The future of Knowledge Management Software

By Paul Kurucz

The future of knowledge management (KM) software is an extremely bright one. As we move into the Age of Knowledge, there is an ever increasing need for tools to help us sort through the waterfalls of data and information that pour into our lives. In our professional lives, we are flooded with e-mail messages, electronic newsletters, web site articles, useful data in charts, and much more. In our personal lives, time is becoming an increasingly scarce resource when we spend more and more time sorting, filtering, replying, and managing this flood in our professional lives. We try to manage this time problem by being more efficient in our professional lives, in the hope that more time in our personal lives will therefore result. Unfortunately the Internet at home means this most often doesn't happen.

We need a breakthrough in knowledge management software - a "killer application" - or soon the ever growing waterfalls of data and information will overwhelm even the most efficient and organized of us all.

Where is the "killer app"? It must be coming soon!

As of the writing of this review at the end of 2003, there is no true "killer application" tool that could help us all be super efficient and effective knowledge workers. Many programmers and knowledge workers are contributing toward the goal of better and more useful software tools, but no one tool, or set of tools, is yet the "swiss army knife" of knowledge management. Big gaps in features exist still. Each software package has a tantalizing feature that we wish the others had. On top of this is the nagging and irritating feeling that the underlying paradigms of these software packages aren't "natural" to the way we work and think.

But all this is coming. And hopefully soon. Many indicators point to knowledge management software as one of the hottest fields of software development, and paradigm shifting research:

The state of the art...

The state of the art at the end of 2003 can be summarized as follows:

The future of knowledge management software

The future of KM software tools is very bright. One of the next killer apps will be in the KM field. Here are some things of what must happen for this killer app to come to fruition:

The age of humans being hunter-gatherers lasted tens of thousands of years.

The age of agriculture in human history lasted thousands of years.

The industrial age is lasting hundreds of years, though it is nearly done.

The information age is lasting decades.

But the information age is simply a beginning of the knowledge age. And the knowledge age is just beginning. We need new tools to help us do our work in this new age.

 

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The article is an opinion piece produced by Paul Kurucz. Please e-mail with your thoughts so that this document, and whole primer, can be improved. Written December 2003, latest update February 2005. This document or any information on it may be copied freely. However, please reference this site and recognize Paul Kurucz as the author of anything you copy from here. Thank you.