Knowledge Management: Critical for the CIO, IT and the Enterprise

IT industry is very dynamic. I cannot think of any other industry where one has so many options to choose from. Just think about how many software languages and tools are available to develop IT products. This is one aspect of the industry that I love. It is exciting and is always changing.

However, these options create major problems for the CIO:

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1) How many times has the CIO been prevented from letting someone go, just because that person was the only expert the company had on a specific language/tool? Or worst, how many times has the CIO seen someone with unique skills leave?

2) How about SMEs, Subject Matter Experts … people who know an application or a technology? When CIOs have them, they are normally overworked and in short supply. They are the people who really know stuff. They are the ones the rescue an application when it fails badly.

3) How many times do users request changes or new applications and the IT group makes the change or develops the new application — only to find out that an existing system already has that functionality?

4) How long does it takes to train a new hire in IT? My experience is that it takes at least one year for a developer to gain a good understanding of the company’s application infrastructure before he or she can really be productive.

5) How about users? How long does it take for users to understand how your company’s systems work?

When you think about, IT and the company in general, spend a lot of money and resources because of dissipated knowledge. IT needs to pay attention and invest in knowledge capture and knowledge maintenance. Or simply put, IT needs to spend money on knowledge management.