Knowledge Management Key To Collaboration

New offerings provide improvements in managing networks and applications
One of the watchwords from this year's InformationWeek 500 is collaboration. Sharing knowledge, whether among employees within a company or with customers and business partners, is becoming critical to success.

Knowledge management is a key component of collaboration. Many of the InformationWeek 500 companies, which are ranked by their IT innovation efforts, are using multiple knowledge-management technologies, including relational databases (94%), data warehousing (89%), and data-mining tools (77%).

An average of 42% of knowledge assets and intellectual-property data is captured by knowledge-management procedures, InformationWeek 500 companies say, up slightly from 38% last year. An average of 33% of workers at these companies use business-intelligence tools to access data stored in their enterprise systems, a slight increase from 29% last year.

Customer-relationship management, often coupled with knowledge-management efforts, also is a key driver of IT projects at these companies. Senior IT executives are becoming more involved with their companies' customers. Nine out of 10 say they respond to customer requests or complaints. These execs also spend more time with customers; 89% meet with them one-on-one and 73% attend annual customer meetings.

Speed and efficiency are the leading benefits of customer-management investments. InformationWeek 500 companies say quicker response to customer inquiries and increased efficiency through automation are the upside to customer-driven investments. Not surprisingly, 84% of companies say these efforts have helped them gain a deeper knowledge of customers.

It's clear that InformationWeek 500 companies are on the leading edge when it comes to knowledge management and CRM. That's a good thing-being a collaborative business depends on them.

How do your company's knowledge-management efforts measure up against those of the companies on this year's InformationWeek 500 list? Let us know at [email protected].

Ever Vigilant
Retaining and satisfying customers are two metrics closely tracked by the most innovative users of IT. For example, nine in 10 companies in the InformationWeek 500 measure customer retention. More than half measure retention formally, 8% track it informally, and an additional 28% track it both formally and informally. Methods used by the InformationWeek 500 for tracking customer retention include analysis of sales data, segmentation of sales data, and formal and informal feedback sessions. Even passing comments are included in the customer-retention equation. Four in five companies of this year's InformationWeek 500 classify and study informal feedback as a part of their retention efforts.
Editor's Choice
Mary E. Shacklett, President of Transworld Data
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer