Build or Buy a Knowledge Sharing Solution: 5 Questions to Ask

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In 2017, a lot of knowledge management solutions made it to ‘the mainstream’. Social media contributed to the entire process, enabling easier communication and collaboration, while mobile technology allowed staff members to access information on the go, no matter the location. Overall, issues that could arise while managing knowledge within large enterprises became easier to track and fix, no matter their nature.

We’re excited (to say the least) that we’re looking forward to see what 2018 will bring.

If you haven’t implemented a knowledge sharing solution in your organization yet, you may be missing out on a lot of benefits. So, let’s take a look at the 5 most important questions you should ask yourself before making the big decision: is it better to build one internally or rely on a ready-made platform?

Quandora-build-or-buy-knowledge-management-solution-5-questions-to-ask

1. What’s our company’s level of expertise?

If you’re entertaining the idea of building an in-house solution, think about your company’s level of expertise. Can you build and maintain a Q&A platform, with all the features needed for engagement and making a community successful?

You may have a team of developers aboard, but take into consideration whether they have vast previous experience in building online communities.

2. How much is it going to cost?

Building an in-house solution automatically implies either hiring or assigning an existing team of developers to the project, which may leak revenue because you will take them away from their current projects. Also, consider the hardware, software, and security costs, combined with support, training and maintenance.

3. Can it be easily integrated and constantly available?

Outages, bandwith and latency are some of the technical aspects to keep in mind regarding a knowledge management platform. Having sufficient infrastructure previously set up or planned is key to making sure your solution will be constantly available.

As your community grows, it would be best if the system can be scaled without burdening your IT staff, wasting time and resources, and frustrating your employees for not being able to access the information they need.

4. Can the platform offer customer support?

Consider implementing a support protocol, or a process for handling developer issues as they arise. And take into consideration all of the additional costs associated with scaling communities, and providing support and additional staff.

Time is also critical to the success of any project. Analyze your company’s needs, your community’s needs, what features you want, what hardware and software you need, and then begin developing a project calendar.

5. Is it scalable?

Potential for growth should not be overlooked, as we mentioned above. What happens when your knowledge sharing platform will have over 100 users or 100,000 pageviews? Can your servers accommodate such numbers?

In this situation, cloud software could be a solution because it is significantly better than on-premise hosting. The latter requires servers, software, maintenance and updates, not to mention the physical space requirements, everything taking time and planning, taking your focus away from your company’s goals.

No matter which option you choose, one thing is clear: having a proper knowledge sharing solution in place brings a lot of benefits to your organization. Employees will create and share more content. They will thus motivate themselves and others and make learning scalable.

If you already went through the ins and outs of choosing between building or buying a knowledge sharing solution, or are currently going through it – share your experience with us and your peers by dropping a tweet at @QuandoraQA.

Looking for a great way to ask questions and build knowledge with your co-workers? Quandora enables simple, efficient knowledge sharing with your team, way more fun than a mailing list or a forum.

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