November 18, 2016
Written by Lori Mankin
It’s not surprising Network and Computer Systems Administrator is the fourth most stressful job in tech according to CIO.com. And the demands put on IT departments are not slowing down. Teams are expected to manage users, secure loopholes in the network and more. Additionally IT leaders are expected to keep up with the latest trends in technology, understand them in the context of their business and know how to implement them to benefit their organization. Whew! That’s a lot of pressure. Furthermore, IT support staff are expensive, so team leads are expected to be IT super heroes with as few people as possible.
Maybe the answer isn’t just more people. Maybe maximizing IT teams can be achieved by improving shared knowledge among the team. A knowledge management solution allows IT departments to function at their highest capacity by empowering each member of the team with searchable company knowledge. Below are three of the top IT challenges and a breakdown of how a knowledge management solution helps solve them.
1. IT Agility And Flexibility
At first glance many thought the cloud would be the key to agility and flexibility. As IT leaders are well aware, the cloud is not a ticket to easy street. The cloud causes integration chaos, has control limitations, and most noted by IT professionals, multiplies user management challenges. If I told you adding another cloud solution, such as a knowledge management solution, would help IT teams be more flexible, you would probably roll your eyes and check out. Stay with me.
A knowledge management tool empowers users to navigate a complicated tech stack. Also many knowledge management solutions have a promo bar, a place to highlight other products in the tech stack. Basically the KMS gives users one place to go to access information they need, which means less time they need to pull in IT for help. Even better some knowledge management solutions have SSO, that simplifies user management.
2. Speed of IT Delivery and Time-to-Market
Your team manages many processes that require tribal knowledge to complete. For example, consider all the questions your systems engineers ask themselves just to set-up a new user; Do we have workstations onsite I should use? Do I order a new one? Who do we order from? What are the configurations? How much memory do we need? Do we purchase a warranty? What software should I load locally? Do we have any Microsoft Office Licenses? Where are they?
You’re going to need access to a lot of information to answer all those questions.
If you store this information in Sharepoint or a wiki, it’s likely your team members will struggle to find it. There may be multiple versions of the same information and out of date content. A knowledge management solution indexes all of your content (even the words within PDFs and video) so users don’t have to search through folder after folder. Users can search for what they need, or ask questions that that become part of the public record. This will increase the speed of IT so your team can better serve the entire company, essentially increasing productivity.
3. Technology Alignment with the Business
One of the biggest worries expressed by IT directors is a disconnect from other departments, which makes it easy for IT support to get stuck in a ticket bubble. It doesn’t help that support staff could be working remotely, which furthers the disconnect. And in order to support and understand the technical stack in a way that best serves the business, IT support needs to understand the business, its goals and each department’s role in that success.
Knowledge management solutions improve communication across all departments and actively give users a look into what each department is working on. They also connects departments in a social way. Users can comment and “high-five” each other’s posts. Executive teams can share goals and accomplishments with the entire company. A KMS can increase IT teams connection to the business and help them feel connected to their colleagues.
With the right knowledge management solution, IT departments feel more connected to the rest of the company, are empowered by shareable, searchable collective knowledge, and can increase speed and decrease time-to-market. With all these improvements to performance, we don’t expect to see IT Support on the most stressful jobs list for much longer!
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