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INFOSYS: MEETING THE KNOWLEDGE - Case Study Example

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INFOSYS: MEETING THE KNOWLEDGE case
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Nova Southeastern Wayne Huizenga Graduate School Of Business & Entrepreneurship Assignment for ISM 5085 – Enterprise InformationSystems
Submitted to: Dr. Naina Patnayakuni
Submitted by: Mahreen Din
N01505428
786-564-9332
Amanda McQueen
N01706712
646-717-0477

David Michael
N01162055
551-265-4761

Ashley Noncent
N01095504
561-670-6571

Dainelle Duncan
N01128264
305-766-6292
Date of Submission: 05//2015
Title of Assignment: Group 2 Case Study 2 Infosys
CERTIFICATION OF AUTHORSHIP: I certify that I am the author of this paper and that any assistance I received in its preparation is fully acknowledge and disclosed in the paper. I have also cited any sources from which I used data, ideas of words, whether quoted directly or paraphrased. I also certify that this paper was prepared by me specifically for this course.
Students’ Signature:
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1. Executive Summary

2. Problem Identification

Foreign companies encounter certain problems that otherwise do not affect companies in the United States of American. Dr. J.K. Suresh, vice president and Principal Knowledge Manager at Infosys Limited, which is located in Bangalore India, encounters an issue that affects the company internally. Infosys is a global IT-services company that engages in consulting, technology, and outsourcing. His challenge is one that was presented by the product, platforms, and solutions operation. Infosys strives on margins on the offshore support and routine development activities, which are becoming narrower and squeeze by competition and the rising of personnel costs. The margins that gave Infosys the edge were closing in the gap between the U.S. and India. The office jobs behind the scenes as well routine programming were important to Infosys because they had not yet outsourced these positions.
Infosys’ knowledge management practices need to be altered in order to support the product design and development environment of the company (Gill & Kaushai, 2015).
Knowledge management has several components. A problem that could arise is the need to change the format in which the data is stored. The comments that would be affected would be the repositories, contact databases, and portal and metadata database.
The current focus of knowledge management was inward. The company has to have an outward process, which included activities such as identifying market trends and desirable features, capturing customer experiences, developing sales strategies, and finding market niches. (Gill & Kaushai, 2015).
The third problem was how leverage the current information and databases the company has. The most important goal was to leverage the information Infosys currently has to suit the new product line or if the knowledge management could be altered to suit the need.
How could a campy change its KM system to improve the company’s ability move its services to the next level? By managing the knowledge of the company the CEO can dictate which direction is best for the company. Alternatively, changing the KM of the company can help accommodate the new product line or services being implemented. (Gill & Kaushai, 2015)
3. Cause of the problem
In order for any business to remain successful it must be able to bridge the gap between keeping up with its competitors and maintaining company cost. Infosys at this time is at a crossroads because they are facing problems with their main area of business and the big profit area for the company. “Margins on the offshoring of support and routine development activities—the business that had been the bread-and-butter of Infosys as it grew—were becoming narrower, squeezed both by increasing competition and by rising personnel costs in countries like India.” (Gill & Kaushai, 2015) Every company faces challenges with industry competitors. It is important that Infosys keep up this industry trends and changes in order to keep that competitive edge. If not the company will fade out and suffer profit lost. The company also faces challenges with regards to rising cost for personnel. As the global economy grows in developing countries around the world, and labor will begin to increase. “In the ten years that followed, global conditions and technology developments forced the company to rethink its business model on a continuing basis. The wage differential for programmers between India and the U.S. was narrowing, particularly when the costs associated with managing an offshore relationship were considered.” (Gill & Kaushai, 2015) This increase in labor cost has had a negative affect for Infosys. Currently the company is outsourcing personnel from India, but the cost for these personnel has increased. The company must find away to reduce their labor cost for the company to save money and maintain more profit. The company may decide that outsourcing will not be the best way to maintain profits. Outsourcing jobs have also become scare in resent years with competition from Western firms the company will have to look inward for possible solutions to this growing problem. Infosys may decide that a more inward approach to the situation might be the best solution. Many western firms have already wiped out the need for outsourcing by making productivity improvements that created new more high-level positions. The company may so consider the option of improving their systems to reduce the need of outsourcing.
Infosys as like all organization kept detailed records of the companies’ activities. Keeping accurate records is essential for the success of any company no matter the companies industry. “These have served two important purposes: to meet the requirements of external agencies (such as the tax collector) and to serve as reference for subsequent activities. For the latter purpose, organizations have also depended heavily on the past experience of their employees: an invaluable resource and one that was easy to access in a small organization.” (Gill & Kaushai, 2015) The company must think of more systematic way of keeping these records. “The first trend was automation, which meant that an increasing proportion of the records were being stored online. The second trend was a fundamental change in the nature of organizations and the global economy. Enabled by growth in information and communications technology (ICT), organizations could become larger, more global in their activities, and more distributed in their presence. The third trend was the emergence of the knowledge worker. Until the 20th century, the vast majority of work consisted of repetitive activities that depended upon skills acquired through practice and observation, rather than through instruction.” (Gill & Kaushai, 2015) The companies find a trend that will best suit the business in the most cost affective way. As the world moves to a more automotive way of doing business the company must no longer rely on basic ways of keeping records this change in record keeping can greater reduce the need to manual labor and cut company cost in the long run.
