IT Shoves Content Management Down Services’ Throat–How to Prepare for Battle

CIOs are on alert: Beginning January 1st, 2011, more than 10,000 Baby Boomers will reach the age of 65 every single day. That will happen every single day for the next 19 years. The “brain drain” this will cause technology companies is worrying–that is lots of knowledge walking out the door. As a result, most CIOs are on a warpath to capture more tacit knowledge to protect against the brain drain.

It is no surprise then that spending on knowledge management tools is up. As seen in this chart from my 2011 Member Technology Survey, planned spending on knowledge tools is high across all service disciplines, with 50% of support services and field service organizations having budget for additional KM tools this year. Even PS–our most technology-phobic group of members–has high spending, with 28% of PS groups planning KM purchases to help document customizations and integrations and other best practices for onsite engagements.

Percent of members with budget for KM tools in 2011-2012

But here comes the challenge: with CIOs focusing on content management systems (CMSs) for the enterprise, I’m hearing from more service leaders that their search for specialist KM tools for service is being thwarted by IT, who is pushing everyone to adopt their generic enterprise tools. In fact, according to my technology survey, 21% of service organizations are now stuck with an enterprise content management tool (SharePoint, Lotus Notes, Documentum, etc.) instead of a specialized tool for capturing problem/resolution scenarios.

On this Thursday’s webcast, “Can’t We Just Use SharePoint? A Knowledge Manager’s Guide to Productive Conversations with IT,” we are going to discuss why these generic tools do not fit the needs of support. As one TSIA member said to me, “SharePoint is a black hole of content. We keep entering information, but we can’t retrieve it.” Examples include:

  • Workflow. Generic CMSs are not Knowledge Centered Support certified and are missing the workflow rules for capturing and sharing content KCS mandates.
  • Search. CMSs use very generic keyword search, not intelligent search. The difference? Try asking Google a question–you don’t get the answer, you get websites with the same words. Support specialists need search tools specifically designed to understand the intent of the question and offer an answer.
  • Analytics. Specialist KM tools include analytics for duplicate and missing content, actually flagging you for content being searched that doesn’t exist, as well as consumption reporting on hot trends and topics for creating dynamic FAQ lists.
  • Self-service. Even if employees can be trained to use CMS tools, they will never be intuitive enough for customers attempting self-service. This is one of the reasons we are seeing self-service success continually trending down.

Someone who battles this every day is Tim Hines, Vice President of Product Management for Consona, whose Knova knowledge management platform is highly adopted by TSIA members. On the webcast, I’ll have a conversation with Tim about the differences between service-specific KM tools and generic content and document management. We’ll also talk about how to present your case to IT for the tools you need, including making the business case with ROI.

With 2012 looking like a tight budget year, attend this important webcast so when IT comes calling with tool recommendations that will dumb down your project, you are prepared!

Explore posts in the same categories: Best Practices, Consumer Support, Enterprise Support, field service, knowledge management, Professional Services, self-service, Technology

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2 Comments on “IT Shoves Content Management Down Services’ Throat–How to Prepare for Battle”


  1. LOL @ “Can’t we just use SharePoint.” I hear this question get asked every week! I’m looking forward to this presentation — as an industry, we really need some practical feedback on how to respond to this.

  2. Roy Says:

    Couldn’t agree more. As I just recently visited TSW in LV it was great to see the support-specific solutions from Knova, SoftLib, etc.


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