The challenge of knowledge management has always been the same: getting the right information to the right people at the right time in the right way. But as our August survey of 419 top IT executives shows, knowledge management systems—at least by that title—aren't yet a major focus for many companies. The good news is that for many of those installing KM systems, goals such as improving communications and enhancing customer and employee satisfaction were routinely met. The bad news: More ROI-focused goals, such as increasing profit margins and reducing costs, were rarely achieved.

Just a quarter of respondents have installed or are implementing a KM system, and about the same percentage say they're planning such an initiative. But more than half report no intention of installing a knowledge management capability. And those numbers don't change significantly among CIOs at larger companies—those with more than $20 million in annual revenues.

Fully 70% of CIOs who have no plans for a KM system concede that they have never even considered one. Top reasons: Forty percent were unsure of the benefits, while 34% had no budget for a KM system.

Widely cited reasons for deciding against installing KM included cost (32%), the perception that KM doesn't match corporate strategy (30%), that no system could be found that met corporate needs (26%) and lack of resources (29%).

This article was originally published on 11-01-2001
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