Knowledge As A Business Asset
The value balance between developing an idea and its practical realization changes with time. As automation is widely used throughout all industry branches, the price of getting a know-how becomes relatively higher. Consequently, it becomes the best area to focus at.
The information era started when cost of knowledge came close to that of traditional enterprise assets such as industrial assembly lines or raw resources. Certain piece of machinery can be precious today but knowledge is needed for upgrading it to keep fit tomorrow. Resources can be rare, yet knowledge helps using them more effectively. Finally, knowledge helps finding new technology paths and opening new markets.
We have already talked much about automation in modern business. As more work gets done by automated systems, high level tasks gain more importance. They include creation, taking risks, strategic decisions making, managing intellectual property etc. And all those things are based upon knowledge.
Perhaps best ideas come as a lightning flash, yet a great amount of intellectual efforts is always required to prepare the ground for an insight to appear. And it is universally accepted that brainstorming rocks. Collective thinking of several motivated individuals provides amazing results — as soon as the communication is good.
Modern Collaboration Technologies
Communication technologies are one of the most fast-developing IT industry segments. Sharing information remotely can have certain limitations — slow connectivity, incompatible systems on both ends which complicate document sharing, too much time spent for setting up all collaboration tools and so on. Removing these obstacles is the primary tasks of collaboration portal solutions.
A collaboration portal is a distributed network with a centralized (optionally) controlling center and a set of tools for document management & user communication. A portal thus allows remote storage and various software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools; on the other it establishes end-to-end channels between users to ensure fast and stable data exchange. Centralized hosting of documents and collaboration software simplifies enhanced data security and also makes it easier to synchronize the entire network. From a customer’s view, the process of knowledge exchange is easy and simple enough because you don’t have to deal with software itself – all you need is a browser to load the portal’s web interface; besides your documents and the changes you did to them are kept in a remote storage, so you can access them later from different locations.
Collaboration portal solutions are now proposed by all major ECM software niche players. For example, SharePoint provides templates and options for its users to create their own collaboration portals as hierarchies of sites (basic SharePoint units). Using third-party frameworks is also possible. Afterwards, such portal as a part of customer’s SharePoint environment can usually be upgraded to newer SharePoint versions (of course in any particular case it depends on how much development was done and how complex the changes were).
ECM Documentum, Alfresco and many other ECM solutions also can be used as platforms for building collaboration portals. Each of those platforms has its own peculiarities, so for any specific business case a deliberate research is needed before selecting one.
Entering A New Level With The Cloud
After the concept of Cloud migration was widely introduced to businesses, the usage of remote memory and shared computing resources becomes more and more popular. Telecommunication technologies are evolving fast and thus allow better connectivity and higher speed of data exchange year by year. That removes many obstacles to broader usage of remote servers and therefore makes the Cloud migration more seamless from a customer’s point of view.
Using Cloud solutions for building collaboration portals means radically moving the collaboration process out of the intranet. Since most of modern ECM platforms support Cloud, a company can easily use the services of an independent provider to support its collaboration portal and organize effective knowledge exchange. It helps avoiding using existing (and often limited) memory and computing resources or acquire new.
If you are interested in building your own collaboration portal and would like to get a quote from experts – feel free to contact us!