Knowledge management allows the business to have a shared knowledge system that individuals in the business can access and utilize from anywhere in the world. It allows businesses to keep track of detailed information about contracts and helpful tips that will help secure future contracts. It stores valuable insight that is learned from experience so that future users will not have to “reinvent the wheel” every time they run into a similar situation. They can simply access the information management system and see what tactics others have used successfully in the past as well as get tips on to how to best complete their objective. It essentially ties the business together and makes information accessible to all parts of the company. It can also enable users who have an “urgent request” to quickly get help from their coworkers or colleagues on a particular subject instead of just having to make it up on their own.
A major challenge associated with developing and implementing knowledge management systems is that it is difficult to codify the information in a way that is efficient and useful to the users. Historical information is passed verbally and this is too inefficient for a company wide system. Second, they have to get the word out. The information sharing system requires that users access the system and add information. If people don’t know the system is there and cannot instantly see its purpose they would be less likely to contribute. The first concern is how will it be structured and the second is how will it be populated.
ShareNet had largely been successful and the library was constantly being populated with new entries, but it was expensive and telecommunications companies had taken a huge hit in the early 2000s. ShareNet had to prove how valuable it was to the Siemens teams and find a way to integrate directly into their decision making process instead of using it as an ad hoc resource. They also had to determine how