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Knowledge Management Software

Knowledge Management software provides organisations with a centralised database to store important information in various file formats, such as text documents, spreadsheets, audio files, and video files. Business information stored within a knowledge management system can be shared internally and externally, allowing easy access to employees and customers. Organisations benefit from tools for knowledge management to help make more effective use of the abundance of available information and reduce unnecessary friction as much as possible. Typical features of knowledge management systems include knowledge base management, full-text search, a self-service portal, text editing, and cataloguing and categorisation. Knowledge Management software is related to Knowledge Base software, Business Intelligence software and Document Management software. Compare product reviews and features to help find the best Knowledge Management Software for your business in the UK.

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Confluence makes information accessible to your whole organization. Use it to capture and preserve all important data and updates. Learn more about Confluence
Making information accessible to your organization is important now more than ever. Confluence can serve as your company’s primary Knowledge Management Software tool. Use it to capture, preserve, and organize your most valuable assets. Whether it be company updates, project plans, or other important intel, keep it accessible and trackable with Confluence. Learn more about Confluence

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
AI-powered enterprise search, intranet, and knowledge base in one. Find knowledge anywhere, and share it anywhere in any language. Learn more about Guru
AI-powered enterprise search, intranet, and knowledge base in one. Search for content across all your knowledge sources (Gdrive, Onedrive, Box, Dropbox, Sharepoint) Create, improve, or synthesize verified content and translate it to over 100 languages. Access that information anywhere (Chrome Extension, Slack, Teams, Outlook, Salesforce, Zendesk) and let Guru help you effortlessly improve your knowledge by identifying knowledge gaps, duplicate knowledge, or by connecting folks to experts. Learn more about Guru

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
Empower your team to collaborate, ask questions, and learn on a dedicated knowledge management platform built for your organization. Learn more about Stack Overflow for Teams
Built on the most trusted platforms among developers. Stack Overflow for Teams is your dedicated knowledge management platform that houses everything your team needs to know to work more seamlessly with fewer disruptions. With direct integrations to Slack, Microsoft Teams, Jira, GitHub, etc. Stack Overflow for Teams makes knowledge sharing easier to get the answers your team needs faster. Learn more about Stack Overflow for Teams

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
Zendesk offers a smart knowledge base for self-service that integrates seamlessly into it's help desk software. Learn more about Zendesk Suite
Zendesk offers a smart knowledge base for self-service that integrates seamlessly into it's help desk software. It can be used internally by agents for quick resolutions, and externally by customers to solve their own issues on any platform. Companies that use Zendesk's knowledge base software can improve agent efficiency and reduce support costs by 50%. This industry leading customer support solution is easy to deploy, yet flexible enough to customize to your needs. Learn more about Zendesk Suite

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
With Zoho Desk, create Multi-brand SEO friendly knowledge base articles on cloud for each of your brand to answer your customers FAQ's. Learn more about Zoho Desk
Zoho Desk is a web-based customer service software. It helps you embed and manage a knowledge base of informative articles and FAQs on your website and app for faster answers and fewer complaint tickets. Zoho Desk allows you to create SEO-friendly, multilingual, and multi-brand knowledge base for each of your brands. This saves your teamwork on responding to simple questions and leaves more time to help customers with tricky problems. Learn more about Zoho Desk

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
IT Glue helps IT professionals track, find and know everything about their IT infrastructure in under 30 seconds. Learn more about IT Glue
IT Glue is a Knowledge Management platform built specifically for the unique needs of IT professionals. It's the single source of truth for all your IT information including assets, passwords, SOPs, licenses, vendors, how-to's and more. Each piece of information can be linked to the others and kept up-to-date with automations making for a seamless experience where your team has everything they need at their fingertips, without toggling between multiple platforms. Learn more about IT Glue

