location and whose developers write their own code for proprietary applications — sometimes even according to a dev ops approach within agile projects. Knowledge management solutions can provide considerable support by simplifying the exchange of knowledge, organizing workflows, introducing standards, and implementing other quality assurance measures.
The third big advantage for the IT department is the reporting that a knowledge management solution can provide. The system analyzes and registers all incoming search queries. Reports are generated to show experts opportunities to for instance improve manuals, the knowledge management structure, or even IT workflows and software.
SaaS solutions are even easier to manage
Good knowledge management solutions help out IT not only by providing solutions, but also by being easy to operate. Because they save time not only on everyday tasks but also during the processing of setting up the knowledge management software. Setup is especially easy when the knowledge management system is available not only as an on-premise solution, but also as software as a service in the cloud.
In the latter case, no new hardware or time-consuming installation and configuration are necessary. The application is simply ready and waiting in the cloud. The vendor takes care of operation and maintenance. Authorized users access the application and knowledge via their web browsers. If the service is able to achieve high availability and information security while keeping costs in check — which is practically always the case nowadays — then this is almost always the provisioning method of choice.
The actual rollout of the application normally takes place in just a few simple steps (which is by the way independent of whether an on-premise or cloud solution is chosen). First, a workshop is normally held for employees to introduce the new system. This is where an expert explains to them the way it works based on best practice examples. Then the professionals in the respective departments who will later stock the system with knowledge — Marketing, HR, and IT for instance — work out how the application should be set up. Once this has taken place, a test run is conducted and structures are optimized. Subsequently, future editors and administrators receive their respective access permissions. At this point, the application can be filled with the actual knowledge. Explaining how knowledge management works to the remaining employees then only takes around 30 minutes. Interactive user guides in the system make this part of the training even easier.
Knowledge management for the IT department gives your company a reliable source of information for a business unit in which knowledge is becoming ever more complex and inscrutable. Particularly in this field, the latest developments are often critically important — just one more reason to choose a properly structured and readily updatable system. In this manner, delays or mistakes resulting from incorrect or outdated IT knowledge are avoided from the get-go, and business runs smoothly.
How would knowledge management benefit your IT organization? Find out yourself — take SABIO for a free, no-obligation test drive. Get information, consultation, and access to a demo version at www.getsabio.com.