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Can Office 365 Improve Organizational Knowledge?

Can Office 365 Improve Organizational Knowledge?

Those of you who regularly read my posts know that I’m not a fan of sitting on the fence – I like to be definitive with my opinions. So, if you’re wondering whether or not Microsoft Office 365 really improves organizational knowledge management, here’s my answer: Yes, it does.

But before I jump into how Office 365 can support your knowledge management goals, let’s unpack the concept of knowledge management first.

What Is Knowledge Management?

On a fundamental level, the spirit of knowledge management lies at the intersection of people, technology and process. A large part of successful knowledge management is equipping organizations with the ability to capture, retain and reuse knowledge. Every member of an organization is constantly creating ideas and intellectual property, but it’s easy for this information to get lost and forgotten. This can lead to employees wasting time coming up with the same ideas their coworkers have already had but haven’t recorded effectively.

In an organization with sound and consistent knowledge management practices, workers can quickly find the information they need, even if employees move on or the technological infrastructure changes. This ability to reuse knowledge rather than starting from scratch every time can boost efficiency and productivity.

How Office 365 Can Help

It might sound like a bold claim, but I believe that Office 365 can solve the challenge of organizational knowledge management. When combined with a company culture that prioritizes knowledge, this technology can help an organization successfully handle large amounts of information.

Here’s how:

  • Office 365 enables people to network and to share what they know with each other, increasing communication across the organization.
  • Office 365 allows employees to be mobile, providing access to information from any device while they are on the go – which means they don’t have to be tied to their desks.
  • Office 365 users can see which of their coworkers are online at a glance, enabling them to immediately reach out and ask for the information they need. It’s almost like sharing a physical office with other people where you can lean over the wall of your cubicle and ask your coworker a quick question.

To deliver these benefits, Office 365 integrates the following forms of communication:

  • OneDrive for Business allows storage and search of nonstructured documents.
  • Skype allows video calling, conferencing, instant messaging and presence awareness.
  • Yammer is an ongoing discussion thread that improves transparency and promotes open discussion within an organization.
  • Email, which is the primary form of communication in most organizations.

What Office 365 Means for Organizational Knowledge Management

An effective knowledge management strategy can boost productivity in an organization by preventing people from having to reinvent the wheel. Office 365 can be a part of this strategy because it helps to connect people across various departments and teams.

Interested in learning about the Office 365 consulting services we offer? Click here to learn how Withum can help you plan and implement your move to Office 365 seamlessly. 

Final Thought

While Office 365 can help with knowledge management, I want to end with an important warning: Although technology can help you implement a successful knowledge management strategy, it’s not a “silver bullet” solution.

You will still need to put in the effort to foster a culture of valuing knowledge. So educate your employees to think about how they can store and reuse knowledge and encourage them to ask their coworkers for help. Once your workers understand the value of knowledge management, it’s time to teach them how to use the features of Office 365 to find the information they need. By creating this culture of knowledge management, you can help to reduce the time people waste searching for information and boost their productivity.

Author: Jill Hannemann | jhannemann@withum.com

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