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
United Kingdom Local product
AI-Powered Knowledge Management Platform.Trusted by global brands Learn more about Document360
Create, collaborate, & publish a self-service knowledge Knowledge base with Document360. It helps you to create a knowledge base, wikis, manuals, API docs & software documentation at a scale. You can not just create a private or public KB, but also create a mixed KB easily. Get started today or book a demo to see how Document360 can help your business. Learn more about Document360

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
Freshworks Customer Service Suite-an AI-first, omnichannel solution that combines conversational support and ticketing capabilities. Learn more about Freshworks Customer Service Suite
Step into the future of customer service with Freshworks Customer Service Suite, an AI-first, all-in-one solution. The Customer Service Suite provides a seamless experience across channels, from automated self-service to agent-led conversational support, plus advanced ticketing management for issues that require collaboration across teams, and provides actionable insights for leaders. Freshworks Customer Service Suite builds on our proven track record of offering world-class, omnichannel support Learn more about Freshworks Customer Service Suite

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
Make enterprise knowledge instantly accessible no matter where it's stored, supported by AI powered search. No data-indexing required. Learn more about Qatalog
Qatalog provides one search bar for your business. It enables real-time access to information across tools and systems from a single natural language interface. This allows anyone to ask a question and receive an accurate response in seconds, no matter where the answer is stored. This might be locating a document, understanding the status of work, surfacing critical customer data, or finding the right person. Powered by Qatalog’s permission-aware AI engine, with no data-indexing required. Learn more about Qatalog

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
An effective eLearning authoring and publishing tool, that allows for collaborative JIT training creation Learn more about The Generator
The Generator is Global eTraining's powerful course builder to create quick, intuitive e-learning modules that will run on any LMS, can be translated to any language and can be updated in real-time. Create learning content for proprietary software, employee onboarding, compliance, health and safety, human resources, quality control, and more. Share more information across your organization with The Generator, so you can capture, manage, and transfer the most pertinent information with ease. Learn more about The Generator

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
Aha! is the world's #1 product development software — trusted by 700,000+ product builders from companies of all sizes. Learn more about Aha!
Aha! helps companies build lovable software. We provide the world's #1 product development tools — Aha! Roadmaps, Aha! Ideas, Aha! Notebooks, and Aha! Develop — which are used by 700,000+ builders. Product teams rely on our expertise, guided templates, and training programs via Aha! Academy to be their best. We are proud to be a very different type of high-growth SaaS company. We are recognized as one of the best fully remote companies to work for and have given over $1M through Aha! Cares. Learn more about Aha!

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
Docsie is an award-winning documentation & knowledge management platform. Create content & publish to your users in a knowledge base! Learn more about Docsie
Docsie is an AI-driven platform for creating, managing, and distributing product knowledge bases. It features customizable, multi-language support, advanced AI search, seamless integration with other tools, a user-friendly interface, and robust security. Ideal for businesses of all sizes, Docsie offers scalable solutions to optimize knowledge management and documentation processes, making information accessible and manageable. Its focus on AI and user experience makes it a standout in the market Learn more about Docsie

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
Bettermode is a community-based knowledge management solution that helps you leverage crowd-sourced content and employee contribution. Learn more about Bettermode
Bettermode helps businesses build a dynamic and centralized knowledge base by leveraging crowd wisdom and the collaborative power of the employees. Create content with rich text, images, and videos, and enable customers to react, share feedback, and engage in conversations. Let your customers filter through your knowledge base and find the right content with granular filters. Organize your content in public or private Spaces, and collect insights from customers’ candid conversations. Learn more about Bettermode

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
Slack is your productivity platform. Welcome to the command center of your workday.
Slack is your productivity platform. Welcome to the command center of your workday. Discover a more flexible way to work with all your people, apps and partners in one space. Slack connects people with each other and with their tools and data. Equip teams to be their most efficient and productive—to save time, increase ROI and open up all kinds of opportunities. Slack isn’t just a tool for sending messages. It’s a place where work flows between all your teams, tools, customers and partners. Learn more about Slack

