Knowledge management (KM) initiatives within organizations are substantially increased by promoting a KM culture that makes employees perceive knowledge sharing as a productive process.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan ( India Knowledge Management Software and Services Markets, reveals that revenues in this industry totaled $22.7 million in 2002 and are projected to reach $54.2 million by 2007. "Indian companies face the daunting task of developing strategies that would lead to knowledge capture, discovery, and sharing since traditionally employees work in groups where tacit knowledge is only leveraged for a specific task," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Amit Phatak.

Knowledge repositories that spur demand for KM solutions are created from tacit knowledge when individuals or strategic knowledge groups integrate past case studies and digitize experiences and existing knowledge bases.

Since contribution of tacit knowledge from individuals is the key to successful knowledge repositories, market participants have to dispel the common notion that information sharing is a breach of privacy and remove the false sense of competition that obstructs knowledge sharing.

The second critical challenge concerning the implementation of a KM solution is that of justifying investments for KM initiatives over a short- term period since the return on investments for the pilot projects is either intangible or long term in nature. "Increase in responsiveness and employee productivity, faster go-to-market cycles and enhanced collaboration of remote teams are non-quantifiable parameters that make gauging and quantifying the benefits of a KM solution a difficult task," notes Phatak. Since most organizations base their purchase decisions on quantifiable benefits from a product or solution, finding ways to demonstrate the direct benefits of KM will boost sales.

Another way to increase end-user acceptance of KM solutions is to facilitate a greater understanding of various KM software and provide a technology road map to enable implementation. This strategy will ensure that the high level of overall awareness of KM solutions in India within the top businesses translates into a healthy demand for implementation of KM software and related services.

Consultants and system integrators that provide a larger picture of the overall KM components and the ways and means to integrate these are likely to drive future pilot implementations within leading enterprises.

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