The leveraging information can be quite tricking no matter the company. Knowledge sharing is very important to the success of a company. Everyone from upper level management to employees on the associate level must be on the same page. The company must have one aiming goal, in which everyone fully understands what is expected and needs to be done. “In considering the nature of knowledge management, it is useful to first consider where the type of knowledge to be accessed might be located. We may look at this in terms of two dimensions: Internal to the organization vs. external to the organization and Stored knowledge vs. knowledge of who to ask.” (Gill & Kaushai, 2015) Currently Infosys does not have standard to knowledge management system. The company must create a reliable way for information to be shared both internally and externally. The key to successfully creating a strong KM system will rely on the company choosing the appropriate format for how internal information will be stored and distributed. “This process requires considerable discipline and, if not performed rigorously, can lead to a system where useful knowledge cannot be located.” (Gill & Kaushai, 2015) Management will need to be very cautious when choosing a system that will best meet the company’s over all needs and grow with the company as it grows. Infosys needs more than just temporary fix to the problem.
4. Possible Solutions:
When dealing with the rapid growth of a company expansion is a necessity.
With expansion comes the task of finding ways to increase profit while expanding to different locations in order to increase image and revenue. In many instances companies look to outsourcing in an effort to give processes to external places usually in another country that would aid in expansion and globalization of the company. It also gives the company in opportunity to compete with other companies. In the case of Infosys, outsourcing seemed sufficient in the beginning stages because it provided an opportunity for increased revenue while expanding their image. Outsourcing in its beginning stages was geared toward global expansion and creating more profit.
One solution to the issue of outsourcing would be the opposite which is insourcing within the company. Infosys can use the people they currently have in order to renovate their current products and services. It is important for the company to look at internal options in order to save on costs. Insourcing may be a short term alternative in efforts to increase productivity improvements and advancements. Once projects and innovations have occurred outsourcing may be able to occur again using certain departments not as a whole company. It is also important to note that insourcing aides in customer satisfaction and productivity of internal employees. It also allows the company more control, which in this case is needed. Project and procedures can be brought back inside where it would give the company a chance to make changes as needed which would in turn create a foundation for better competition.
Another solution to the outsourcing issue is to hire fresh out of college students. This is an important factor because these college graduates are fresh out of school with new creative and innovative ideas. Infosys would be able to bring more perspectives to the creation or revamping of products and services by hiring college students who they can afford to pay at a lower cost. Though some companies frown upon hiring straight out of college students it would be their best interest as there are dozens of options to choose from. These college graduates would also be more willing to work their way up the chain rather than hiring someone who wants a big salary from the start. Another option to this solution is that when you are insourcing you have the opportunity to save by hiring temporary or part time workers for the time being. This would help in cutting down labor costs.
The other component to outsourcing dilemma was the increased labor cost for personnel. Infosys would need to look at various parts of their company in order to see how labor costs can be decreased. One solution would be to review company procedures. Looking at new technology advancements may give insight to new ways to decrease small job tasks that can be computerized, giving employees room and time for more productivity on other major projects. This is why looking at the competition is always important for any company in order to get ideas. Cross training employees or even management would also cut down on cost because it would increase production and efficiency among current workers while cutting cost. Infosys can save by having employees know how to complete jobs outside of their current job duties.
Knowledge management is specifically important to the overall management and record keeping of a company. It helps simplify projects while monitoring, and assessing a company’s productivity and management (Gill & Kaushai, 2015). This is where Infosys can look at technology advancements in an effort to strategically record keep and manage important information. Looking inward is the right start but if Infosys wants to remain successful they have to look from an outward perspective as well. A solution to this issue would be to build a knowledge base or system technology where employees and managers can have guideline and records for all to view. One example would be to use systems such as SharePoint with company access only. This is a system used for record keeping and shared documents where all company personal can access depending on access permissions. It also gives manuals and provides company knowledge to all involved. This could guide the company in the process of looking at factors such as market trends, desirable features, and capturing customer experiences. This is why it is important for the company to thoroughly bring insourcing into play where they can look back at their marketing plan.
With using a system such as SharePoint will allow management to keep track of work completed while providing employees the knowledge needed to promote productivity. This is also a way management can provide company information to all employees such as customer surveys or market trends, so no one is left in the dark. SharePoint has a vast amount of capabilities and can definitely leverage information by controlling access to certain files. For instance, if the CEO wants to put information in SharePoint for all management to see without making it totally public to all company employees they can do so by adjusting access permissions. This way every person can have access to the progression of the company while understanding the need for privacy when dealing with certain documents or information. Another important point to be made is the effects of record keeping and communication. From the top CEO to all departments this type of technology record keeping allows everyone to feel in connection to all company dynamics.