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
Create, manage and grow your online presence for your business, blog, store and more with Wix’s intuitive website creation platform.
Wix is an industry-leading web creation and business management platform with everything needed to manage and grow an online presence. Craft a seamless user experience with intuitive design features and speedy web performance. Fall back on reliable infrastructure and enterprise-grade security to safeguard visitor data and keep your site running. Expand your reach with marketing campaigns and SEO tools, plus leverage analytics to drive informed decision-making for your business’s success. Learn more about Wix

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
Content management solution that helps businesses with desktop sharing and viewing, text annotations, instant messaging, and whiteboard
Content management solution that helps businesses with desktop sharing and viewing, text annotations, instant messaging, and whiteboard editing. Learn more about Microsoft SharePoint

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
Create a dynamic informational database your whole team can contribute to while they work with flexible knowledge management software.
Create a dynamic informational database your whole team can contribute to while they work with flexible knowledge management software. That way, important material never gets lost when people move between teams or roles, and your team guidelines and enablement documents are always up-to-date. Then easily navigate your knowledge base with custom statuses, hashtags, and filters to find exactly what you need in seconds. Learn more about monday.com

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
Freshdesk is an easy-to-use customer service software that helps over 60,000 businesses worldwide create stellar customer experiences.
Freshdesk knowledge base helps customers to find answers on their own and enables agents to handle more customer queries efficiently. Some of the key capabilities include creating content in multiple languages, managing content in bulk to save time, using filters to work on specific content, setting up a robust approval process. It is also possible to leverage the AI-powered bots to help customers find relevant answers while keeping them engaged. Learn more about Freshdesk

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
Notion is the only knowledge management software that connects your wiki, notes and projects in one tool.
Notion is the only knowledge management software that connects your wiki, notes and projects in one tool. Tens of thousands of teams and companies around the world use it to keep their employees informed and working together in one place. By bringing all work and knowledge together and making it highly customizable, Notion creates focus and transparency, while consolidating tools, saving time, and driving more productivity for teams of all sizes. Learn more about Notion

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
Start for free with LiveAgent and provide excellent customer service with the ultimate help desk solution for companies of all sizes.
LiveAgent is a knowledge management system that provides fully-featured customer knowledge base software. Customers can quickly find answers in knowledge articles, community forums, and other educational content, without having to submit tickets. Shorten wait times, improve customer relationships, and reduce your customer service team's workload. LiveAgent delivers the best customer experience to 150M end-users worldwide. Start your 1 month free trial version, no credit card required. Learn more about LiveAgent

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
TeamSupport's ticketing and live chat solutions simplify workflows, improve customer satisfaction, and make agents' lives easier.
TeamSupport is a robust customer support solution designed to improve customer satisfaction, simplify workflows, and make agents’ lives easier. We empower teams of all sizes to consolidate channels, shorten time to resolution, collaborate with external departments, and garner valuable customer insights in one intuitive dashboard. TeamSupport is here to help agents tackle their most pressing challenges with a nimble solution that’s easy to learn and implement. Learn more about TeamSupport

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
Bitrix24 is a leading free social knowledge management and collaboration platform used by over 12 million companies worldwide.
Bitrix24 is a leading free social knowledge management and collaboration platform used by over 12 million companies worldwide. Available in cloud and on-premise with open source code access. Share and discuss ideas, manage knowledge, manage projects and do more with Bitrix24! Learn more about Bitrix24

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
Revolutionize internal communications by bringing together all employees inside a private and secure enterprise social network.
Revolutionize internal communications by bringing together all employees inside a private and secure enterprise social network. Connect with people across your organization to make better decisions, faster. Allows all employees to know whats happening day to day as well as build on the work of others. Employees will be able to create groups relevant to work and other interests, along with keeping documents or photos in context while still discussing things online. Learn more about Yammer

