Enterprise knowledge management system: Key features, benefits, and Ronas IT’s approach to KMS development
Over the years of operation, both small businesses and large companies accumulate a vast amount of data that can come in handy at the most unexpected moments. Trying to find a specific file on Google Drive can be compared to searching for a needle in a haystack.
One way to avoid this problem is to opt for an enterprise knowledge management system (KMS). Interestingly, the market for such software is expected to grow in the near future, so you could either create a custom KMS for internal use within your company or consider it as a business idea and sell your software to other companies on a subscription basis.
In any case, in this article, we want to delve into what a KMS is, what features it requires, and discuss how Ronas IT would develop such software for both large and small companies.
What is an enterprise knowledge management system, and what are its key features?
An enterprise knowledge management system is a software platform or solution that helps organizations capture, organize, and distribute knowledge and information. It involves the use of technology to create a centralized repository for storing and managing various types of knowledge assets, such as documents, files, databases, and multimedia content. The system allows employees to easily access and share knowledge, collaborate on projects, and find relevant information quickly and efficiently.
The primary goal of an enterprise knowledge management system is to promote knowledge sharing and collaboration, facilitate learning, improve decision-making, and enhance the overall efficiency and productivity of teams. It helps prevent knowledge loss caused by employee turnover and allows organizations to leverage their collective knowledge and expertise effectively.
Here’s the list of basic enterprise knowledge management system flows. Additional features and flows may vary depending on the company’s needs and industry.
Knowledge capture. This flow involves capturing knowledge from various sources within the organization, such as documents, databases, employee expertise, external resources, surveys, interviews, and others. This flow includes features for document upload and data extraction.
Knowledge organization. Once knowledge is captured, it needs to be organized in a logical and structured manner. Knowledge organization flow includes features for categorization, tagging, metadata creation, and taxonomy development to ensure smooth search and retrieval of information.
Knowledge storage and access. The platform for knowledge management should provide a centralized repository for storing information. This flow involves the storage of documents, files, and multimedia content. It also includes establishing access control mechanisms to ensure appropriate permissions and security for different users or user groups.
Knowledge sharing and collaboration. Except for knowledge sharing, KMS usually facilitates collaboration among employees and teams. That’s why within this flow, there can be features like discussion forums, wikis, blogs, social media integration, messaging, and virtual meeting tools.
Knowledge search and retrieval. Users should be able to search for relevant knowledge assets using various search mechanisms such as full-text search, filters, advanced search options, and suggested content. The platform may also use artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to provide personalized search results and recommendations based on user preferences and past behavior.
Knowledge analytics and insights. The platform may provide analytics and reporting features to track knowledge usage, engagement, and effectiveness. This flow involves gathering and analyzing data on user behavior, content popularity, search trends, and user feedback to gain insights into how knowledge is being used and to identify areas for improvement.
What are the benefits of using enterprise knowledge management systems?
The main and essential benefit of an enterprise knowledge management system is that it accumulates all the information needed for effective communication and work among employees. Thanks to these software solutions, there is no need to spend a lot of time searching for the necessary information, allowing more time to be devoted to providing quality services. Here is a short list of profits that this software may bring:
Saves resources spent on communication
Since an enterprise knowledge management system includes tools for fast search, any employee can easily find the necessary files and databases without having to share links through emails or social media. This eliminates the need for lengthy conversations and the hassle of searching through chat histories for specific files. It also helps reduce the time spent on online meetings, as these are now only required for internal process discussions rather than exchanging all the necessary information for work.
Streamlines the onboarding process
During the onboarding process, employees need to learn a lot of information about the company: who they report to, how the workflow in their department functions, who the managers are, and who to contact for specific matters. HR and department managers can save a significant amount of time by not having to explain this information to new employees through calls or social media. Instead, new employees can read about all of this in files from the knowledge management system and independently familiarize themselves with the information.
In our company, we have also created our own knowledge management system in ClickUp. There we store all the important information about internal processes. For example, employees can use it to automatically apply for vacation, request a grade review, or request compensation for medical treatment and medication. This reduces the workload on our HR manager, who does not have to explain these processes to each employee from scratch and can focus on other important tasks.
