A recent eWeek article states that “IT service providers struggle to make sense out of disparate data that exist in the IT universe”. IT knowledge management is designed to change all that, providing structured processes for collecting, storing, and disseminating IT-related intelligence throughout an organization.
The primary goal of IT knowledge management is to improve technology performance, accelerate technology enhancement and expansion, and increase IT efficiency of. All these benefits, ultimately, maximize the agility of the IT organization, allowing them to better serve the needs of end users and the business as a whole.
Without structured IT knowledge management in place, IT activities will likely be fragmented and disjointed (especially in large organizations with geographically-dispersed IT teams), and companies will fail to effectively align IT systems and operations to key business processes.
IT knowledge management is important for a variety of reasons. The first is to prevent knowledge loss in the event of employee attrition. The second is to eliminate redundant or duplicate work, particularly in the area of help desk or IT support, by enabling more rapid and effective resolution of recurring issues in the technology environment. Third is risk mitigation, as IT knowledge management helps companies avoid the obstacles associated with the “trial and error” approach to problem detection and correction.
The ITIL has loosely defined an IT knowledge management model, known as the configuration management database (CMDB) model. A CMDB “represents the authorized configuration of the significant components of the IT environment. A CMDB helps an organization understand the relationships between these components and track their configuration,” according to Wikipedia.
But, while many experts consider a CMDB repository to be somewhat basic in nature, most agree that it can be quickly expanded into a broader-reaching IT knowledge management strategy, serving as the model for the entire enterprise by delivering insight that links core operations to the systems that enable their execution, and ultimately to the components in the environment that support them.
Additionally, in version 3, the ITIL highlights a Service Knowledge Management System (SKMS), a solution intended to centralize related experiences to aid in faster, better decision-making regarding service and support.