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
The worlds #1 customer service platform, empowers every service employee with the innovative tools, and unified data.
Help customers find the answers they need across any channel and empower your agents with the best answer to customer questions with the knowledge management solution that works across the world's #1 CRM. Help your customers get exactly what they need using a centralized knowledge base for all your agent and customer information. Learn more about Salesforce Service Cloud

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management
Jira Service Management is an ITSM software that unlocks high-velocity teams to deliver great service experiences fast and together.
Jira Service Management is an ITSM solution that unlocks high-velocity IT, dev, operations, and business teams. Empowered teams can deliver great service experiences, without the complexity of traditional ITSM, and coordinate efforts for even more impact through Jira’s open collaborative platform. Streamlined workflows, automation rules, queues, SLAs, and a self-service portal all empower IT, dev, operations, and business teams to deliver exceptional service management at scale with no silos. Learn more about JIRA Service Management

Features

  • Cataloguing/Categorisation
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Discussions/Forums
  • Self Service Portal
  • Content Management
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Text Editing
  • Data Import/Export
  • Commenting/Notes
  • Document Management

Knowledge Management Software Buyers Guide

Knowledge management software serves as a centralised database or a repository for storing documents, audio and video files, and other important information. Essentially, the main underlying purpose of a knowledge management system is to organise business information to be shared internally and externally, meaning employees and customers can both access it. Controls are also included, ensuring certain information can be shared with employees only, while other information can be shared with customers only or with both groups.

Structure and organisation are at the very core of knowledge management solutions, and in almost all cases, the repository is fully searchable, making it quick and easy for users to find exactly what they are looking for. Ultimately, a knowledge management system is designed to help businesses make more effective use of the abundance of information that is available to them and to reduce unnecessary friction as much as possible.

Examples of the types of information that may be organised and stored within knowledge management solutions are spreadsheets, presentations, database files, audio files, video files, PDFs, e-books, text files, and more. These items can be categorised and catalogued through the use of tags, making them easier to find and easier to group together with similar file types or with files of all types that cover similar topics. In many cases, information from these files can also be shared in real-time with other users, aiding collaboration efforts.

Having access to a knowledge base of this kind can be beneficial for speeding up internal processes, or providing important updates to customers and stakeholders. The nature of the software means it is often categorised alongside tools like content management systems and document management software. However, it is worth noting that these solutions also perform similar functions to knowledge base software and help desk software too.

In terms of the core features included, most knowledge management systems of this kind will provide a broadly similar range of tools and options, although the quality and functionality can vary quite substantially. Nevertheless, in general, users of these software solutions will be able to:

  • Create, store, and manage documents in a central repository to speed up knowledge retrieval
  • Make use of a built-in search function in order to quickly and easily find the information and files needed
  • Control permissions and manage precisely who has access to the different files, folders, and information
  • Access a variety of supporting tools, assisting with communication, collaboration, and editing

What is knowledge management software?

Knowledge management software functions as a centralised repository of information, which is fully searchable, making knowledge retrieval more efficient for businesses. It is designed to assist companies and their employees with the organisation, management and preservation of business information, with a view to making it more accessible. The software can also be configured, with access controls allowing different types of information to be shared internally, externally, or both, depending on the needs of the business and its customers.

Although precise features vary, most solutions will provide support for a range of file formats, including text documents, audio files, video files, and spreadsheets. As a result, many software solutions in this category can serve as a single location to access important information, regardless of the way in which it is stored. While many solutions are comprehensive in nature, some do have a more specific focus. A good example of this would be customer support knowledge base software, which centres around knowledge, information, and data directly related to technical support and customer service issues.

Regardless of the focus, however, a key part of knowledge management systems is the organisation of information so that it can be found more easily. The various data, files, and other information contained within such a system can also be catalogued through a combination of assigning file categories and using tags.

What are the benefits of knowledge management software?

