Knowledge Management Systems and Network Design

Introduction

The increase in the use of Information Technology systems revolutionized information management, making it a powerful resource that organizations can use to build a sustainable competitive advantage. Information Technology trends in the present-day business contexts entail integrating information technology with the organizational activities, with the main objective of offering support and efficient execution of management and organizational operations.

The nature of IT systems deployed in an organization is determined by how individuals in an organization interact with the technology and the underlying data, with the principal aim of supporting business processes (Awad, 2004). This implies that information technology is becoming an important part of the organizational functions that can be used to establish a competitive advantage in the present business context. In the modern business world, organizations are increasingly dependent on the use of information systems to enhance business efficiency and address the challenges imposed by the business environment (Alavi & Leidner, 2001).

The selected information technology trend for this paper is knowledge management within the organization. This paper describes how knowledge management is affecting businesses in the present times. The paper also discusses how the identified portfolio exhibits related to the trend of knowledge management. Finally, the essay discusses the positive and negative feedback arising from this trend.

How knowledge management affects businesses

Knowledge management refers to the detailed management of critical knowledge and information processed by organizational members in such a manner that it can be used and shared at the organizational level to transform the corporate intellectual and organizational knowledge into business intelligence. Knowledge management strategies can be deployed by organizations to facilitate the creation, distribution, representation, and the implementation of organizational insights (Awad, 2004).

The knowledge-sharing culture at organizations principally involves sharing knowledge with the internal employees and stakeholders and external entities such as the government, suppliers, customers, and financial institutions. This is important in increasing the competitive advantage of the organization. Currently, the business relies on its intranet and informal communication platforms such as email, memos, and bulletin boards to facilitate employee communication and knowledge sharing. These kinds of insights usually consist of knowledge that the individuals in an organization can use during organizational processes.

Knowledge management is diverse and incorporates concepts such as business administration and management of information systems and organizational management (Alavi & Leidner, 2001). This implies that knowledge management is important in the formulation of business strategies in an organization. This section provides an overview of the important parts of the decision process when an organization expands its Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) infrastructure to a Knowledge Management system.

A needs analysis primarily involves assessing the key areas that require the implementation of the formulated policies and the various staff members of the organization who will be addressed. A needs analysis is a critical success factor during an overhaul of ICT infrastructure to a KM system, which transforms into organizational success. This is because needs analysis offers an important meaning to the adoption of the KM system through facilitating the identification of critical organizational processes that require the implementation of knowledge management. Therefore, a KM system implementation strategy requires recognizing the core performance indicators of the organizational success factors to serve as a framework for measuring the performance of the KM system (Alavi & Leidner, 2001).

Another important consideration is that employee involvement vital in ensuring the successful implementation of a KM system. In the organizational context, it is arguably evident that employee involvement in the decision-making process is necessary before implementing any organizational strategy, and the implementation of a KM system is not an exception. This is mainly because employees play a significant role in meeting the organization’s business goals and objectives. Employee training refers to the extent to which employees in an organization share the available information, knowledge, rewards, and power across the organizational framework (Awad, 2004).

Also, employee knowledge is increasingly becoming a tool for competitive advantage, which is mainly achieved by facilitating the sharing of knowledge across the organization and establishing an organizational culture that promotes employee involvement in decision processes. The underlying argument is that knowledge multiplies only if it is shared among the employees. The significance of employee involvement during the implementation of a KM system is based on the underlying assumption that an employee productivity and performance improvement does not rely on work organization and their skills, but also on the willingness of the employees to transform the implicit knowledge regarding the work to constant process improvement and innovation.

Also, employee involvement during the implementation of a KM system facilitates the gathering of information across all the organizational levels, which is vital for the survival of the organization (Bagad, 2009).

The top management’s commitment is also critical in guaranteeing a successful implementation of KM systems in an organization. With this respect, the commitment from the top management of the organization plays an integral role in ensuring that the KM system being adopted receives a positive response from the organizational members. The top management team’s leadership and commitment also facilitate the effectiveness of knowledge creation and sharing among the organizational members at all levels. The organization’s top management should realize the value of knowledge in ensuring the success of the organization.

The available knowledge should be managed effectively to be beneficial to the organization, which is increasingly becoming a business tool for building a competitive advantage. Research surveys have reported that most KM systems have failed because of a lack of commitment and leadership by the top management. Organizational leadership should establish an organizational culture that values the importance of knowledge and knowledge sharing in fostering success. Lack of support from the top management team is likely to impede the successful implementation of the KM system (Bagad, 2009).

