The enterprise knowledge management market is rapidly evolving with emergence of centralised content hubs - but this is just the start point.
Timely, relevant knowledge and people are the lifeblood of an organization and with the advent of both new software players in the market and advantages brought by cloud adoption and APIs, enterprises are looking to adapt their approach to distributing intelligence to meet true user needs - and not be dictated by prior technology limitations.
Delivering the right intelligence wherever it originates (externally or internally) is a priority for large companies, and for the first time this involves properly connecting 4 areas that have to date been typically in isolated silos:
- External Knowledge
- Internal Documents
The benefits are clear in terms of time savings but also in terms of far greater efficiency on identifying new business leads, more proactive client engagement plus also generating a better usage return on highly expensive premium content subscriptions.
However, this can only happen once the start point happens of having all your critical intelligence consolidated in one single place.
What knowledge manages want: Integrated access to multiple resources
According to Outsell’s Information Industry Outlook Report 2016 (a very worthwhile read ...), one of the major challenges for knowledge managers is accessing all the information sources across the organization, and collaborating with other team members to share knowledge on the latest news and industry trends.
When asked what were their current obstacles, 36% responded that it “hard to find specific information needed” - likely an understatement given that so many users rarely know what exactly an organization subscribes to, let alone what valuable insights may be in dispersed internal documents.
Although knowledge managers have historically thought that integrated access to multiple sources can be challenging, the 2016 trends report confirmed that “enterprise users are demanding the ability to search across multiple solutions” - and organizations now starting pilots or putting out RFPs towards meeting this goal.
"Enterprise users are demanding the ability to search across multiple solutions" - Outsell, 2015
Content Hubs Becoming Mainstream Within The Enterprise
Outsell highlighted this trend as “Hyper-Aggregation Driving a New Wave of Disintermediation”. This is the major trend we are seeing with clients, with services and platforms tapping into one centralised content hub that allowing users to simultaneously query all external news, premium research, premium data and valuable internal documents via one platform.
This shift from on-premise to cloud-based software along with more flexible APIs from major content owners is making this transition easier for enterprises and all participants across the ecosystem are responding to this call. Some of the largest content owners are now viewing it as a new business model opportunity for wider consumption of their content.
The image below is a snapshot of some of the key categories and example players who enterprises want to see integrated within these new "Content Hubs" plus some of the typical enterprise applications they want to then deliver the unified streams of content into (for example Jive, Salesforce or Sharepoint).
Content hubs will become the future of knowledge management. Financial and professional services are leading the way in adopting these platforms, although other sectors with high information needs (such as Pharma) are becoming fast followers in terms of the pilot requests we are seeing.
The software landscape will become busier in tackling this with likely consolidation and new product launches, but this is a new infrastructure strand and there will be a first mover advantage for those able to embed themselves within organisations. As Outsell says, it is changing the way companies work and once implemented the prior way of searching multiple different interfaces will quickly seem a very dated model for any user:
“Once users get hooked on access in the workflow to an uber aggregator of aggregators, it changes the workflow, and there’s likely no turning back to single resources.” - Outsell, 2015
Once this intelligence is being indexed centrally against to an organization's own topic taxonomy and centrally available for querying via API, this will open up a world of further opportunities; from easy delivery into corporate mobile apps, connecting into CRM or collaboration tools as well new big data analysis tools for prioritising sales leads, product monitoring and other applications yet to be even considered.
2016 will be an exciting period for knowledge managers and end-users - as well as an opportunity for all enterprise application vendors and content owners to build new models on the back of this trend.
You can read more on the centralisation of intelligence in our blog piece "Uberisation of Knowledge Management".
Nick Gregg is CEO of EditorEye. EditorEye is a cloud-based knowledge management platform allowing enterprises to connect all premium content subscriptions, internal sources and global news in one place - plus the tools distribute the best intelligence to users via live alerts, curated newsletters and into CRM or collaboration applications. Get in touch with a demo via firstname.lastname@example.org