The benefits of knowledge management software are predominantly focused on ideas of organising and preserving important information so that it can be accessed or referred back to in the future. In this sense, knowledge management is about ensuring that insights gathered through a combination of experience and time are not lost while also making sure information can be found quickly and easily when it is needed. With that being said, some of the more specific, tangible benefits associated with knowledge management software tools include their ability to:

  • Make information more accessible: knowledge management systems can be used to organise and categorise a variety of different files and other methods of storing information, with a view to making it quicker and easier to access. Cataloguing functions allow for tags to be added to files so that associations between different files can be made, while software solutions tend to include built-in search capabilities, along with menus that can be navigated by users so that they can find what they are looking for. In organisations that have to store vast quantities of data and other information, a knowledge management system may be the fastest way to find an individual file.
  • Solve customer issues quickly: another important use for knowledge management software tools is linked to customer needs rather than internal needs. Businesses often receive questions, queries and other communication from customers, and these can be quite complex to respond to. For instance, instructions may need to be provided or technical information conveyed, and it is often best if these issues are resolved using standardised instructions. Therefore, employees can make use of the knowledge management tools to find answers to common questions and to resolve issues. Additionally, many solutions provide self-service features, allowing customers to actually access the information themselves rather than having to turn to the customer service department.
  • Improve employee knowledge retention: in many organisations, knowledge management applications are used to reinforce information that is initially presented in training and coaching sessions, meaning the software has the potential to improve knowledge retention and boost competency levels. Using the self-service features provided in many solutions of this kind, employees can quickly and easily refer back to information they have learned without needing to ask managers or other senior employees for assistance. Some of the knock-on effects of this include faster resolutions to basic work-related issues, less disruption in the workplace, and increased productivity.
  • Aid continuous improvement: businesses aim to achieve continuous improvement, but this is not always possible, for a variety of reasons. Over time, information can become lost or forgotten, while the constant acquisition of new data, new knowledge and new strategies can eventually overwhelm companies too. Knowledge management can assist within this by organising and preserving information, making it easier to share knowledge and allowing information to be updated continually so that it never becomes outdated. All of this can help to provide a competitive advantage and can help to eliminate the kind of inefficiencies that often obstruct further progress.

What are the features of knowledge management software?

The features of knowledge management tools centre around the idea of sorting information into a centralised database so that it can be easily found and accessed. While precise features do vary based on the software solution in question, there are a number of core features, which are present in almost all applications and which are category-defining in nature. With this in mind, some of these core and common features are outlined below:

