The KnowHow demonstration project aims to bridge the chasm between research and market by verifying the marketability of an innovative solution in order to facilitate the commercialization of the research results. In our case, KnowHow will up-scale several experimental KM components to a cloud-based KM-Platform and by doing so enable the participating SMEs to offer each KM component as a Service. This approach provides significant benefits to each SME partner.
Advantages for the SME participants
The advantages to the SME participants rise from two major ICT trends underpinning the KnowHow KM Platform: Platform-as-a-Service/Cloud Computing and Social Business/Enterprise 2.0.
Cloud Computing refers to software on remote computers, which users access over the internet on the device of their choice. The benefits are clear: It is faster, cheaper, more flexibleand potentially more secure than on-site IT solutions16. In the PaaS model, cloud providers deliver a computing platform (operating system, programming language execution environment, database, web server) on which application developers can develop and run their software solutions without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware and software layers. Cloud computing “is a game-changer for the European economy” 17 and therefore the main point of the European Commission’s Digital Agenda18.
Social business & Enterprise 2.0 define a new trend which is evident by studies like e.g. of the analyst firm Gartner who claim that “by 2015, the 20% of enterprises that employ social media beyond marketing will lead their industries in revenue growth. By 2016, 15% of businesses will deploy a horizontal social technology layer that integrates with several business applications”. Another study by McKinsey & Company observed that 9 out of every 10 businesses using social web technology are seeing measurable business benefits from its use. Generally, the main benefits of social business include: helping employees be more effective; improving the quality and speed of operations; and deeply engaging customers.
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