Development of New Technologies and Knowledge Management

3002 words (12 pages) Essay in Management

23/09/19 Management Reference this

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Contents

List of Figures

Definitions

Key Authors:

1. New Technologies

2.0 Knowledge Management

3.0 Conclusion

5.0 References

6.0 Bibliography

7.0 Appendix

List of Figures

Figure 1.0 – The Shark Fin of Adoption 3

Figure 2.0 – Microsoft Office 365 Usage Press Association

Definitions

Knowledge: “Facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.”

 (Oxford Dictionaries | English, 2019)

Information: Facts provided or learned about something or someone.”

(Oxford Dictionaries | English, 2019)

Key Authors:

Buchanan and Huczynski (2017) Organizational Behaviour

1.            New Technologies

1.1 Current Technologies

Business has always looked to the latest technologies to grow, and the digital revolution is the latest transformation to bring about change. As the UK Government state in their DBEIS report; Historically, from the first Industrial Revolution to new internet enabled technologiesboosting productivity in the 1990s and 2000s, large increases in international and national productivity growth have been associated with the widespread adoption of new technologies” (GOV.UK, 2019)

Duus and Cooray (2016) say research shows that businesses often struggle to develop a solid digital strategy. Not understanding your digital strategy can have severe consequences. Disruptive technologies can enable start-up businesses to put market leaders out of business. Christensen (2013) says to achieve growth you need to be a disruptor, not disrupted. While Downes and Nunes (2019) show a reason for start-ups to fail. They adapted Rogers (2009) Diffusion of Innovation S-curve, which showed a bell curve of adoption, today with technology changing so fast, adoption of new technology is now compressed into two short stages. They enter the market with an immediately high uptake but are not prepared with their next innovation to keep customers coming back.

  Figure 1.0 The Shark Fin of Adoption

      (Downes and Nunes, 2019)

One of the most well-known examples of a market leader going bust is Blockbuster, who had a monopoly on the video rental market but closed after Netflix and other streaming platforms took advantage of online and improved on the service Blockbuster were offering.

Amazon continues to take profit share from other retailers, Nowak (2019) expects departments stores market share will be down from 24% to 8%, by 2022.

The Press Association’s (PA), principal operating market for its 150-year history has been printed news. In the last 20 years, since the invention of the World Wide Web, and the graphical browser, how people consume news has fundamentally changed. People can get their news from more sources than ever before, and immediately as it happens, media firms now think Web first, print second. It has meant that PA’s business model has gone through a digital transformation to stay profitable. The Editorial platform has been completely redesigned using WordPress to make all news, rich in content, and compatible with multiple platforms. It has also presented opportunities; social media platforms open our news and images up to a much wider audience. PA have acquired streaming platforms that offer the same benefits.

Digital photography means one can instantly send high resolution images to be edited and published across multiple platforms, around the world, within a matter of minutes. It used to take a day to develop film, edit the picture, then have the image flown around the country to be delivered to newspapers. At the same time, competition has increased, anybody with a smartphone can be a photographer, and could get their image on the front page of a newspaper.

Berman et al. (2012) describe three types of adoptions of cloud technology, optimisers, innovators, and disruptors. Whichever category your business falls under, Berman et al., show cloud adoption; drives efficiencies, opens new revenue streams and generates new customer needs.

PA have migrated Editorial and Sports applications to the cloud, using Amazon Web Services for superior speed, reliability and scalability. This has driven the globalisation of the business and opened new revenue streams. PA Sport now operate in the USA and Australia, delivering Racing data, something that would have been impossible without cloud computing.

In 2018 they upgraded their phone system to a cloud communication platform, which has enabled homeworking and cross collaboration between teams. These changes have led to a greater number of applicants for positions in the Company as people can work from anywhere.

1.2 Future Technologies

Dobbs, Manyika and Woetzel (2015) identified twelve technologies that have the potential to disrupt the ‘status quo’. These are global disruptive advances such as a shift to renewable energies, advanced robotics and mobile Internet growth. Segal (2018) shows the greatest impact for these innovations is in Africa, where solar energy is low-cost, enabling remote African countries to get online and pay electronically.

A publication by IBM, shifting toward Enterprise-grade AI (2016), showed 82% of enterprises are considering Artificial Intelligence (AI) adoption. Most see IT and security as the biggest opportunities for AI, having virtual help assistants for example. AI will enable businesses to analyse much larger data sets, more quickly, to drive more value. Executives say their biggest concern are finding the right skills to be able to take advantage of AI.