  • Knowledge base management: create, store and manage information from a variety of sources and bring this information together in a single, centralised database or repository. Being able to access as much information from one place as possible can make knowledge retrieval and knowledge acquisition extremely efficient. It can also enhance productivity on a wider scale because all employees know where to look for the files or data they need, reducing instances where there is confusion about the best approach to solving problems or finding information. With cloud-based management software, this can also ensure that information can be accessed using almost any internet-enabled device, which can be especially valuable for remote or field workers.
  • Cataloguing/categorisation: assign categories, keywords, tags, and other identifiers to files contained within the knowledge management system, with the intention of making these files easier to locate through the use of the search function. Cataloguing forms a crucial part of knowledge management because it allows information to be grouped together in logical ways. This then makes it easier for employees and customers to understand how different files or pieces of data relate to one another. It also means that users can effortlessly access multiple files that centre around a single topic rather than having to find each of those individual files separately.
  • Full text search: find any information contained within the central database with ease. Almost any knowledge management system will include built-in search functionality, allowing users to quickly and easily search for the information they are looking for and browse the closest matches. However, a full-text search goes further, empowering users to not only search for the files they need but to actually search for specific text contained within files too. This means that all references to a particular topic can be found swiftly and then sorted through. This is especially important in instances where the information that is needed is not necessarily the main topic covered by a document and so is not included in the document's title, file name, or tags.
  • Self-service portal: provide users with access to the information contained within the knowledge management system on a self-service basis, so people can help themselves to the files or data they need. This includes access to the main repository, as well as any additional areas such as discussion forums, communication tools, and file-sharing tools. The best knowledge base platform will also provide administrators with options to extend this self-service offering to external users—such as customers—too. In doing so, many of the most simple problems customers encounter can be resolved on their own, without the need for intervention from customer service or support staff. This then frees those employees up to focus on more complex problems while reducing response times.
  • Text editing: make changes to text-based files and add text-based information to the central database using a built-in text editor. While most solutions will only offer fairly basic text editing functionality when compared to a dedicated word processor, it does provide users with the ability to continually amend files and ensure that the information contained within them is as up-to-date as possible. The ability to edit text from within the same application used for other knowledge management tasks can also offer greater convenience and can save time.
  • Discussions/forums: engage in discussions using an online forum, with different threads covering different topics. The conversational style of forum discussions can help to improve knowledge within an organisation because questions can be asked, explanations can be given, and those explanations can be further expanded upon if necessary. The nature of forums also means that multiple people can contribute their knowledge and add to the overall quality of the conversation, while issues can also be discussed in a more informal way, with ideas being shared and with the possibility of lengthy debates on some of the more complex topics.
  • Access controls/permissions: manage who has access to the information contained within the system so that it can be protected from prying eyes, malicious actors, or external users. Going further, the access controls and permissions feature allows for different levels of permission to be established and means that different files or pieces of information can be assigned different access requirements. As a result, it becomes possible to limit access to some of the information in the database to employees only, to senior managers only, or even to specific individuals. Moreover, some information can be made publicly accessible or accessible to existing customers who have a valid account, depending on the needs of the business. Generally, administrators will be able to make adjustments to controls and permissions over time, meaning employees who receive promotions can have their access extended, while customers may have access levels changed based on tiered membership.

Using Capterra's software directory, the process of finding the most suitable solution becomes much easier. Users can sort the available software packages based on the features they contain, providing a better starting point for the entire search process. When businesses are only presented with options that include the specific features they need, it narrows down the choices and allows more time to be spent researching the most suitable options.

What should be considered when purchasing knowledge management software?

When purchasing a knowledge management system, there are a number of things that need to be considered first. After all, businesses need to know they are investing in the right solution for their specific needs, and this means the final decision is not necessarily a simple matter of finding the best overall package. Instead, the different options need to be explored contextually, with an understanding of business needs and strategies. A good way to approach this is to ask the following questions and come up with the answers to them:

  • What is the purpose of a knowledge management system? First, it is important to be clear about the actual business needs related to knowledge management, as this will help to inform which is the best KM software solution to opt for. While knowledge management can be broadly understood as the various methods for creating, managing, sharing, and utilising business knowledge, the reality is that this will mean different things for different organisations. Think about what the software is needed for, who will use it, how it will be used, who will have access, and how that access is going to be controlled for different groups. Once this is fully understood, it becomes easier to identify the solution that best fits those requirements, and that is preferable to exploring options more generally, without giving appropriate weight to the practical applications of the software.
  • How much does a knowledge management solution cost? Next, businesses need to give careful consideration to the costs associated with the different solutions on the market and then factor in their available budget before making a decision. One trap that companies fall into is to only think about the initial costs, such as setup costs and costs associated with data storage. However, there are potential longer-term costs to consider, too, including subscription fees for cloud-based packages, costs linked to training staff up to full competency, and costs associated with software updates, new versions, and accessing support. A good way to think of this is to consider the total cost of ownership and usage for each available KM software solution before making a purchase.
  • What is the best deployment option for KM software? Businesses have two different options for actually deploying KM software, and this is now one of the single most significant decisions that will need to be made. On-premises deployment is the option that most businesses are familiar with. It involves acquiring software, installing it on company systems, and then managing data storage. Updates need to be acquired and installed, and upfront costs are high, but there is a greater sense of control, and there are no long-term subscription fees. The alternative to this is cloud-based deployment. This involves acquiring software from a third party via a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, with the third party taking responsibility for delivering the software via cloud technology, storing relevant data in the cloud, and keeping it safe and secure. A major benefit of cloud-based deployment is the ability to access the software from anywhere in the world, using a wide variety of internet-connected devices, including computers, smartphones, tablets, and more. Upfront costs are low, and support is readily available from the service provider, but there are long-term subscription fees, and the quality of service providers and their offerings can vary.
  • How can knowledge management data be kept secure? Finally, a major consideration when dealing with any KM software solution is data security. Businesses need to think carefully about how the vast amounts of information connected to these systems will be stored, where it will be stored, how it will be protected, and what processes can be put in place to mitigate risk and resolve any issues that may arise. This can be an especially important consideration for companies that opt for cloud-based storage and deployment. In fact, research from Gartner indicates that cloud security is now the single fastest-growing area for cyber security investment, and this is partly motivated by the increased use of smartphones, tablets and other devices to access company systems. However, it is also an important consideration for those opting for on-premises deployment and storage because those companies have sole and direct responsibility for keeping information safe and secure from threats.

