A business is, in essence, a vast collection of knowledge and information. It’s what’s behind the creation of benchmark products and services, and it exists as a web of insights and ideas shared by staff. It’s in your documentation—your manuals, guidelines, lists, databases, memos, and files.

And it’s also in the minds of your team members, as the expertise you need to capture to enhance your business. Knowledge is power, and when properly harnessed, it fuels a successful company.

Technology has had a tremendous impact on knowledge management (KM), inspiring the development of robust software platforms to leverage KM strategies. Knowledge management software continues to evolve in response to new demands and challenges.

Let’s look at 15 emerging knowledge management trends for 2017 that are changing the course of KM software.

1. Social Is the Name of the Game.

Social media has revolutionized the way we use the Internet. People are taking to Facebook and Twitter not only to share personal stories but to promote their business’ products and services and to connect with larger audiences.

Social networking sites are highly effective tools for marketing and communication, and they’re also extremely easy to use. As a result, the “social” element can be integrated with a variety of application types, including knowledge management software.

When social media elements are blended with KM software, the workday becomes easier. Staff can communicate more intuitively and engage more effectively, since social elements are “second nature.”

If several languages coalesce, the grammar of the resulting language is more simple and regular than that of the individual languages. The new common language will be more simple and regular than the existing European languages. It will be as simple as Occidental; in fact, it will be Occidental.

2. Search Indexing Is Maturing.

Search functionality is critical, and largely depends on indexing, which organizes search results so that they’re relevant and coherent. Social business applications like social intranet software and KM software rely on robust search functionality to ensure peak performance.

As search indexing continues to mature, users will be able to retrieve files and documents more rapidly, increasing productivity.

3. Enterprise Collaboration Will Get Easier and Become More Important.

Collaboration enhances business processes, but connecting your team members can be a challenge, especially if you have staff working remotely. Fortunately, KM systems are becoming more collaborative than ever, as seen in social intranet software, allowing individuals to work on documents and communicate with each other in real time.

4. Mobile Technology Will Be Front and Center.

km trends mobile technology

Look around any coffee shop these days, and chances are you’ll see at least a few people staring at their smartphones or tablets. Mobile technology has become a primary means of accessing the Web for both personal and professional reasons. Mobile devices save both money and time, and as a result, mobile technology and KM software will soon be inseparable.

Staff members need access to an organization’s knowledge management system (KMS) while they’re on the go. Vendors are making sure that their social intranet software works on smartphones and tablets without issue in response to this demand.

5. Visuals will Replace Lists.

Early versions of KM software featured long lists, elaborate file names, and spotty functionality. Images and icons were almost nonexistent, and users had to scroll through dense lines of text to locate documents. However, the visual aspect of KM software has evolved, and current software increasingly relies on images to help users navigate more easily. Text-based lists will be all but replaced with images when it comes to searching for files and documents.

6. External Processes Will Be Integrated.

Between communicating, scheduling, managing projects, creating content and other activities, many of today’s professionals find themselves juggling numerous instances of software just to stay on track. External processes will always be necessary, but that doesn’t mean they can’t live in the same place as KM. Social intranet software eliminates the need to log into several different applications. Users can work from an integrated suite that allows for all processes to be handled in one convenient space.

7. User Engagement Will Increase.

km trends increase engagement

Staff members are actively looking to contribute to their companies by sharing their insights and ideas. KM is shifting from control to cultivation, so that your team can share information organically. To encourage this engagement, KM software permissions are becoming more flexible and inclusive.

8. Content Creation and Knowledge Management Will Go Hand in Hand.

intranet software blog

Content such as blogs and articles are essential tools for marketing. Organizations regularly generate new content to keep pace with increasing demands for information. KM software now allows you to tag, share, and organize content as soon as you create it. This helps to cut down on confusion and makes knowledge management a more interactive process.

9. Segmentation of Spaces Will Become Increasingly Useful.

Your KMS is a social community in which information assets are shared, refined, and organized. However, businesses often suffer from information overload, particularly during periods of rapid growth and success.

Finding a fix used to be difficult, but KM software allows for segmentation of information into multiple community spaces. Your marketing team won’t be overwhelmed with documentation that pertains to accounting or tech support.

The segmentation feature will continue to play a major role in the future of social intranet and KM software.

10. UI (User Interface) Will Be Friendlier than Ever.

To an English person, it will seem like simplified English, as a skeptical Cambridge friend of mine told me what Occidental is. The European languages are members of the same family. Their separate existence is a myth. For science, music, sport, etc, Europe uses the same vocabulary.

The languages only differ in their grammar, their pronunciation and their most common words. Everyone realizes why a new common language would be desirable: one could refuse to pay expensive translators. To achieve this, it would be necessary to have uniform grammar, pronunciation and more common words.

If several languages coalesce, the grammar of the resulting language is more simple and regular than that of the individual languages. The new common language will be more simple and regular than the existing European languages.

Credit goes to Tim Eisenhauer the author and co-founder and president of Axero and the author of his forthcoming book, Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? Break Down the Invisible Barriers to Employee Engagement.