Journalism is looking towards AI, to produce new stories. There is now so much information online, humans are not capable of making use of it all to create news stories. AI will be able to take multiple sources of information and produce articles from it. PA (2019) describe how Google’s Digital News Innovation Fund, awarded them a significant sum to start an automated news service known as Reporters and Data and Robots (RADAR). Their goal is to produce 30,000 stories a month. Ultimately this will reduce the number of jobs for journalists and drive inequality.

Teitzel (2018) forecasts that mobile video traffic will increase by around 50% annually through 2023. PA journalists all now produce video content, up until two years ago it was only specialist video journalists who would do this. Mobile operators have announced 5G networks which will help to sustain this appetite for streaming over mobile networks. The key technology driving this is network function virtualisation, which will lead to an unprecedented level of network automation. Network teams will be required to take an agile approach to network management, becoming more specialist in software development than hardware and will need to integrate AI to reap the benefits.

Quantum computing will bring about changes across many industries. Accurately simulating molecules over longer timescales could enable new drug discoveries. Similarly, it could drive cost savings in the shipping industry by optimising complex logistical routes.

1.3 Conclusion

Buchanan and Huczynski (2017) describe how technology will improve our quality of life and health, but believe it is the job of governments and organisations to deal with growing inequality, skills shortages, cybercrime and technological unemployment, future innovations will bring.

Business leaders must plan for digital adoption and not fall foul of the barriers to adopting new technology as per the What is holding back Digital Innovation? (2016), which describes how mastering the cultural change to digital adoption is key.

PA need to continue to invest in digital to enter new markets and obtain new revenue streams, as non-digital revenues continue to decline.

2.0 Knowledge Management

Knowledge management is an ambiguous term, but the author agrees with Scott Leeb’s quote. “Getting the right intelligence, to the right person at the right time, to make the right decision.” Leeb (2019). New solutions and technologies are expanding the range of what is possible in terms of making the right information available at the right time.

Knowledge has widely been acknowledged as one of the most important factors in corporate competitiveness, Peter Druker (1993) said “knowledge is increasingly regarded as the critical resource of firm and economies”. It exists on different levels, individual, group and organisation and its meaning have for centuries been argued about, with two main schools of thought. The Positivists state; “Positivism is based on the idea that science is an only way to learn about the truth.” (Dudovskiy, 2016, p.41). While constructivists argued that knowledge is socially constructed, “Constructivism is the recognition that reality is a product of human intelligence interacting with experience in the real world” (Dudovskiy, 2016, p.34).

Researchers are still unable to agree on the differences between knowledge and information. Kogut and Zander (1996) define information as “knowledge which can be transmitted without loss of integrity”. Most definitions do recognise the relationship between the two, and the author is of the opinion that information is factual, knowledge is learnt and could be defined by beliefs.

 

Knowledge can be explicit; factual, found in books and easily transmitted. Or tacit; experience-based, hard to communicate. Turning explicit to tacit is known as codification, Lam (2000), and it is a common failure of businesses to transfer knowledge. for example, when an employee leaves a company, they leave with knowledge nobody else has. Polanyi describes this as personal knowledge and says, “we know more than we can tell”.

 

Powers (1999) describes how Xerox have the title of a learning organisation and have implemented knowledge management initiatives that enabled employees to share their experiences globally and save the company 10% on labour and parts, totalling tens of millions of dollars in savings. Chui et al. (2013) describes the “social matrix”, which will be the next level of knowledge sharing. With social media reaching so many and everyone able to share their own experiences, virtually all resources will be available to all. PA experimented with Facebook at work, but it never took off. This could be put down to tacit knowledge within the IT department not being transferred to end users, to show them the value in the product. PA hope Microsoft Teams will be the tool to begin this social matrix within the business.

Buchanan and Huczynski (2017) said that technology in learning and development would see an increase in mobile learning, virtual classrooms and social media learning.

If we look at the rollout of the new phone system in PA, we can see that the use of the new tools has been minimal, (Figure 2), with an eighth of the usage compared to email. We also still get several calls each month for training, despite documentation being available on the Intranet. Having limited resource, we uploaded some basic user guides to the Intranet and assumed people would be able to self-teach.

