According to InfoWorld, 9 out of 10 companies will have at least some of their applications in the cloud next year. Knowledge management systems are certainly part of this trend, with new offerings emerging that are more accessible, scalable, and flexible than their on-prem counterparts.
What types of knowledge management systems currently exist? Are cloud knowledge management systems superior to on-prem deployments? And what are the benefits of taking knowledge management to the cloud?
Types of knowledge management systems
So what’s the difference between the on-premises and cloud KM software?
On-prem knowledge management software requires a local server to operate and retain data, a network for funneling information to and from employees, security protocols — including hardware and software — and on-going management to keep the entire infrastructure running efficiently. An on-prem model requires a customer to purchase the software and use internal resources to implement and support the application.
In contrast, a cloud knowledge management system operates under a software as a service (SaaS) model, which utilizes the infrastructure of major cloud vendors (Microsoft Azure, AWS, or GCP). In this model, a customer pays a monthly subscription fee to access the product, with no implementation required from their internal IT team. Additionally, a cloud based KM platform can pull data from other systems to help expedite deployment.
Benefits of cloud-based knowledge management platforms
On-prem knowledge management software solutions require IT staff, overhead costs, and on-going maintenance. Unexpected costs are a concern; when hardware breaks, you can expect a bottom-line impact. Security protocols and software updates must be manually pushed out and maintained to help mitigate risk.
A cloud based KM solution has predictable pricing structure without random cost spikes or the need to invest in more infrastructure as your knowledge management environment grows. You don’t need to tie up your internal IT resources to help patch and support the software either.
Additional benefits include:
- Cost reduction via a monthly budgeted subscription, with no equipment or staffing expenses.
- Improved access on any device, allowing employees to work from anywhere they have a cloud connection.
- Faster communication and real-time decision making at the speed of the internet.
- Scalability in the cloud, which lets you add or remove subscriptions as needed.
As a result of moving company knowledge and data to the cloud, some organizations may fear security and compliance risks. However, most cloud based KM platforms using the major cloud providers have all of the security controls required to maintain a safe and compliant environment.
Are you trying to decide between a cloud or on-premise approach to knowledge management? Consult with the ikaun team today.
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