If you want to streamline your HR processes with the help of a custom knowledge management system, don’t hesitate to contact us!
Speed up work with customer queries
An enterprise knowledge management system can store repositories with a list of frequently asked questions and answers, and guides on handling objections. Based on this data, customer relationship managers can respond to customer inquiries more quickly. This information can also be used in marketing or as the foundation for a chatbot that can handle some standard customer requests and relieve the workload of customer service members.
Streamline supply chains
In large production facilities, there are numerous departments and stakeholders responsible for material sourcing, production, and transportation of goods and raw materials. When a team member involved in the product is replaced, it can disrupt the workflow and cause delays.
By utilizing an enterprise knowledge management system, new organizations, and stakeholders can be quickly onboarded, and information related to the supply chain can be centralized and organized. This includes supplier data, inventory levels, production schedules, and logistics information. Having this information easily accessible allows for efficient data retrieval by all relevant stakeholders.
Successful use cases of enterprise knowledge management systems
Both large manufacturing companies and international digital teams use various types of software to create their own repositories. Company knowledge bases can be built on completely different platforms and consist of different tools, such as Document Management Systems, Content Management Systems, Intranets, and Wikis.
Some teams can create their own knowledge bases even without specialized software for knowledge management. For example, they can store all the necessary documents in a task tracker like ClickUp or create a design system in Figma. We have collected a couple of examples of how different companies and teams handle knowledge management.
Loom and their Notion knowledge base
Loom, a video messaging platform, leverages Notion to manage its internal documentation and knowledge-sharing processes. With a distributed team working across different time zones, Loom relies on Notion’s collaborative features to streamline communication, store important documents, and track project progress.
Notion both helps the Loom team streamline the work with tasks and deliver only up-to-date versions of the document to employees but also encourages team leads to share their knowledge and opinions on different issues. The Loom team uses Notion as a task tracker and has even organized its own design system inside it.
Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney, the international aerospace manufacturer based in Connecticut, has gained significant attention for their successful implementation of knowledge management practices. In 2015, the company reported an impressive operating profit of $1.9 billion from revenues of $14 billion.
Recognizing the impending retirement of half of their engineers, Pratt & Whitney took proactive measures to preserve and systematize critical knowledge within the organization. They aimed to centralize this knowledge, effectively addressing the challenge at hand. By implementing an enterprise knowledge management system, the company achieved remarkable cost savings, totaling over $25 million.
Medidata electronic data capture system
Some companies not only create enterprise knowledge management systems for their internal use but also develop them with the purpose of selling valuable data to other organizations. Medidata Rave is one such project.
This platform gathers data from various medical applications, including databases containing X-ray images, clinical trial results, and laboratory experiments. With the help of such a KMS, pharmaceutical companies can collect, manage, and analyze data electronically. These systems replace traditional paper-based documentation, reducing errors, and enhancing data integrity.
Do you feel that existing knowledge management software doesn’t meet your needs? Then contact us to get a custom one!
How does Ronas IT approach the enterprise knowledge management system development process?
Sometimes the functions of task trackers and out-of-the-box solutions are not sufficient to meet the specific needs of a company. It would take too much time to customize such a solution, or the company’s workflow is so unique that implementing it without creating a custom enterprise knowledge management system is impossible.
Our company can take on the task of creating such a solution. With 15 years of experience in the market, we have developed our own workflow that helps us swiftly develop applications of various formats, saving valuable resources for our clients.
During the discovery phase, we collect information about your company and the issue that you want to solve. Before starting the design and development process, we analyze your idea and create a breakdown with all the necessary knowledge management system features. We prioritize them and estimate the timeline and cost of the project.
We can not only create a custom enterprise knowledge management system for internal use but also help you monetize databases that you have as Medidata Rave does. For instance, we have recently created the UK Retreats app which is actually a database of apartments across the UK. Our client’s idea was to get money for selling this data and we helped to create a digital tool for that.
We can assist in creating enterprise knowledge management systems of various forms. Whether you need help in developing a document management system or a customized task tracker tailored to your industry’s needs, we’ve got you covered.
Our team builds digital products from scratch that’s why UI/UX design is one of the initial stages in our software development process. We can build a beautiful interface for your knowledge management system. The design can range from minimalist, focusing solely on essential functionality, to playful and cheerful — it all depends on your vision and ideas. Our team is dedicated to bringing your vision to life and ensuring a seamless user experience for your knowledge management system.
Also, we know that for some companies it’s inconvenient to use desktop or web apps since their work is quite dynamic and they opt for mobile or tablet apps. Industries like restaurants and construction businesses usually use these types of apps. That’s why our team can optimize the app design to any screen size.
Our team has extensive experience working with various technologies. You can learn more about our technology preferences on Ronas IT Radar. We always strive to select relevant technologies for our clients. Typically, we choose languages and frameworks that are being developed by tech giants like Google, Apple, and Meta. This ensures that our chosen technologies will remain popular in the near future and save time during the application development process.
For mobile application development, we often use React Native. For front-end development, we choose React and Angular. When it comes to backend development, our preferred frameworks are Laravel and Django. Additionally, we leverage Laravel Nova for creating admin panels. These technologies provide a wide range of code snippets that we can reuse, significantly accelerating the development process.
After the release of the enterprise knowledge management system’s first version, we can continue working on the application by incorporating feedback from users and addressing any bugs that may arise. This iterative process ensures that the application is constantly improved and refined based on user input. Our team is committed to providing ongoing support to ensure a seamless user experience and the long-term success of the application.
How do we approach enterprise knowledge management system development for small businesses?
Often, small businesses use off-the-shelf solutions to create a knowledge management system. These off-the-shelf solutions are often targeted by hackers and can also be discontinued, leaving the company unable to transfer all necessary files to a new system. Standard solutions like knowledge management systems in Excel spreadsheets or Google Drive can become inconvenient when there are too many files in them.
Since small businesses often face funding limitations, when developing an enterprise knowledge management system for a small business. In such cases, our team offers the customers the following approach to speed up the process and reduce the costs of knowledge management system development.
We suggest starting the work on a knowledge management system for small businesses with the MVP approach. In other words, adding the minimum necessary number of features to the first version of the product in order to launch a working product as quickly as possible.
To include only the most necessary features in the MVP, our analyst will pay special attention to creating a list of user stories during the discovery phase. Our analyst will prioritize it together with you, to include only the most essential and necessary features, and they will also be able to advise on which features it is best to focus on and what to reject.
Urgent software development
If you urgently need a knowledge management system within 1–2 months, either to launch it in the market before anyone else or to present it to investors, we can help develop it within the deadline. We have a special service called urgent MVP development, which involves expanding the project team. It includes more designers and developers, which will allow us to create an application within a very short timeline.
Before starting work on any project, we sign an NDA with clients to ensure that we will not disclose your personal information and will not share your valuable ideas with anyone.
Furthermore, unlike off-the-shelf solutions that have their code publicly available to users, the application we will develop, its servers, and code will only be accessible to our development team and you, the product owners, making it less vulnerable to hacker attacks.
Moreover, we use modern technologies such as Laravel, React Native, Django, and other frameworks that already have tools for eliminating common vulnerabilities.
How do we approach enterprise knowledge management system development for enterprises?
At Ronas IT, we can develop enterprise knowledge management systems for large businesses in various industries such as construction, pharmaceuticals, real estate, fintech, and more.
We thoroughly study all stages of a company’s workflow, gathering information about the file formats commonly used and the devices frequently utilized by the team. Throughout the development process, we ensure continuous support for the application to ensure seamless operations for the enterprise.
We have expertise in developing applications specifically tailored for the construction industry. With the help of one of our applications, builders can create and store reports on completed constructions. We have implemented a specialized mechanism to support versioning and optimized the interface to ensure user-friendliness for all members of the large construction area, so it’s convenient for them to store and access all the reports.
As the remote format of work gets more and more widespread, both small and large companies get concerned with storing valuable information that eases up decision-making and can be used for training employees and onboarding newcomers. As more businesses go online, in the upcoming years there will be more room for enterprise knowledge management systems, which makes it a valuable startup idea.
Would you like to develop your own knowledge management system from scratch?