In this tutorial, we will discuss about the ITIL SKMS (Service Knowledge Managment System). In this chapter, you will learn the Definition, Scope, Advantages, Disadvantages, and Levels of SKMS in context of ITIL V3.
What is ITIL Service Knowledge Management System (SKMS)?
The Service Knowledge Management System (SKMS), in ITIL V3, is the central repository of the data, information, and knowledge that the IT organization requires, to manage the lifecycle of its services.
[See Also: IT Service Management Lifecycle]
Usually, The SKMS is not comprised of a single system and formed by combining multiple discrete systems & data sources.
The main purpose of ITIL SKMS is to store, analyze, and present the service provider's data, information, and knowledge in a structured manner.
The concept of SKMS was first developed as part of the ITIL training guidelines, under the knowledge management process of ITIL Service Transition module.
[See Also: ITIL Knowledge Management Process]
The Scope of SKMS (ITIL Service Knowledge Management System):
As described in ITIL, SKMS is a set of databases and tools that are used to manage information and knowledge. All assets, components, services, databases, documentation, applications etc falls under the purview of it.
SKMS (ITIL V3) symbolizes the total body of knowledge within the service management Lifecycle. ITIL advises us to take necessary actions to capture and organize the information, parse that information to knowledge, and make that knowledge available to use when required.
The SKMS is comprised of all the other data retention/categorization mechanism used by service management, including but not limited to:
- Service Portfolio
- Configuration Management System (CMS)
- Configuration Management Database (CMDB)
- Supplier and Contract Management Information System (SCMIS)
- Availability Management Information Systems (AMIS)
- Capacity Management Information Systems (CMIS)
- Security Management Information Systems (ISMIS)
- CSI Register
[See Also: Explaining the CI, CMDB, and CMS]
The Four Layers of SKMS:
The SKMS (ITIL V3) is virtually divided into four distinct layers. Each of the layers has its own work area and mostly they are divided according to their level of information processing.
Those four layers are as follows:-
i) Data and Information Layer:
This data and information layer collects and stores the data that must be managed by Knowledge Management, including all the documents, files, applications status etc.
This layer mostly contains multiple data sources, and as well as the tools that can be used by team members to properly apply data as knowledge.
For example, it included configuration management database (CMDB), definitive media library (DML), known error database (KEDB) and other configuration, management, and audit tools and applications.
ii) Information Integration Layer:
The Information Integration Layer of SKMS helps to integrate all of the information from relevant business units of the organization in one place. If your organization works with partners, then the information related to those partners may also be found in this layer.
This layer also helps to evaluate and analyze the data received from the first layer to get the relationship structure and store them into the integrated configuration management database (iCMDB).
iii) Knowledge Processing:
The Knowledge Processing Layer provides an interface for users to report information that can be analyzed. The objective of this layer is to analyze, report, and monitor every bit of information that is received from other SKMS levels.
A major part of this layer is performance management, which is used to determine whether your team members are meeting their performance goals. This layer facilitates you to monitor performance scorecards to help improve the productivity of your team.
iv) Presentation Layer:
At the presentation layer, all the knowledge that is collected, analyzed, and structured are presented to the users for further use. The Presentation Layer facilitates authorized users to access information.
In this SKMS presentation layer, users are provided with some visual materials that allow them to search, browse, and update the information they find in the system. Depending on the organizational policy, users may also be given the chance to contribute to improving the knowledge base.
Important Concepts and Benefits of SKMS:
Below are some of the useful concepts that are described under the SKMS (ITIL V3). Some of these concepts can also be seen as the benefits of SKMS.
- The first thing to remember is that ITIL framework encourages using the SKMS as a knowledge platform, it should not be seen as a solution center for every problem.
- According to ITIL, SKMS is not a customized integration mechanism for different data sources; instead, it is a knowledge platform that will help you to reduce segregated information storage.
- Service Knowledge Management System dissolves the information barrier between different business units and provides one organization-wide knowledge platform
- It’s not just a set of standalone databases such as CMDB, service desk data, response time data, etc. Contrary to that, a properly implemented SKMS includes a wider range of knowledge items accumulated from diverse sources of information.
- It not only includes structured data but also stores semi-structured and even unstructured data. Thus it contains data such as machine-readable text with tags or human-readable information like documents, web content etc.
Barriers to Implement SKMS:
The most common barriers that an organization may face while planning to implement the Service Knowledge Management System (SKMS) are as follows:
- Every single business unit stores relevant data in different formats. They may have been storing data in differently structured, semi-structured or even in unstructured data manner. Synchronizing this type of data requires different methods, tools, and is a very laborious job at initial stages.
- Majority of the data is not documented and sits inside individuals’ mind. Documenting all of this data requires time and effort.
- Even after documentation is over, publishing such a huge amount of data requires yet another tool or even may require multiple tools.
- Organization’s lower management thinks that it is impossible for them to keep up with the rapid growth of data.
The SKMS (ITIL V3) - The Final Thoughts
Instead of thinking about barriers and avoiding the implementation of SKMS, you should think about the positives of adopting it.
The benefits of SKMS are more impressive that of its negatives. If your organization gets stuck by thinking about the barriers to adopting an SKMS, then in long run, this may prove harmful in terms of data management and utilization.
The Service Knowledge Management System links up all the information that is needed and collected during the ITIL Service Lifecycle. Once the processing of knowledge completes and every piece of knowledge is stored in one place, it becomes easier for other ITIL processes to access the information whenever required.
While many people think that deploying an SKMS involves a lot of hard work and provides a little reward, they would be surprised to know that the SKMS is quite a useful tool in ITSM.
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