5. Solutions and Implementation
Challenges faced by the Infosys in knowledge management can be solved through various approaches. First, the knowledge management system at Infosys should be process oriented or focused rather than focusing on past solution and being internally-focused. Infosys can be process oriented through sponsoring the training of existing employees in the organization. Provision of training to employees will enable them to adapt new skills and knowledge, hence transforming the organization to process focused organization. Training should be twice or thrice in a year to ensure that employees are competent in knowledge management.
Secondly, Infosys should develop strategic marketing and promotion strategies to enable the organization to compete effectively in the market. Strategic marketing and promotion strategies will enable the organization to identify their potential niche, possible threats and opportunities. These strategies should involve a comprehensive SWOT analysis of the organization that reveals the strengths, opportunities, threats and weaknesses of the organization. Strategic marketing and promotion strategies should be implemented by the marketing department officials to enhance and create a good organization image as well as increasing revenue in the industry.
Changing the design of the knowledge management system is a possible and appropriate approach that will be significant in accommodating new products and applications. The change in the design of the KM system will involve establishment of a knowledge base. A knowledge base is important in the provision of relevant information and trainings on the KM system design to the users. In addition, the knowledge management system should have discussion forums to enhance idea sharing and exchanges of advices. The discussion forums are also effective in evaluation of activities and performance of the organization. Changes in the knowledge management system will be undertaken by organizational management and communicated to users.
Lastly, Infosys should adopt and utilize the technology in data storage. For instance, the organization should use the SharePoint system to keep track of the completed activities and share relevant information necessary to improve productivity. The system should be utilized by all employees and stakeholders in the organization.

6. Justification

(Gill & Kaushai, 2015)

References
Gill, G., Kaushai, C (2015). Infosys: Meeting the Knowledge Management Challenge. Journal of Information Technology Education, 2(11), 1-23.
Magal, S. R., & Word, J. (2009). Essentials of Business processes and Information Systems. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons, Inc. Read More
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