Another important consideration during the implementation of a KM system is establishing a strong organizational culture that is knowledge-friendly. A strong organizational culture means that the organizational operations and activities favor the realization of the organization’s goals and objectives and enhances organizational learning and innovation that attempt to motivate employees to increase their organizational knowledge base. This involves informing the employees within the organization of the significance of adopting change as important in determining the organizational performance (Awad, 2004).

The KM system implementation strategy should, therefore, attempt to streamline the business processes, the employees, and the organizational goals and objectives. A knowledge-friendly organizational culture is established by cultivating trust and confidence and the spirit of knowledge sharing, which are vital in encouraging knowledge application and development at the organization (Alavi & Leidner, 2001).

Performance measurement is also important during the implementation of KM systems within an organization. Performance measurement primarily entails gathering relevant data regarding the people’s productivity and efficiency within an organization, functional units, and the entire organization. Research studies have reported a positive correlation between performance measurement and the successful implementation of KM systems, implying that it is vital to incorporate performance measurement as a core requirement during the implementation of KM systems (Awad, 2004).

Other significant considerations during the adoption of KM systems include eliminating organizational constraints, benchmarking, and the establishment of information systems that meet the requirements of the organization’s knowledge management (Alavi & Leidner, 2001).

How each of the identified portfolio exhibits relates to this trend

Effective knowledge management is based on information sharing within the organization. Therefore, any project or related work that facilitates access and sharing of information within the organization can be integrated to facilitate the development of knowledge management systems. With this regard, the identified potential exhibits that can be applied during the development of KM systems include a network diagram that was constructed for computer network, the software product created, an information management systems paper written for an academic course, and pages of a web site developed (Alavi & Leidner, 2001). The following section discusses how portfolios relate to the trend of knowledge management.

Network design diagram

The following is the network design diagram constructed using a Cisco packet tracer when implementing a network for an organization. Network implementation is an avenue through which an organization can share and manage information (Awad, 2004).

Network design is a sequential process that requires a thorough analysis of the needs of the business enterprise. The physical and the logical layout structure of the network have to match the design and the business needs in that particular context. The main objective of the design of this particular network is to enhance the sharing of resources and provide access to the internet. Having a clearly stated objective plays a significant role in determining the strategy that is during network design. Evaluation of the business requirements, goals, and objectives forms the preliminary stage in network planning, design, and implementation. The design requirements are also important during planning and design (Alavi & Leidner, 2001).

The design requirements of a network depend on business needs. One of the significant design requirements for the network is providing access to multiple email addresses. It is also important for the network to have access to the internet for communication purposes. Another significant design requirement that needs to be incorporated into the network is to host at least two workstation computers, which have been configured to share resources as the printer and the point of sale application. Network security is not a major concern; therefore, low-level security measures similar to the home networks are efficient (Alavi & Leidner, 2001).

Network planning and entails coming up with a logical and physical layout of the network components. In this case, there are no complex issues because the network requires hosting only two workstations. Variables such as network availability, reliability, performance, standards compatibility, and scalability play a significant role during the design phase (Alavi & Leidner, 2001).

Network design diagram

A software product created

Groupware applications are mainly used to manage organizational knowledge by offering a means through which the organizational members can communicate and collaborate using an application suite. Most of the groupware applications deployed by businesses include emailing platforms, file sharing repository, bulletin boards, blogs, forums, and other platforms through which the employees of an organization can engage in organizational learning (Alavi & Leidner, 2001).

Also, the effectiveness of groupware application in aiding the realization of knowledge management goals depends on how the employees use the KM groupware. For example, a limited number of users are likely to share emails and documents containing knowledge concerning problem-solving on a large scale. Such constraints must be eliminated for the KM groupware to realize the organizational goals and objectives. This paper discusses the way employees communicate in Air Asia and compares the difference between knowledge management and the company’s legacy system with respect to knowledge sharing.

Organizations are completely dependent on Information technology systems to facilitate communication between their employees and other company stakeholders. The groupware has also helped business enterprises generate and integrate the core information assets with organizational decision-making and knowledge building strategies. Business enterprises rely on collaboration, mobile work, business intelligence, business process management, content management, and knowledge sharing to ensure that there is effective communication between the employees in the organization.

Also, organizations use the integrated Human Resource Management system that plays an important role in employee communication with the top management team to enhance organizational efficiency. Businesses can also use an integrated performance management system to help in enhancing the efficiency of its employees. The e-learning portal offers educational and training resources to its employees, which helps in the development of human capital for the organization (Alavi & Leidner, 2001).

An information management systems paper written for an academic course

Information management is an important aspect of technical communication within an organization. As a result, information management can be integrated into the trend of knowledge management. Sound information security management among business organizations is significantly constrained by the resources required to implement security controls in comparison with larger organizations and government agencies.

