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How Do I Choose the Best Open Source Knowledge Management Software?

By D. Nelson
Updated May 16, 2024
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Before you choose an open source knowledge management software product, it is necessary to determine which solutions would best improve efficiency and productivity in your organization. For many professionals, the best way to find solutions is to enlist the help of a business analyst or knowledge management specialist. These professionals can use data that reflects the status of your organization, as well as a market or industry outlook, to determine what your organization needs to be more successful. Once you understand how your organization can benefit from open source knowledge management software, it might be a good idea to consider factors such as features of different programs, compatibility, and usability.

Knowledge management software is any kind of computer program that enables members of an organization to store, access, and share relevant information. These systems can also be known as document or content management systems. When software is open source, its code is made available, often free of charge, to the public.

A primary goal of knowledge management is to help managers and executives use intelligence to make more informed business decisions. An equally important goal of knowledge management is to help all members of an organization to share information that can improve their performances. For this reason, your choice of open source knowledge management software should be dependent on areas in which you would like to see improvement. Individuals who would like to improve inventory management, for example, should choose software that provides users with templates and functions that make it easier for them to track assets and monitor requirements for production.

Once you find open source knowledge management software that makes sense for your needs, you can narrow your choices down by compatibility requirements. Pay attention to which operating systems programs require. Many professionals can benefit from software that they can access from mobile devices. If this is the case, you should make sure that programs you consider can be accessed as mobile applications.

Usability can be a very important factor when it comes to choosing the best open source knowledge management software. Ideally, a knowledge management system should include interfaces that any member of an organization can use without extensive training. Since open source software can often be accessed at no cost, you might want to test several interfaces to determine which might be easiest for your employees to learn. Keep in mind, however, that training is an important part of knowledge management system implementation, so you should expect that members of your organization might undergo some instruction.

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Discussion Comments

By salujakb — On Nov 24, 2016

Of course, training, usability, and implementation are an important part of a successful KM strategy, but as you mentioned, it isn't helpful to managers only. An efficient knowledge management software also helps improve customer support service, providing agents with the right knowledge at the right time.

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