Deploying SharePoint as an enterprise’s knowledge management system can help streamline the access to information for various departments and the processes they are associated with, leading to increased efficiency and reduced errors.
Many organizations must collect and process data at a great speed in order to drive critical business processes that generate revenue, and often require a powerful platform to do so. This is also why most leading organizations put having an effective Knowledge Management System (KMS) or data management capabilities among their top business priorities. Microsoft SharePoint, among other things, works as a powerful knowledge management system that not only integrates with other Microsoft solutions such Power BI, Word, Excel, etc. but also third-party platforms/tools for CRM, ERP, etc.
SharePoint can help you create an efficient knowledge management system for your teams that seamlessly works around your organization’s document management workflows to optimize them. So let’s take a look at the potential uses of SharePoint as your business’s primary knowledge management system.
What is a knowledge management system?
Knowledge Management Systems are a combination of IT tools to help organize, implement, and analyze the enterprise’s collective data generated both internally and externally. To put it simply, a KMS is all about optimizing the knowledge flow across the organization and processing it in a way that’s easily understood by all stakeholders.
In day-to-day business operations, an organization has to process a huge amount of data from internal and external sources and plan business strategies accordingly. Additionally, the decision has to be communicated effectively across all functional departments as soon as possible to make the right managerial decisions.
In the absence of effective data management or document systems, business data may exist in a disorganized, hard to access, and unsecured format. In such instances, the organization might end up wasting precious time and resources finding the right information at the right time, which allows competitors to fill in the gap. That’s why, implementing an efficient and reliable knowledge management system is important both from an internal process efficiency angle and as a competitive strategy.
Moreover, managing the hierarchy of information to be distributed is crucial to forming a synergy between various departments in an organization. An effective KMS built using standardized and robust document management and collaboration platform like SharePoint can optimize the information flow among internal teams for faster decision-making.
SharePoint as a knowledge management system
SharePoint has come a long way since its beginnings as a data storage and management platform for organizations. Today, it can utilize a plethora of Microsoft tools to create a comprehensive Knowledge Management System which can be customized for various business needs.
Today, more and more growing businesses are choosing SharePoint as a data management system simply because of the sheer simplicity of using it. SharePoint can also process a huge amount of dynamic data and present it in an easily understandable way in the form of flowcharts, spreadsheets, word documents, etc. This data can be further shared among the various business departments and aid collective decision-making. According to the data stored and analyzed, leadership teams can assign dedicated operations to the respective departments.
With that being said, here are various business operations where SharePoint Knowledge Management System can optimize your business.
1. Internal knowledge base
SharePoint can be used as a shared organizational source that can be used for storing and managing internal data. It’s a collaborative platform where any individual within an organization can store information in the system and access it to get the job done.
Data like this is often accessed through a company-exclusive intranet and websites which often requires secured login to access it. SharePoint creates a comprehensive internal data storage ecosystem where employees can add and update crucial data which can be accessed at any time for future use.
The volume of information generated internally is a vital asset for the company that drives important decisions. This could include updating company policies, planning the next sales or marketing campaign, assessing the current loopholes in the system and means to rectify them, and more.
2. Role-based access
The foundation of information flow can be determined by the hierarchy of your business structure. Whether your organization has a top-down or flat hierarchy within various departments, it determines what kind of information reaches at which level of management.
This is where role-based access comes in. Using SharePoint as your enterprise KMS, you can assign rules for access to data according to the nature of information and grant access to only those individuals who need that data. Enabling role-based access adds further security to crucial data through a login ID and password or other forms of multi-factor authentication.
3. Advanced data sharing
As mentioned before, one of the biggest strengths of SharePoint lies in its ability to efficiently store, classify, and manage a variety of data and document types, and making it accessible to the right person(s) within an organization whenever necessary. This data can be in the form of a word document, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentation, PDF, and even multimedia like videos and podcasts.
SharePoint segregates the data input according to the file format and context of the data, making it easily accessible using the right keywords or through relevant tags assigned to documents. Moreover, people can interact with the data in real-time, thus creating a collaborative work environment. For instance, many people can work on a single file such as a PDF or a slideshow and give real-time feedback for faster turnaround time. Additionally, people within the organization can also share information in the form of videos and podcasts to get latest insights which can further improve the project quality in an engaging way.
Adapting to a dynamic business environment
The global work culture has changed drastically in the last year. As a large number of companies across the globe prioritize enabling employees to work from home, they also need to provide them an efficient digital infrastructure that allows a seamless and secure flow of information. Not only can collaboration tools such as SharePoint or Microsoft 365 reduce the cost of building and maintaining complex document management systems and workflows, but it also reduces the superfluous costs incurred on repetitive tasks and broken workflows due to errors.
In this scenario, the role of the knowledge management system becomes even more important as the information traveling throughout the organization isn’t limited to one office space. Creating a global knowledge management ecosystem will streamline the business operation so that work can be done effectively and efficiently through various sources.
SharePoint offers highly customizable and advanced document management capabilities, sorting complex information inflow, processing it in a simplified manner, and making it available to the right people no matter where they are. For businesses operating remotely, it is more important now than ever to incorporate SharePoint to keep up with the changing work environment and gain a significant competitive advantage with the right tools.
Additional benefits of SharePoint as a KMS
Apart from being an ideal knowledge management system of the new era, SharePoint can also be used to streamline various business functions that require little to no human involvement.
Perhaps the biggest strength of SharePoint is its ability to analyze data and create customized workflows. It further helps drive increased efficiency by restructuring the information hierarchy for maximum productivity and faster turnaround on processes. More importantly, SharePoint can be used to create a robust communication and feedback loop connecting departments such as HR, marketing, finance, etc., thus helping streamline processes and audits.
And it doesn’t stop here. SharePoint also helps tremendously in support functions like customer relationship management by processing previous customer interactions and predicting the next purchase cycle. Also, SharePoint helps in creating a collaborative workspace that enables employees to access the data and work on it anytime, anywhere.
To sum it up, SharePoint has the potential to be a one-stop solution for managing multiple interconnected business processes through efficient knowledge management and distribution. When deployed effectively and in conjunction with other Microsoft solutions such as Power BI or Power Automate, SharePoint can empower businesses to make smarter, data-driven decisions and improve the bottom line.
As a Microsoft services implementation partner, VBeyond Digital offers bespoke SharePoint development, customization, deployment, and maintenance solutions for your organization. We build customized, cost-effective, SharePoint platforms and applications matched to your exact business needs and help you get started on the path to sustained growth and increased ROI.