BITPIPE RESEARCH GUIDE:

Content and Knowledge Management First Steps


Whether necessary to comply with new regulations or just relieve demands on IT Manager's capital budget, Content and Knowledge Management Systems can help a business run more efficiently and cost effectively.

(If you're new to Content and Knowledge Management, please read our Content and Knowledge Management Overview.)

The good news is that if your business already has a Knowledge Base (in technical support), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), or a system for publishing Web-based content, you've taken the first steps toward Content Management (CM). To evaluate what your next steps might be, consider these issues:

Point of Pain

The first step toward implementing a CM system is identifying the "point of pain" in the organization. Or another way to look at it: Define mission-critical areas of need for the company. What does this company need to move forward into the future? That's where you need to invest in CM. Is litigation already underway or has a new regulation come into effect, forcing a change in business process? Or is implementing a CRM system key to your future financial success?

Long term, Enterprise Content Management (ECM) may encompass more than one software solution - each focused on its area of specialty. In order to ensure successful integration into existing business processes, it can be helpful to start by focusing implementation on a key area of business to solve a glaring problem. Then this success can be used as a case study to jumpstart future projects.

Partner With IT

No content or knowledge management system will be successful without the full and unstinting support of the Information Technology (IT) or Information Services (IS) department. They have to give not only their unqualified blessing to the project, but also their time, budget, and resources to implementing any proposed content management system.

In addition to IT's unqualified support, implementing CM requires an internal lobbyist - someone who can speak passionately and logically about the advantages of the system to every department, group, or individual who could be affected. Ideally, this would be the CIO or senior IT manager, but it could be any executive-level manager who has the support of senior management, as well as that of the IT department.

Don't Be Afraid to Outsource

Some environments have complex business processes and may require additional workflow and lifecycle management. It's not necessary to do all that analysis yourself. System integrators are more than capable of implementing content management applications even in complex environments.

Be sure to take an active role in the vendor selection process. Choosing a vendor is just the beginning of a long-term relationship, because content management often refers to three or more different systems that interact with each other. Be sure to choose the vendor that has not just the right mix of features and technology, but the longevity and customer service to be a partner over the long haul.

The Final Step

In defining requirements for a successful Content or Knowledge Management system launch, don't forget the end goal of self-sufficiency. The final implementation step should be the transition of ownership from the system integrator to IT or, even better, from IT to those who use the system every day. While it's important to have an expert standing by in case of emergencies, all the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks should be able to be performed by the users of the system without additional programming or development.

For more information on choosing the right content and knowledge management solution for your company, read our Content and Knowledge Management Overview.

Go to Bitpipe Research Guide: Content and Knowledge Management.

 

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