What Is Knowledge Management? How to Centralize Valuable Information

The ability to centralize information and institutional knowledge is critical for improving productivity and streamlining business operations. A unified knowledge base can increase workplace productivity by at least 20%.

This is where knowledge management comes in. 

What Is Knowledge Management?

In basic terms, knowledge management or KM is the ability to identify, sort, and distribute valuable information in the organization. This means being able to flag essential knowledge as well as making sure it gets to employees who can best utilize it.

Knowledge can be broadly defined. This can cover everything from your most useful HR templates to onboarding procedures for new hires.

KM is accomplished by using a Knowledge Management System, software that stores and distributes the information. Knowledge Management Systems can be as simple or as complex as your organization requires.

Organizations and companies that use Knowledge Management Systems outperform their competitors. Knowledge Management gives you access to the collective wisdom of your entire company and keeps that information in an easily searchable database, so it can be used right when you need it.

Centralizing Your Data 101

Now, let’s get to the heart of the issue by discussing how you can centralize your data.

We’re going to take an open approach to this topic so that your organization can make use of this information whether you’re a startup or Fortune 500.

What Does It Mean To Centralize Information

centralize valuable information 2

Centralized information doesn’t have to be a complicated subject. In fact, when you break it down into the basic components, it’s actually really simple.

Centralized information is stored in a single location that can be accessed from many points. A great example of this is your email.

You can log into your email account from your work computer, your home computer, or even from your mobile phone. The emails are centrally stored and can be accessed from many points.

Centralizing the information for your organization is going to follow similar principles. Yes, you will need to take a strong approach to cybersecurity management, but that’s something a modern business should be considering no matter what.

Your centralized information will likely be stored either on a server located within your physical business location or in the cloud.

How Do You Centralize Information?


There are two basic ways that you can centralize the information for your business. These options boil down to whether or not you want to use local storage or use the cloud.

Local Storage

Local storage is a sensible option depending on the type of business you operate and how much data you’re talking about storing.

Local storage involves setting up a server that you own and maintain. If you already have a robust IT department, this might be a logical step for your business.

These local storage options put your organization in total control over your data management. your IT department will be in charge of everything from cybersecurity to data architecture.

You could always contract out to Independent data management companies to fill in any gaps that your IT department does not cover.

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage is the other strategy for centralizing the information generated by your business. Cloud storage has gotten increasingly populated over the last several years. This involves paying a third party company to host your information on their servers.

Amazon is probably the most well-known cloud storage option, but there are countless competitors out there with features and benefits that might be better for your company.

Cloud storage has the advantage of being entirely prepackaged and not requiring an IT department to manage. Cybersecurity is also in the hands of the company that hosts your data, but that doesn’t mean that your business should shirk cybersecurity management.

Why Do We Centralize Information?

There’s so many reasons to centralize information, but these five are the most impactful.

  • Reduce Redundancies
  • Improve Your Cybersecurity
  • Allows For Cross-Department And Cross-Roll Collaboration
  • Improves ROI On Knowledge Generating Tasks
  • Creates A Central Repository Of “Truth” For Your Organization

Reduce Redundancies

Once you centralize the information generated by your business, you’ll be shocked by the amount of redundancies that pop up throughout your current Knowledge Management System.

These redundancies are going to be in everything from your onboarding practices to how departments communicate with each other. Each of these redundancies is reducing the efficiency of your business and costing you revenue.

Improve Your Cybersecurity

Before you use a Knowledge Management System to centralize the information generated by your business, your information will be scattered across different storage systems.

The more storage systems you use for your information, the greater your cybersecurity vulnerabilities are going to be. Centralizing your information greatly minimizes your risks by reducing the amount of opportunities hackers have to attack your data.

Cross-Department And Cross-Roll Collaboration

Your departments need to work together. In order to cooperate, they need to share information through a centralized repository.

Without a centralized source of information, your departments and staff are going to be left sending scattered emails, documents, and other disconnected bits of information.

Improves ROI

All of these improved efficiencies and reduced risks are going to translate to a higher return on investment for all of the knowledge generating activities that your business engages in.

This ranges from contacts generated by employees to valuable marketing information. We’re living in the information economy and every bit of data you can correlate only improves the overall earning potential of your company.

Creates A Central Repository Of “Truth”

If you have one reliable source that all of your employees can double check, then you’ll remove all of the lost productivity caused by employees and departments being confused over best practices and company policies.