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February 12, 2015

Information Overload? Knowledge Automation to the Rescue

Seenu Banda

Companies today are drowning in information. It’s scattered in cloud applications, backend enterprise systems, remote desktops, and many other areas. Because of that information sprawl, employees across business functions are suffering from not having the right knowledge at the right time.

The tools being used today to solve the issue were not designed to gather, organize, and deliver information from around the enterprise. They don’t glean usable knowledge from the massive amounts of information out there. With employees spending too much time and effort searching for the knowledge required to get their jobs done, the knowledge gap between what employees know and what they need to know to do their jobs is growing, costing organizations in lost productivity and opportunity every year.

As tremendous amounts of content is being generated, enterprises have reached a point where it is no longer possible to manually capture, organize, process, select and deliver information to employees in an effective way. That’s why it is high time for companies to adopt automation as they did with ERP, SCM, and CRM and utilize an automated solution to close their existing knowledge gaps.

While heavyweights like Microsoft, and even newer entrants like Box, are focused on organizing information and making access to content easier, they aren’t helping companies separate what is useful from what is just information noise.

So what should enterprises be looking at instead? Enterprises should look at solutions that provide true knowledge automation to identify and route their best content.

Most importantly, knowledge solutions need to acknowledge three elements that have shaped the enterprise knowledge landscape for 2015–the failure of search, the living nature of knowledge and the need to preserve organizational knowledge.

Search As The Primary Information Access Has Totally Failed

Search is the primary way employees look for and access information. Industry experts estimate that employees waste nearly two hours a day searching through existing content repositories for information and answers that are critical to getting their job done.

An effective knowledge automation solution should eliminate this struggle altogether, delivering only the information that is most relevant. This precision removes the need for employees to scour through irrelevant search results, saving both time and money, ultimately improving each employee’s overall performance. With the death of enterprise search as the primary access method comes the beginning of a new and more intelligent way of making the information available to employees to get real work done.

Information is Static and Knowledge is Alive

Knowledge changes, stretches, and grows as people use and interact with it. Business functions require the most current knowledge to perform effectively. Traditional tools, and even new tools like Box, are passive in nature as they provide only basic organization and access to information.

With business functions across organizations reliant on the most current information, companies need new knowledge automation tools to deal with dynamic knowledge to ensure they are using the most updated content. A successful knowledge automation system recognizes that knowledge is not stagnant but is instead diverse and comes from many sources. It tags, indexes, contextualizes, and even shapes a company’s content, making it highly usable by applying natural language processing, content and big data analytics to interpret content value and match it to the user profiles it understands. The end result is an active system that proactively captures changing information and delivers knowledge to people based on need.

Organizational Knowledge is Something You Use or Lose

Traditional knowledge tools have disappointed as they have been hard to use and hard to adopt. In addition to the burden they placed on the enterprises to manually curate, upload and organize knowledge, they were designed with a “one size fits all” approach. If the next-generation of knowledge tools is to be embraced and become an integral part of the enterprise, they can’t require users to change their behavior. Instead these tools must naturally fit into users’ desktop, mobile and app experiences, providing an easy way to create, capture, consume and share knowledge. Knowledge tools need to seamlessly integrate into the way users work today—the way they access information, interact with each other, and bridge the business to consumer divide with much more usable and intuitive solutions that also have enterprise-grade security.

We now have access a great set of exciting knowledge technologies that have matured to point that they are enterprises-grade.  These technologies allow employees to stop wasting time struggling to access information. The root cause of the struggle is the difficulty in manually keeping up with huge amounts of enterprise content.  Knowledge automation allows organizations to turn this information into a strategic asset by transforming it into knowledge, making it usable and useful.Seenu Banda

About the author: Seenu Banda is the CEO at Kaybus. Prior to founding Kaybus, he was an entrepreneur in residence at Artiman Ventures. Previously, he was a VP of Enterprise solutions at Alcatel-Lucent. He was the CEO and founder of NetDevices which was acquired by Alcatel-Lucent in 2007. Prior to NetDevices, he was Senior Director of Marketing at Cisco Systems where he managed multiple billion-dollar product lines including the 7200 and 7500. Earlier, Seenu worked for six years at Intel Corporation in strategic and product marketing roles. Seenu holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, a Masters in Computer Science from Michigan State University, and a BS in Computer Engineering from Andhra University.