 Figure 2.0

    Office 365 Usage Report for Press Association

          (Das, 2019)

Goffin et al. (2010) explain how post-project reviews (PPR) play a key role in new product developments. It would have been prudent for PA to complete a PPR, so that they could understand what value they were driving from the introduction of these new technologies, and work on ways to increase their usage which in turn should drive value from collaboration throughout then business.

PA use an FAQ page in the Intranet for customers, and a knowledgebase for internal IT information sharing but neither prevent users calling in and asking for the information that is there, or someone within IT asking their colleague how to do something as it is often quicker.

Advances in AI and augmented reality (AR) will mean tacit knowledge can be codified. It will help improve searches so that only the most relevant documents are presented. It will advance e-learning, so it is better than classroom-based learning. 3D printing is another example of something that can codify tacit knowledge, making visible what was in one person’s head to a whole audience.

AR is already present in one of the tools PA use for monitoring, Dynatrace. Which can visualise your network and systems, so technical staff can fault find much quicker and learn how every part of the system interacts with each other, saving time. This has huge potential for medicine, construction and engineering to name a few. Overlaying data with more information and pictures plays to the human senses and makes them want to interact more with the information.

Knowledge leakage, people with the knowledge retiring, how to make sure that intelligence doesn’t walk out the door.

Second issue was working in silos, how do we collaborate. Move it from tacit information to explicit information. Then make sure people know it is there and how to search it.

3.0 Conclusion

Knowledge is an intangible resource that can add great value to a business. Therefore, developing an excellent knowledge management system should be part of business strategy. Information gathering and analysis improves decision making. However, information overload is a serious issue and one that management must overcome to ensure the credibility of their decisions.

We know that good knowledge management leads to better innovation, and that many innovations come through informal knowledge sharing.

As technology advances, the rate of obsolescence is reduced from 20 years to 3 years. Hence innovation and knowledge creation are required on a continuous basis. It is the job of business leaders to find the most efficient methods of knowledge gathering and transfer. This can be done by adopting collaborative approaches to business, enabling wider social interaction throughout and having the right systems in place to capture the relevant data as it is presented.

5.0     References

  • Boddy, D. (2014). Management. 6th ed. Harlow: Pearson, pp.637-641.
  • Bridgingandcommercial.co.uk. (2018). Bridging & Commercial for short-term & commercial finance news, interviews, bridging loan deals. [online] Available at: https://www.bridgingandcommercial.co.uk/ [Accessed 30 Oct. 2018].
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  • Marshall, C. (2017). PA Group Limited Annual report and financial statements For the year ended 31 December 2017. [ebook] London: Press Association, p.2. Available at: https://www.pressassociation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/PA-Group-Limited-Final-Set-Unsigned-.pdf [Accessed 22 Dec. 2018].
  • Nowicki, M. (2015). Introduction to the financial management of healthcare organizations. 6th ed. Chicago: Health Administration Press.
  • Tesco plc. (2018). Tesco PLC. [online] Available at: https://www.tescoplc.com/?pageid=7 [Accessed 22 Dec. 2018].
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  • Ycharts.com. (2018). Apple Inc Gross Profit Margin (Quarterly) (AAPL). [online] Available at: https://ycharts.com/companies/AAPL/gross_profit_margin [Accessed 31 Dec. 2018].

 

6.0     Bibliography

  • Nowicki, M. (2015). Introduction to the financial management of healthcare organizations. 6th ed. Chicago: Health Administration Press.
  • Schmidt, C. (2018). The Road to Finance Transformation. [ebook] CFO Publishing. Available at: http://ww2.cfo.com/ [Accessed 22 Dec. 2018].
  • Skousen, C. and Walther, L. (2010). Basics of Accounting & Information Processing. 1st ed. The Accounting Cycle.
  • Start Up Loans Company. (2018). How to apply for a Start Up Loan | Start Up Loans. [online] Available at: https://www.startuploans.co.uk/how-to-apply/ [Accessed 30 Dec. 2018].
  • Turner, G. (2011). Effective financial management. New York: Business Expert Press. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.0     Appendix

Appendix A, Statement of Cash Flow.

Appendix B Comprehensive Income

Appendix C Financial Position

Appendix D Apple Inc. Consolidated Balance Sheet

Appendix E CAPEX vs OPEX PC Purchasing Model

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