The Implications of Blockchain for KM and IM

Metataxis are speaking at a seminar of the Network for Information & Knowledge Exchange (NetIKX), on Thursday 6 July 2017.

The seminar overview is: Blockchain is a word that is growing in usage – in both the IT and information management worlds. It is one of the most exciting and potentially game-changing technologies. But what is it and what does it mean? And as information professionals what do we need to know? What will be its impact on the management of information and knowledge?

See or download a PDF summary for more information.

The importance of taking a holistic view of information and knowledge management.

Information and knowledge are crucial organisational assets, and like any other assets (people, property etc.) need to be considered and managed from a holistic point of view. This means that there needs to be a strategy which addresses all content across the organisation and which is driven by the over-arching organisational vision and strategy and closely linked to strategies for technology and HR.

Corporate information strategy documents often make statements such as:
• ‘Information’ covers documents, data, images, sound, video and social media;
• Information is treated as a valued asset;
• Information can be trusted;
• There is one version of the truth;
• Information openness is the norm (duty to share, rather than need to know);
• Information management will be embedded into the culture.

In order to turn these ideals into reality, the organisation needs to start by understanding its current information environment, and to create a collections model for the future environment. Understanding the current environment means investigating the content of all repositories such as shared drives, document management systems, paper stores, databases, websites, intranet, blogs, wikis, and so on. Only by understanding the form and nature of current corporate information can you create a future information architecture which will support all of the statements in an information strategy. This sort of discovery work needs to be completed at least at a high level in order to understand the current landscape as a whole and start to map out what the future collections model – essentially what goes where and how it’s categorised and related – should look like in order to maximise these assets.

Unless you take this holistic view there will continue to be duplicated content, confusion for staff as to what goes where, important content that just gets lost, or cumbersome processes in making sure that staff get the information they need. For example, many organisations separate out their intranet for corporate content (i.e. mainly information that the organisation wishes to highlight for its staff, such as policies and procedures or news) from the main document management system (DMS). How do the policies on the intranet relate to the policies in the DMS? How do staff know which one is the latest version? How do the policy creators publish the latest version to the intranet? Are there then two copies of the latest version: one on the intranet and on in the DMS? If we are publishing procedures on the intranet, are they all procedures for all departments, or just the ones HR consider to be key? Where are the others? You may also have specific repositories for managing projects or cases: how do these tie in with the DMS? How does the content of internal social networks relate to other content? There might be valuable insights stored in social networks: how is this captured and managed?

The key is to design your future collections model for the whole organisation to ensure that content of all kinds is grouped in the most logical way to support business requirements. This can be implemented piece by piece, but must be designed at the outset. The collections model is underpinned by an enterprise metadata scheme and data model, both of which are supported by the ontology, which also supports intelligent search.

The discovery work is the fundamental first step. Once you know what you have, you know what you can discard, either by destruction or by archiving. You can create the structures and classifications which determine what lives where, how it is connected and how it is found and used.

The Future of IKM – new LinkedIn group and meetings

The future is all around us. We are experiencing change affecting all aspects of our lives – from the professional to the personal. Although we don’t know exactly what the future holds, we can be certain that in 5 years’ time so much will have changed. But change does not have to be negative or scary: doing things differently is not intrinsically bad, but we do have to come to terms with how the changes will affect us both personally and at work.

We believe that the information profession is facing exciting opportunities and now is the time to grab them with both hands! Yes, some roles will undoubtedly disappear, however new ones are appearing. These changes will definitely impact on how we interact with and support our business users.

To our minds one key way of coming to terms with and embracing change is to understand and actively engage with the elements of change – that way one can reconcile and adapt to change, taking advantage of the opportunities it brings.

Noeleen Schenk (Metataxis) and Sheila Moorcroft (Realising Your Future) have been doing just that. We have started a series of conversations with thought leaders in the wider information and knowledge management discipline. The aim of the discussions is to identify key trends that are already affecting (or will do so in the near future) information and knowledge management, considering what this could mean to the profession and how it will impact on how organisations create, use and manage their information assets. A summary of the discussions to date can be accessed here.

In order to facilitate our conversations, we have created a LinkedIn Group  and will be holding regular (every 3-4 months) evening meetups. We would welcome as many people as possible to join both conversations.

The first meeting is on September 6th (NOTE CHANGE OF DATE) in London – details and booking via Eventbrite.

Workshopping the Future of Information and Knowledge Management

The future is uncertain – it cannot be predicted. However this does not mean we should not be identifying and analysing current developments that point to potential paradigm shifts in how we create, manage and use information and knowledge. These developments fall across the political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental spectrum.

Analysing these developments by identify the driving forces will help us consider the future trends we are likely to encounter and the future we would like to create. By having structured and thoughtful speculation about the future, we can begin to prepare for whatever future may arrive. It is one of the important keys to business preparedness.

Noeleen Schenk from Metataxis and Sheila Moorcroft from Realising your Future will be holding a series of invitation-only workshops over the next two months as structured and facilitated conversations to explore the developments and identify the likely trends shaping and changing the generation and application of knowledge and information in strategy and research.

The aim of the workshops will be to:

  • Identify predetermined elements (i.e. will persist in any scenario)
  • Identify the driving forces (i.e. forcing the pace of change such as increased global competition)
  • Decide which are current trends (i.e. current events that are variable)

The outputs of the workshop will be a series of trends which we will then survey participants to assess the impact / likelihood – possibly also an indicative timeframe or other measures for each of the trends, in terms of their relevance and implications for IKM in the next 5-10 years.

The findings will be more widely circulated next year.