In simple terms, knowledge management refers to the process of acquiring, organizing, storing, sharing and using knowledge by organizations. Knowledge management is a branch of management that aims at attaining the optimum business performance through the synergy of people, processes and technology in creating and sharing relevant knowledge.
To succeed in any venture, including business ventures, sufficient knowledge is required. Knowledge management has become necessary as we have moved from a society where information was scarce to a society where there is a glut of information. The problem today is generally not about procuring information but deciding which information to use. Organizations should be careful in acquiring relevant data and processing those in an ever-changing business landscape. It is equally important for businesses to discard obsolete information and acquire the latest information to survive and stay competitive.
Since information technology has programmed logic it can’t select and reinterpret data; it can only help in arranging, storing and transferring data. Improved information technology plays a valuable role in processing data, but has a limited scope as far as developing insights from available data. In other words information technology cannot convert data and information into knowledge. Simply having great technology doesn’t produce best results in the absence of knowledge.
Executives and management often determine what information is useful and vital for an organization and convert it into knowledge. This knowledge which also includes external data is then shared with different sections of the organization. Sharing of the knowledge created is the basic requisite of knowledge management. Knowing what you know and profiting from it is a working definition of knowledge management.
The entire process of identifying relevant data and information, transforming that into knowledge, and making that knowledge accessible to people across the organization is what knowledge management is all about. For knowledge management to be a success for an organization it’s essential that the people capturing and disseminating knowledge work in tandem.