Knowledge management has many disadvantages, including dependency on knowledge contributors, creating confusion among managers and employees, and the mishandling of valuable company information. Failure to use company knowledge properly can lead to a great loss of time, resources and even organizational failure.
Knowledge sharing is a crucial part of making knowledge management systems work, but most organizations fail to share the proper knowledge with employees and managers, and it in turn costs the company. According to Forbes Magazine, Fortune 500 companies are losing tens of billions of dollars per year by neglecting to share knowledge. Extracting information from workers who possess valuable company knowledge can also be a difficult and lengthy process. Another major disadvantage of knowledge management systems is the lack of company strategy to fully utilize the information that it collects. Without an implementation strategy or goals in place for the knowledge gathered, the information remains dormant and useless.
Knowledge management systems are complex and hard to understand for the average worker, and training workers to use knowledge management systems is costly. When employees fail to collect and input data into knowledge management systems properly, the organization cannot take full advantage of the system's major benefits. Organizing company information by relevancy within knowledge management systems can be a greater challenge. In addition, knowledge management systems must be integrated into the rest of the company's information systems for it to work well. Such systems require internal updates to function efficiently, and companies often fail to keep up with new technologies that affect knowledge management systems.