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Using COBIT to Unlock the Value of Knowledge Management

Bostjan Delak, Ph.D., CISA, CIS
| Published: 6/8/2015 3:16 PM | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)

Nicolaus Copernicus said, “To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.”

But how can organizations identify, assess and evaluate the knowledge they have? Data, information, knowledge and wisdom are the phases of the evolution. Peter Trkman and Kevin Desouza explained the difference between data, information and knowledge by arguing that data are observed, raw, unanalyzed and uninterrupted patterns with no meaning. Information is created through aggregation of data via the application of mathematical statistics or logical processing techniques, and we make sense of information through the application of knowledge. Knowledge is the collection of experiences, know-how, expertise and natural instincts that help us make sense of information.

Knowledge as the most important strategic asset every organization has. Knowledge can be classified into the 2 categories used to classify assets:  tangible and intangible. Knowledge can scientifically be categorized as tacit or explicit. Knowledge is an asset, but its value is much harder to assess than that of physical assets. It is very important to identify, capture/acquire, share, reuse and unlearn knowledge. We manage these activities through knowledge management. One of the simplest definitions of knowledge management is the “conscious strategy of getting the right knowledge to the right people at the right time and helping people share and put information into action in ways that strive to improve organizational performance.”

When I have conducted due diligence activities over the last 15 years, I often asked myself “How can I assess and evaluate the knowledge the observed organization has?”

COBIT 5 provides guidelines and methods how to evaluate the level of knowledge management in observed organization. My recent ISACA Journal article describes case studies in which I used COBIT 5 for due diligence activities. These case studies show that COBIT 5 is suitable to be used for rapid assessment of knowledge management within companies that are information communication technology (ICT) oriented and have major processes supported by ICT.

Read Bostjan Delak’s recent ISACA Journal article:
How to Evaluate Knowledge and Knowledge Management in the Organization Using COBIT 5,” ISACA Journal, volume 3, 2015.

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