Does your company maintain a knowledge base? A knowledge base is essentially a virtual warehouse with important info, lessons, training tips, and all of that personnel data that HR has amassed. However, just as important as it is to have a public, online knowledge base software, keeping a private, internal knowledge base is equally important.
The material in a personal knowledge base is more subjective to the owner and focuses on knowledge learned rather than repeated information. It contains trends, relationships, categories, and personal observations, preserving insights gained through one’s work experience.
Talking specifically about chief information officers (CIOs)—they are the pillars of a company, as they take charge of information, IT strategy, and electronic systems that support the organization’s objectives. Their job profile demands multitasking, where they manage and control the magnanimous overflow of information from across all directions, budgets, IT assets, employees, organization, planning, communication, collaboration, and more. And simply to manage it all in the best-possible manner, it is necessary for a CIO to have a knowledge base.
Why? Let’s find out now. The below list shows six major reasons why every CIO should have his or her own internal knowledge base.
#1. It’s a Powerful Time-Saving Tool
Nothing could be more embarrassing than being with a client or potential investor and having to stop to look up an answer to a question. Whether this person is a shareholder or customer, everyone wants quick resolutions and solutions to their problems.
Searching for files can be a huge waste of time and productivity. An internal knowledge base reduces this search time considerably by having information readily available. Additionally, a CIO can use a personal database to solve a problem immediately rather than waiting to find a solution. This can shorten the troubleshooting phase and allow your company to provide support more efficiently.
#2. It Provides IT Asset Management
CIOs are responsible for their company’s IT sector, where there are plenty of hardware and software solutions needed daily by IT team members. An internal knowledge base can help manage hardware and software expiration or refresh dates. This helps prevent stalling of projects due to equipment or software malfunction by staying on top of an equipment’s life cycle.
In the long run, using an internal knowledge base for IT asset management saves a significant amount of money for businesses, especially when your company’s IT products are used as the main tools for daily business.
#3. It Can Track the History of Past Projects, Making Budgeting Easier
Setting a project budget is necessary to be able to predict timelines and foresee problems that might arise. Making future-proof plans requires an extensive collection of a variety of data, but with an internal knowledge base software, a CIO can store relevant information about past projects and use it to make easier predictions about future budgets and deadlines.
This can directly impact project expenses and save huge dollars on big projects. It can also help a CIO plan for more prominent activities, such as expansion. By relying on collected data, the CIO knows when it might be the best financial time to embrace expansion. He or she can use a knowledge base to monitor and record progress, continuing the cycle of improvement and becoming more efficient and streamlined as time passes.
#4. It Can Help You Manage Employees Better (and Even Attract New Ones)
A personal knowledge base is not only beneficial for technical and project data but also useful for managing employee data. The CIO can handpick employees for the most effective and efficient team to handle the most challenging projects.
Additionally, when the time for promotion comes, the CIO will have a clearer insight about who is most deserving. With a knowledge base, a CIO can track the stats of the new employees and how well each of them is improving in the workplace.
It can also help provide useful information to middle management, who might be looking for data on their team’s performance. By having this information ready, it can empower managers to be the best-possible leaders and communicators for their staff. This is also beneficial in the hiring process: Knowing where the new employees will fit by having a knowledge base of current projects and employee status can help a CIO make the right hire.
#5. It Provides More Control Over Collaboration
No matter how large or small a business is, it can be a tedious task to continually bother other in-house departments for the information you might need for your work project. It can be even more frustrating if you are asking for information you once had or information you should already know.
By keeping an internal, personal location where vital company information is stored, a CIO can reduce the time-consuming to and fro between departments. Additionally, it provides them with more grasp over the collaboration process, giving an understanding of how departments are reliant on one another to complete tasks.
This is especially important if your company is outsourcing a project or working with an external partner. The CIO will have more control, as he or she can more easily share the important data and instructions personally with partners.
#6. It Enhances Transparency
Grapevine word-of-mouth communication can sometimes help employees to interpret managerial information; but often, by the time the information reaches the employees who need it the most, pieces are lost in translation or altered in conversation.
It is important to keep written technical documentation so that the message does not change from executive leadership down to entry-level employees. Using online knowledge base software, you can slow down the rumor mill and provide transparent, factual data. Employees value transparency in their interactions with management, and an internal knowledge base will help you remain in control of the message and its origin.
As the reasons above clearly demonstrate, a CIO personal knowledge base is key to a company’s success. Not only will your company run more efficiently, but you can save money, streamline productivity, and create more accurate budget predictions.
If your company doesn’t already utilize an online knowledge base software, it’s never too late to start building a knowledge base now. Your internal relationships and strategic business partnerships will get the much-needed boost.
|Robin Singh is a Technical Support Executive and is currently a resident knowledge management expert at ProProfs. He is an expert in knowledge management and various Knowledge base tools. In his free time, Robin enjoys reading and traveling.|