Tech startups differ from other types of startups in their need for an all-hands-on-deck approach, constant communication, and the company’s overarching goal to create a disruptive app or software. To make sure everyone stays on the same page and has access to the latest information, a knowledge management system (KMS) is an indispensable part of a tech startup’s tools.
In this article, we discuss what a KMS is, how it helps startups, and list vendors that cater specifically to tech startups.
What is a knowledge management system?
A knowledge management system (KMS) is a software or app solution that aims to organize all company knowledge in one easy-to-use repository. In the case of a tech startup, this includes all information about the app it develops, including bug reports and coding patches.
The KMS provides employees with a consistently trustworthy method of tracking knowledge from the first day of the company’s existence to the present. The organizational methodology of the KMS provides a framework for the entry of each piece of information. It also automatically organizes the information by the date of action so the employees can access it as a seamless document.
To a tech startup, this means every problem ever discovered with the app and every line of code change goes into the app. But the KMS also includes other information, such as:
- company personnel information,
- information on software used in the day-to-day operations,
- company policies/standard operating procedures,
- onboarding and training documents,
- brand guidelines,
- the startup documents for the business, such as its business plan and marketing plan.
The KMS organizes a wealth of information in one place, so no startup employee needs to look for it. It also contains the frequently asked questions (FAQ) for the company and its app.
Although a KMS separates internal and external information, it houses all of the information. The external information comes from its customers, which a startup doesn’t have at its point of startup but will eventually add. This means it starts out with a spot for customer comments, beta test experiences, client suggestions, etc.
Benefits of a KMS
Amassing all of this information in one system ensures that you have every piece of information needed to run the business in one place. Because tech startups typically collaborate between employees more than other startups, this level of organization helps in the collaboration, and it creates a seamless transition when one employee goes on vacation or leaves.
The KMS also provides a “company bible” or a single source of truth. It resolves conflicting information, ensuring that all knowledge is accurate and reliable.
Finally, the KMS makes employees more productive by reducing the time needed to hunt for specific information during the course of their work.
Best Tech Startup KMS Options
Many KMS solutions exist for startups, but a few cater to the specific needs of tech companies. Let’s look at the top choices. Some of these apps offer pricing perfect for a bootstrapped startup, while others start out with and stick with an enterprise pricing system that uses a per-person pricing methodology.
The Zoho brand offers many apps that the company offers solutions for every issue. That includes KMS. The cloud-based Learn app caters to tech companies by separating into components the major categories of knowledge. Its fundamental areas include Performance Metrics, Knowledge Management, and Training Management. You can try it out via a free demonstration and purchase it priced for your number of employees. This pricing makes it easier to scale since you can incrementally increase the number of licenses.
The Soutron app breaks down the information into different categories, but it still includes all internal and external categories of knowledge. The app includes a customer relationship management (CRM) system, an audit management system, and an asset management component. Designed for tech companies of all sizes, you can use Soutron as a startup and keep using it as a small to medium business, then a corporation. Regardless of the size to which your company grows, Soutron offers a solution. Subscriptions for startups begin with a flat rate, while the app offers an enterprise pricing solution for large companies.
The folks at ClearPeople created the KMS Atlas to assimilate every piece of information and include business processes. It goes beyond knowledge management to include audit management and maintenance, an event calendar, and specific performance metrics categories. Your startup won’t need to spend a huge investment to start with Atlas because the company offers monthly subscription fees, so you can pay as you go.
Swarmica breaks knowledge categories down into usable chunks, separating performance management from performance metrics, for example. The KMS design of the Swarmica cloud app focuses on the information technology industry. Its easy-to-use interface offers a specific area for general knowledge management. The app offers a free trial, and all pricing uses an enterprise style with a per-screen cost.
Helpie helps any sized tech business. Its design makes it ideal for startups since the app offers options for solopreneurs/freelancers, startups, SMBs, agencies, and corporations. Truly, the folks at Helpie created a helpful app that includes components for collaboration, knowledge management, and content management. Designed specifically for the tech industry, this app offers a free trial and one of the most affordable purchase prices – $49 per year.