Since, in 1994, the Swedish financial group Skandia performed a study in order to appraise its knowledge assets, and concluded that these were larger than all its financial assets, a new age began in which knowledge is explicitly valued and, therefore, strategies are developed in order to manage it.
Accumulated knowledge, or corporate knowledge, is in many companies a resource which is as precious as it is neglected:
“The basic economic resource—the means of production—is no longer capital, nor natural resources nor labor. It is and will be knowledge.” –Post Capitalist Society-Peter Drucker.
Soon after the Skandia study, specialist Howard Dresner, of the Gartner Group, claimed a new software category had been created: Knowledge Management software. This kind of software, as a tool, can take many forms, and in all of them will attempt to:
a) Convert tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge: that knowledge which belongs to the organization must be formally recorded, instead of being only in the minds of people. Further, empirical knowledge must be formalized.
b) Create a knowledge environment which favors interactions between knowledge workers and with existing knowledge, so that development of new knowledge is optimized.
c) Ensure access through the knowledge environment to relevant contents for a given user profile.
d) Achieve continuous learning.
e) Promote the knowledge environment by taking as a basis the value it offers and the quality of its contents.
At Urudata we have developed a considerable variety of Knowledge Management projects, implementing knowledge environments with the help of Document Management and Workflow technologies. Projects such as the one carried out at Guyer & Regules have dramatically affected way of working of organizations, and that specific project has become a paradigmatic case of appliance of these technologies in our region.
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