A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge  
TABLE OF CONTENTS     What is e-Knowledge?
© SCUP 2003
   
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Pioneering Examples of e-Knowledge (continued)

   

Chapter 1

What is e-Knowledge?

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Those studies led to insights into some of the ways in which knowledge flows and organizational routines develop, both within individual companies and within supply chains. Perhaps more interestingly, they suggest that knowledge that is in scarce supply, such as the knowledge of leading designers, can be used within a community of practice to raise awareness of best practice and to then augment the capabilities of others. In this way, even modestly-trained staff can set more valued targets for themselves and can reach them.

Larger, follow-through projects are envisaged at the European level. Such ventures offer the prospect that entire segments of manufacturing industry could make use of shared libraries of expertise in key areas such as computer-aided design and manufacture, coupled with shared facilities for describing their capabilities, their products, and even individual components in sector-wide databases. Every part of this initiative requires consideration of the details as well as the vision. There has to be agreement about the sharing of knowledge and about the technical details of how knowledge will be described so that it can be updated, shared, and accessed via wide-area networks to be used both by computers and by human users. The role of standards is crucial here.

Today’s high-wage economies, such as high-technology manufacturing, will not be sustainable unless they can make better use of knowledge about best practice and can meet global performance levels for the time and costs of operations. Agreement about the details of knowledge-sharing, and in particular the standards to be used to describe and share knowledge, is now seen as a key element in the success of knowledge-intensive organizations that work with other enterprises to develop products and services.

 

Making e-Government Work

As pervasive computing begins to impact all societies and economies, it enables not just new learning and knowledge management capabilities, but it also triggers the growth of government services.

For example, Michigan.gov, the State of Michigan’s government services portal, has been widely acclaimed as raising the bar in terms of e-government. It has achieved this through delivering integrated access and clear benefits to all stakeholders—government departments, businesses, and citizens of the state. It has also achieved this through vision, leadership, and a willingness to transform the business processes of government by closely aligning the expertise required (at all organizational levels) with a strategic plan for service delivery. Giving customers what they want has been key, and so has recognition that transformation is an ongoing process.

With cost-savings and benefits to the customer in terms of timeliness and trusted information, Michigan.gov delivers everything from fishing licenses and camping ground reservations to schedules of legal hearings to comprehensive schooling directories, the granting of e-scholarships and personalized portals.

e-Government is integrating services delivery, thereby creating new experiences for citizens such as one-stop shopping for information and services. But even greater strides are being made in developing knowledge communities that enable government departments to resolve cross-cutting issues and engage with other departments and customers/citizens in formulating policies and services.

 

Meanwhile, and on a much grander scale, the UK Government is now consolidating a knowledge management framework that spans all levels of government and recognizes “knowledge communities” as the key to moving forward. The framework is building upon the earlier success of its e-Envoy’s Knowledge Network. Launched in late 2000, the Knowledge Network has achieved a significant milestone in delivering real-time knowledge sharing between government departments. Efficiencies are not just being delivered in terms of timeliness but also in the handling of issues that require cross-departmental input and rationalization. Importantly, key industry players such as IBM, Cable and Wireless, and Lotus have also supported this initiative.

In a similar way to the UK’s e-Envoy, the Australian National Office for the Information Economy is leading the introduction of integrated government service delivery. After launching a comprehensive Government Online Strategy in early 2000, it is now concerned with moving to the next phase of online services development. The issue is no longer about establishing government agency presence online but in delivering a return on investment through ensuring all stakeholders derive benefit from interoperable services.

 

         

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