Knowledge Management Hits Its Stride, According to IDC

FRAMINGHAM, MA.- MAY 23, 2000 – Knowledge management is picking up momentum and getting ready to leave the early adopter stage behind. No longer is technology driving interest in knowledge management. Instead, the desire to meet business goals is creating the enthusiasm. According to IDC, this desire will spark a spurge in spending, and by 2003 knowledge management services will be more than an $8 billion market, up from $1.3 billion in 1999.

"Today, the most common reasons companies initiate knowledge management projects are for growing revenue and profit, retaining key talent and expertise, and improving customer services," said Greg Dyer, senior research analyst with IDC's Knowledge Management program. "Another indication of knowledge management's increasing importance is the change in the person deciding to initiate these types of projects. Formerly, the decisions were driven by IT departments. Today, CIOs, CFOs, CEOs, and other senior managers are initiating knowledge management projects."

IDC defines knowledge management as a formal process that evaluates a company's organizational processes, people, and technology and develops a system that leverages the relationships between these components to get the right information to the right people at the right time to improve productivity.

To achieve their business goals, organizations implementing knowledge management initiatives are focusing on applications involving knowledge sharing, best practices, and customer relationship management.

IDC warns companies that think an effective knowledge management program can be planned and implemented in just a few years will be in for a rude awakening. In most cases knowledge management is a long-term initiative.

"To develop a worthwhile program, a company must go through two phases to establish a knowledge management program," Dyer said. "The first is the planning phase and is used to understand a program's goal, the business applications that will be used, what operational areas will be affected, the individuals who will be involved, and the organization's level of preparation. The second phase is implementation, which incorporated the knowledge solution and the related measures into the organization."

IDC recently published two reports that discuss knowledge management. The Knowledge Management Process: A Practical Approach (IDC #B21833) describes the process companies considering knowledge management solutions should follow. The report outlines the seven steps involved in planning and implementing knowledge management solutions. Knowledge Management: Hitting Its Stride (IDC #B21834) examines the current state of the market. The report forecasts knowledge management services spending through 2003 and provides historical data back to 1998. It discusses the drivers and leadership of projects, looks at spending plans for knowledge management services and software, and shows top choices for service providers and software suppliers. Additionally, IDC recently published Knowledge Management: U.S. and Worldwide Forecast and Analysis, 1999-2004 (IDC #B21835), which sizes the market.

To order a copy of the reports, contact Cheryl Toffel at 1-800-343-4952, ext. 4389 or at

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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