Knowledge Management Systems and Types
Most organizations use SharePoint to create collaborative websites, but it can also be used as a secure place to organize, store, share and timely access data from any device and any point as long as the device has a web browser (Nepal, Paris, & Georgakopoulos, 2015). SharePoint system is a product of Microsoft Corporation and it was designed with the aim to simplify the way people find and share knowledge across boundaries, hence facilitate informed decision-making (Nepal et al., 2015). SharePoint is an ideal solution for emergency management, as it facilitates the exchange of information among the various responders through collaborative websites with limited access to appropriate stakeholders (Nepal et al., 2015). At the same time, the most relevant information about an emergency can be centrally stored and maintained. The United States agencies used this collaborative workspace during the Haitian Earthquake, as the primary tool for sharing information (Nepal et al., 2015). Unlike social media technologies, such as wiki, that present a challenge by limiting the number of people who access particular kind of information during an emergency, SharePoint system can be used to share knowledge across the traditional boundaries by helping the various teams to create a temporary collaborative space as observed during the Haitian Earthquake rescue operation (Nepal et al., 2015). Such ability to provide the right knowledge or information for the authorized individuals at the right time is one of the key special capabilities associated with Microsoft SharePoint system.
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Social Media Knowledge Management
Although the social media platforms were not designed as tools for emergency management, most people and organizations have realized the importance of using social media in the management of knowledge from multiple dimensions. In fact, the proliferation of social media caused a drastic change in the tools meant to create, collect, and store information (Bharati, Zhang, & Chaudhury, 2015). During the Taiwan Morakot Typhoon Disaster, for example, people reported information about the situation on the ground in real-time in the PTT forum, which is one of the most popular Taiwan social networks (Nepal et al., 2015). As a result of the incident, people created an unofficial Disaster Report Center, where individuals from the affected regions were not only able to report the situation in real-time but also ask for assistance (Nepal et al., 2015). Although it is not an example of social media use by registered agencies, it is an interesting case that has been replicated in other areas during emergency management and complemented government activities (Nepal et al., 2015). In most cases, different official agencies integrate such platforms into their communication systems so that the users can get a formal answer from the emergency response team (Bharati et al., 2015). Apparently, the use of social media as an emergency knowledge management system is important due to its ability to reach a big number of people compared to other systems.
EMIT Incident Management Software
Normally, emergency operations centers often resemble beehive of emergency management workers all attempting to improve the situation. In the midst of the chaos, EMIT helps manage the incident by offering basic functions necessary to assist the crowd of workers to manage their operations, plan, organize logistics properly and avoid duplication of duties (Lee, 2011). EMIT was created by EOC managers and is exceptional in its ability to automate incident tracking tasks, as well as in its provision of an easy-to-learn system that helps coordinate the most common event operations, processes and logistics (Lee, 2011). A special feature of the system is the way it enables emergency response team to make notes, upload photos and documents, log details, track deployment and disposition of aid resources and facilitate archiving of reports (Lee, 2011). In essence, this system goes beyond disaster management by building disaster resilience through shared responsibility.
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This knowledge management system was founded to help chief information officers capture, retain and provide actionable any valuable information and knowledge assets within their area of jurisdiction (Carey, 2017). Although there is no significant example of an incident that the system has been reported to have played a major role in its management, CollaboRate structure and functionality are designed in a way that it prevents loss of information during emergencies. Moreover, the system is special, as it is tailor-made to avoid loss of institutional memory in case of a massive employee turnover (Carey, 2017). When well implemented, the system aids in informing new recruits about necessary details more quickly (Carey, 2017). It is also particularly significant in that the data is stored online, hence can be accessed any time reducing the need for extensive IT interventions (Carey, 2017). What makes CollaboRate particularly relevant in the field of emergency management is how well it reduces the amount of time spent by the workers when looking for information (Carey, 2017). Furthermore, the system makes it possible to track data flow, and the role played by every team member, hence upholds accountability (Carey, 2017).
How it works:
Salesforce Community Cloud
Salesforce has earned its place in a competitive business world due to its ability to connect customers in entirely new ways. Through a community cloud, this system ensures that all business stakeholders, including but not limited to clients, employees, and partners have a platform to interact and share information (Salesforce Community Cloud, 2016). The system is special for business information management because it infuses communities with knowledge from various systems by allowing members to create and update records received from the society (Salesforce Community Cloud, 2016). Furthermore, government organizations can effectively utilize their infrastructure for easier data transfer and real time operations (Salesforce Community Cloud, 2016). The system has been proven particularly useful in implementing joint projects that bring together more than one agency. Instead of allocating each agency an independent server, involved organizations are allowed to share the facilities by logically segmenting their sessions (Salesforce Community Cloud, 2016). Therefore, the system not only creates a community around a business but also ensures that the available knowledge management infrastructures are shared among all key stakeholders.