A report and survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit has shown that knowledge management solutions are now the most important strategic technologies for large companies.
In the survey, sponsored by Tata Consulting Services, nearly two-thirds of companies cited knowledge management/business intelligence solutions as important to achieving their strategic goals over the next three years. 63% attributed the same level of importance to new CRM solutions, and 35% saw mobile/wireless technology as vital.
One significant finding was that over half of executives thought IT's failure to prioritise information was the main barrier to effective decision-making. Consolidating information and providing consistent performance indicators were regarded as the most important step firms could take to improve the speed and quality of decision-making.
For managers, relevant information was cited as more important than "information anywhere". When asked where IT needed to improve most to help managers make better decisions, the top two priorities were to make it easier to analyse and drill down into information (40%) and to improve the quality of data (31%). Only 12% of executives saw ensuring access to information anywhere as a priority for improvement.
The sample also indicated that good customer information was “elusive”.
The sample indicated that knowledge about customers, their preferences and their behaviour was the overwhelming focus for improving the quality of information in large organisations. Indeed, the focus of customer relationship management (CRM) initiatives would seem to be shifting from automating processes and collecting data to enabling more sophisticated analysis of customer requirements and buying habits.