The most relevant knowledge management or knowledge base software trends are also worth thinking about, and it can be useful to have an understanding of emerging trends that may come into play in the years ahead. Businesses investing in software need to know that the solutions they are buying have been created with long-term usage in mind, and this requires the developers to understand the most up-to-date techniques, strategies, and demands. With regards to knowledge management, some of the key software trends are:

  • Demand for mobile access: A study carried out by Gartner indicates that a large number of workers now use mobile phones for work-related activities and in more than half of all cases of workers using smartphones, they utilise their own personal device. Yet, the report also concludes that mobile adoption in the workplace has not yet reached full maturity, meaning usage could continue to grow in the years ahead, especially if corporate-issued mobile devices take off. Regardless, this means that there is a growing demand for mobile accessibility within core software applications, and this has only snowballed as remote work has increased in popularity. Some KM software packages on the market do offer dedicated mobile apps, but the best way to use KM tools on mobile devices tends to be through the use of cloud-based options which can be accessed via a mobile web browser. This can be especially important when it comes to compatibility and overcoming the Android/iOS mobile divide.
  • Popularity of conversational user interfaces: With the rise of voice-activated assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant, and the increased popularity of speech recognition software, there is growing interest in conversational user interfaces within software packages, and these could be especially useful in knowledge management applications. Voice search, for example, would allow users to quickly and easily find the information they are looking for, even if they are carrying out other tasks at the same time. Meanwhile, if the voice technology could also read out text from documents, it would allow an entirely hands-free approach to finding information stored within the central repository. There are some potential limitations to conversational interfaces, such as difficulty understanding certain regional accents, but a major advantage is that these interfaces allow software to be used by people with disabilities and health conditions that may make the use of computers and conventional software difficult. Therefore, businesses may wish to explore opportunities in this area before making a final decision.
  • Increased use of artificial intelligence: The final trend that business leaders and their IT departments need to be aware of when exploring knowledge management solutions is the continued improvement of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities over recent times. More importantly, it is worth pondering its potential uses within software packages of this kind too. As an example, AI could be used to automatically identify the number of times certain words appear in a document, and the document can then be automatically tagged according to what it is likely to be about or the topics contained within. This can then introduce automation into the area of cataloguing and categorisation, saving significant time. It also means that AI can play a role in helping users to find information more easily. For these reasons, buyers may wish to consider the availability of AI within different software options and contemplate the potential scope available to capitalise on its presence within those packages.

Sources:

The features highlighted were identified based on their relevance and the percentage of products in Capterra's directory that offer them. The following sources were used for this document:

  1. Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Security and Risk Management Spending to Exceed $150 Billion in 2021 - Gartner.com (Date accessed: Wednesday, November 3, 2021)