During an economic downturn such as the one we are working our way through at the moment (2010), organizations are looking to make the most of their investments in their technological infrastructure, how to squeeze greater efficiencies out of their product development or production processes through automation, and how to leverage their technology to generate efficiencies. However a€?knowledge managementa€™ means a lot of different things to different people, and indeed is often used interchangeably with Information Management. Knowledge Management (KM) comprises a range of practices used in an organization to identify, create, represent, distribute and enable adoption of insights and experiences. This definition puts the emphasis on information management as a discipline and does not actually mention the ICT tools which enable and facilitate information management. Information management (IM) is the collection and management of information from one or more sources and the distribution of that information to one or more audiences. Structured Information: The types of information that fit well into the structured environment of rows and columns in a database. Unstructured Information: The types of information that do not fit will into rows and columns. Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is the strategies, methods and tools used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content and documents related to organizational processes. The a€?capturea€™ element of the ECM definition can be replaced or supplemented with a€?creationa€™ and as knowledge workers often collaborate on the creation of content items or assets, collaboration strategies and tools are often also included under the umbrella of the ECM definition. ECM is often a complex strategy to implement, due to the nature of the various categories of unstructured information to be managed and the ever increasing frequency of the creation of information, leading to broad scoped initiatives that impact upon large numbers of staff, and thus large numbers of potential users of any ECM systems. It is now a good time to be examining whether your organizational information management environment is doing all it can to help rather than hinder your workforce, to enable your management of extremely valuable information assets and knowledge. Objective: ITIL Knowledge Management aims to gather, analyze, store and share knowledge and information within an organization.
Many aspects of ITIL Knowledge Management were covered by various processes in the previous ITIL version - for example, Problem Management was (and in ITIL 2011 still is) responsible for managing the Known Error Database.

ITIL, however, defines Knowledge Management as the one central process responsible for providing knowledge to all other IT Service Management processes. The Service Knowledge Management System (SKMS) is the central repository of the data, information and knowledge that the IT organization needs to manage the lifecycle of its services. The Knowledge Manager ensures that the IT organization is able to gather, analyze, store and share knowledge and information.
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For example, if your organization creates physical widgets on a production line, or if your staff are considered a€?knowledge workersa€™ creating products which are essentially a€?information assetsa€™. This article examines where content management fits within a knowledge management (or managing knowledge) context.
Such insights and experiences comprise knowledge, either embodied in individuals or embedded in organization processes or practice.
However, many models and definitions of KM suggest that a solid foundation of good information management is required, so let us examine the definition of information management. In North America, many organizations are now considered to be in the class of organizations often labelled as a€?information richa€™;A  where many of the staff are also often labelled as a€?information workersa€™ or a€?knowledge workersa€™. For example this includes the types of information that is presented via Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) or Human Resources Management (HRM) applications. Such information includes office documents, audio files, videos, and other a€?complexa€™ assets.
ECM tools and strategies allow the management of an organization's unstructured information, wherever that information exists. In other words it's not just about content management systems and software, but all the strategic planning and management activities, policy and procedure development etc.

Therefore Change Management is often even more important in a content management implentation than it is for ERP or CRM implementation. The primary purpose of Knowledge Management is to improve efficiency by reducing the need to rediscover knowledge. The process overview of ITIL Knowledge Management (.JPG) is showing the most important interfaces (see Figure 1).
The Knowledge Management process itself ensures that all information used within Service Management, stored in the Service Knowledge Management System, is consistent and readily available.
Its purpose is to store, analyze and present the service provider's data, information and knowledge. Management means the organization of and control over the structure, processing and delivery of information.
In other words, the main outputs of these organizations are informational products such as reports and other official documents, as opposed to physical widgets.A  For other organizations, primarily those in manufacturing, the outputs may include physical artifacts, however they also still include knowledge or information a€?assetsa€™. The SKMS is not necessarily a single system – in most cases it will be a federated system based on a variety of data sources. If you have to let people go, how do you ensure that vitally important knowledge does not leave with them? This is done to keep the discussion simpler, but at the strategic level the principles are the same, whatever the peculiarities of a specific type of content.

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