IDC Defines a Path to Help IT Organizations Build Successful eKnowledge Centers

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., December 6, 1999 — More companies are attaching critical importance to the ability to collect, share, and enhance knowledge across their organizations than ever before. To meet these goals, they are scrambling to implement knowledge management (KM) programs. Connecting these individual KM programs through electronic centers of knowledge (eknowledge center) is a critical role International Data Corporation (IDC) sees for IT organizations of the future.

"Companies of all sizes are becoming increasingly interested in leveraging the knowledge of their employees, partners, and customers in ways that improve their business results," said Tom Murphy, research manager for IDC's IT Advisor program. "Toward this end, most companies have initiated knowledge management programs, but the critical issue they face is developing knowledge capital as a strategic initiative. Even companies with the most advanced knowledge management programs lack a formal approach to defining and achieving enterprise-level knowledge goals."

According to IDC, the first stage in developing successful knowledge-based initiatives should be to form a team consisting of members from throughout the organization that have a stake in corporate knowledge. Next, companies need to identify the areas of knowledge that are critical to their organizations and the specific value that each knowledge area has in achieving the business goals of the company.

"Companies need a definitive knowledge strategy with a clear concept of knowledge value and goals," Murphy said.

Other stages involved in the process include eliminating obstacles and creating standards, launching a pilot program, and developing an enterprise knowledge strategy.

IDC believes the most effective knowledge initiatives will include vertical industry partners, suppliers, and experts. Additionally, an electronic knowledge network will be required. "Organizing around knowledge needs requires a highly evolved electronic network that links functions together fluidly for the transfer and management of knowledge," Murphy said. "The IT organization will play a critical role in both defining the interconnections and coordinating the network paths."

IDC recently published Developing the eKnowledge Center (IDC #B20836). This bulletin includes a guide for developing an eknowledge center and examines organizations' need to share knowledge throughout the company and the role IT will play in fulfilling this need. The bulletin defines an eknowledge center and discusses current knowledge strategies, steps required to reach knowledge goals, the relationship between eknowledge and ecommerce and ebusiness, and challenges involved in creating a knowledge-focused initiative. The bulletin also profiles knowledge initiatives in the following industries: hotel and entertainment, banking and financial services, and health and beauty.

It is the final bulletin in a series of three that outlines the evolutionary curve for IT departments so that they will be prepared for the upcoming changes. The other bulletins are The Evolving IT Organization: What Lies Ahead? (IDC #B19433) and The Evolving IT Organization: The Dialog Continues (IDC #B20214). The bulletin series is based on 100 hours of extensive interviews that IDC conducted with CIOs and IT executives to find out how their organizations are changing. IDC is extending a special offer on the three bulletins, which is valid through December 31, 1999. For more information, please visit or call Sally Donovan at 1-800-343-4952 extension 4219.

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, relevant, and high-impact data and insight on information technology to help organizations make sound business and technology decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide IT markets and technology trends and analyzes IT products and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC is committed to providing global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 42 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of International Data Group, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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