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Knowledge Management Will Become Buzzworthy and Glamourous in 2021 With Adoption Approaches Merging Globally

03 Dec 2020

What trends around knowledge management (KM) are in the cards for 2021? Alex Smith, Global Product Management Lead for iManage RAVN, looks ahead to the coming year.

  • A Merging of Methods. Historically speaking, there have been different approaches to knowledge management (KM) depending on what part of the globe you hailed from. The United States approach to KM has long relied on technology, search, and data. In the UK and other parts of the world, the focus has been on creating content and knowhow. Interestingly enough, these approaches are starting to come together across the globe, merging the two. In the US, there is more adoption of the knowhow and process-based approach, while the UK, Europe, and Australia are increasingly embracing the analytics that the US have always used as the backbone of their approach.
  • KM Suddenly Becomes “Sexy.” Within an organisation, the Innovation and Knowledge Management (KM) functions have traditionally been separate functions – but the walls are coming down. There is a growing recognition that innovation doesn’t happen in isolation – it requires an in-depth understanding of internal processes.  KM, of course, is ideally positioned to provide this in-depth understanding. In this way, 2021 could be the year that KM, which hasn’t in the past been deemed as exciting or buzzworthy as “innovation”, could shake off its stodgy reputation and be viewed in a more glamorous light.
  • No Office, No Problem . Remote working has become the norm for a vast swath of the population in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this trend is likely to continue for at least the first half of 2021, until the pandemic is fully brought under control. In the meantime, there are no physical offices for people to centrally gather in, serendipitously encounter one another in the hallways to discuss the latest project, or pop into someone’s office to ask them a question about a particularly esoteric area of law. In this environment, KM only grows in importance, delivering existing best practices and curated content to the knowledge workers who need it to carry out their jobs effectively. In this way, KM will ensure that knowledge continues to flow throughout the organisation, regardless of whether a return to the physical office is on the horizon in the immediate future or not.
 

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