I can’t lose if I begin this post with a quote from Aristotle: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” I actually do think of this when I consider the impact of integration. With regard to knowledge management applications, KM solutions should not dictate the way people work and how they do things, but rather should dock neatly with existing systems and processes in order to optimize organizational knowledge delivery and exchange.
Knowledge management solutions should integrate with an organization’s existing systems and applications; work seamlessly with the current IT infrastructure; map to departmental workflows, and leverage existing assets – which include people and content repositories.
Why is all of that important? In part because if your KM system or ILS seamlessly integrates with your portal, its content is automatically fed to the “right” pages. The latest HR information magically appears on the HR page, fresh marketing collateral is instantly propagated throughout your site, and weekly financial updates find their way to the appropriate department sites.
Lucidea’s tools empower you to provide content within a user’s context, and our seamless integration enables you to effortlessly leverage your existing platforms. With good integration, you don’t need to overhaul your entire information resources architecture. Instead, you can connect existing resources with your portal so that users get exactly the information they need when they need it.
Since I’m in a philosophical mood, I’ll also reference Hakuin’s Zen koan: “Two hands clap and there is a sound. What is the sound of one hand?” Without being integrated into an organization’s infrastructure and workflows, a KM or library system will never reach its full potential, no matter what terrific features and functionality it offers. Develop a holistic integration strategy, and your ILS or KM platform will get the applause it deserves (sorry!) as a key driver of the organizational knowledge engine.
Integration was definitely a focal point for the panelists at the SLA 2014 discussion we hosted, with the theme of Adapt, Act and Thrive – a white paper developed with what we learned during the panel.