Learning From the Internet Giants
Getting more value from knowledge — especially from a firm’s own hard-won knowledge — is one of the central challenges facing companies today. Many organizations have approached this problem in recent years by making big investments in IT systems, but the payoff has often been disappointing. Companies would do better to emulate the innovative giants of the Internet — Google, eBay and Amazon — whose success has in part derived from their ability to make it easy for customers to find what they are looking for, to browse for products and services, and to evaluate potential purchases.
These are exactly the things that are hard to do in most companies. That is, employees find that it is not intuitive to search for information in company repositories; they cannot easily browse within categories of knowledge; and they are not given the context they need in order to evaluate the quality of the knowledge they do find. The authors assert that if organizations apply the basic, proven approaches of the Internet success stories to capture the attention of their employees, they should be able to improve their ROI on sunk IT costs, while increasing knowledge-worker productivity.