Research studies have reported significant constraints associated with information security culture, awareness, and the use of information security policies among the organizations. The inference in the context of business entities and organizations is that the establishment of an Information Security Management System is primarily dependent on the size of the organizations, implying smaller organizations have a minimal capability of implementing information security strategies and controls (Alavi & Leidner, 2001). The industry sector also plays an important role in influencing the implementation of an Information Security Management System.

The basic argument is that industry sectors like banking prioritize the significance of information security management. For instance, most of the individual financial institutions have implemented their own information security management system. The justification of implementing ISMS in business enterprises is backed by the increasing lack of awareness of the significance of information security in the business context (Alavi & Leidner, 2001).

System failures are becoming a dominant scenario in the digital computing age. Such failures can result in hardware that can cause access to the data difficult or result in data loss. Apart from data loss due to system failures, there are cases associated with accidental deletion of data. Data recovery strategies aimed at salvaging data from digital storage media may be because of a damaged or corrupted disk that renders the data inaccessible using normal access methods.

The main objective behind implementing a Disaster Recovery Plan is to normalize the organization’s activities after a major disruption. As a risk management strategy, a DRP is implemented before speculations of an impending disaster; these are moments that the organization cannot intrinsically support its core activities. An important aspect of a disaster recovery plan is that it should run automatically, with minimal decision-making scenarios during occurrences of disruptions (Awad, 2004).

Pages of web site developed

Information sharing within the organization is not of significant benefit if it does not support flexibility and accessibility because people can access the information irrespective of their geographical location. With this regard, electronic commerce is of significant benefit to the organization. E-commerce refers to the process of buying and selling goods and services over the internet; in most cases, it uses the World Wide Web as a platform to carry out business transactions. The use of e-commerce to carry out business transactions facilitates reaching a wide customer base since the internet is widely available and internet users are growing day by day.

Therefore, e-commerce offers an effective way of marketing and selling a company’s products and services (Awad, 2004). The basic elements of e-commerce include electronic transfer of funds, online marketing, the processing of transactions using online methods, and electronic data interchange. Modern e-commerce systems encompass the use of the internet and, in some cases, the emailing system, whereby business transactions can take place between business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C).

Possible implications regarding the use of knowledge management

There are diverse strategic benefits associated with the use of knowledge management systems at the organization. One of the strategic advantages of knowledge management at the company is that it fosters organizational efficiency, which is achieved by ensuring that there is smooth organizational information and workflow (Bagad, 2009). By using automation, organizational tasks are executed effectively promptly because knowledge management eliminates the need for the manual system and that organizational tasks are undertaken manually.

Also, information systems facilitate the organizational management process by offering frameworks through which employees can be tracked and their work monitored. Also, the information system integrates all the business functions within the organization, such as sales and human resource management. This generally ensures that there is organizational efficiency.

The second strategic advantage of Information systems at the company is that it provides avenues to communicate and share knowledge. This means that the Information system incorporated at the company incorporates an aspect of Knowledge management, which plays n important role in ensuring organizational effectiveness. Knowledge management refers to the detailed management of critical knowledge and information processed by organizational members in such a manner that it can be used and shared at the organizational level to transform the corporate intellectual and organizational knowledge into business intelligence.

Knowledge management strategies can be deployed by organizations to facilitate the creation, distribution, representation, and the implementation of organizational insights. These kinds of insights usually consist of knowledge that the individuals in an organization can use during organizational processes. Therefore, knowledge management is important in the formulation of business strategies in an organization, which helps enhance organizational effectiveness (Awad, 2004).

Knowledge management systems are vital in the present knowledge-based economy. Knowledge management strategies can be deployed by organizations to facilitate the creation, distribution, representation, and the implementation of organizational insights. These kinds of insights usually consist of knowledge that the individuals in an organization can use during organizational processes. The use of knowledge management in the organization’s marketing strategy is an effective approach to ensuring the company’s expansion. This is so because the strategy involves integrating organizational behavior and business management without impairing the organizational goals and objectives (Awad, 2004).

Conclusion

Information is a critical success factor for any organization in the present business context. This implies that business enterprises should strive to secure their information to establish a competitive edge. This means that firms should establish an information-friendly organizational behavior, with the main objective of ensuring that the implementation of information management projects within the firm is a success.

References

Alavi, M., & Leidner, D. E. (2001). Review: Knowledge Management and Knowledge Management Systems: Conceptual Foundations and Research Issues. MIS Quarterly, 23 (8), 78-90.

Awad, E. (2004). Knowledge Management. New Delhi: Pearson Education India.

Bagad, D. (2009). Computer Networks. New York: Technical Publications.