Software selection for knowledge environments


18 marzo 2014


Software selection for knowledge environments

Social software represents the new dimension of knowledge management (KM). In this perspective, organizations and businesses often ask OpenKnowledge to assess and support their decision-making process about the enterprise social software scouting and selection. In our experiences and projects of social business transformation, the assessment and the selection of a fitting social software for a smarter collaborative workplace play a crucial role. But, in the assessment and selection procedure, usually and wrongly corporations and firms start with a technical requirements list and a map of social software vendors positioned and benchmarked in quadrants. This approach is totally misleading. Looking at various benchmark quadrants, analysts use different criteria to position the enterprise social software platforms: completeness of vision and ability to execute, strategies and capabilities, strategies and current offerings, competitive strength and portfolio attractiveness. Others map the enterprise social software identifying the social suites, the social portals, the social tools and the social apps. Few others look at the social knowledge perspectives, e.g. people connection, expertise discovery, sharing practices. In all these approaches, less attention is devoted to cultural, organizational and business barriers, interventions and gaps for social software and social knowledge management adoption and business value creation. At OpenKnowledge, we strongly believe that this lack of attention (in many dimensions: business purpose, integration process, cultural mindset…) is one of the most significant limits of the current practice of social software selection. To address this weak point, a recent study published in latest issue of “Business & Information System Engineering” focuses on this challenge surveying the available studies in the topic and identifying 17 main barriers (spanning from organizational issues to specific software limits). In face of this lacks, authors consider four categories of challenges: social and cultural perspectives, organizational and contextual dimensions, technical issues, knowledge protection and legal policies. As the authors state in the abstract: “Knowledge management represents a key issue for both information systems’ academics and practitioners, including those who have become disillusioned by actual results that fail to deliver on exaggerated promises and idealistic visions. Social software, a tremendous global success story, has prompted similarly high expectations regarding the ways in which organizations can improve their knowledge handling. But can these expectations be met, whether in academic research or the real world? This article seeks to identify current research trends and gaps, with a focus on social knowledge environments. The proposed research agenda features four focal challenges: semi-permeable organizations, social software in professional work settings, crowd knowledge, and cross-border knowledge management. Three solutions emerge as likely methods to address these challenges: design-oriented solutions, analytical solutions, and interdisciplinary dialogue” (“Social Knowledge Environments”, by Jan M. Pawlowski, Markus Bick, Paul Kruse, Lars Hetmank, Stefan Thalmann, Henri Pirkkalainen, Malte Martensen, René Peinl, Eric Schoop, Ronald Maier, in Business & Information System Engineering (2014) 6 (2))

Here the link to the paper:

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