A Knowledge Creation Methodology for Service Value Creation in IT Solution Service

A Knowledge Creation Methodology for Service Value Creation in IT Solution Service

Hiroshi Naruse (NEC, Minato, Japan), Yukiko Nishioka (ACT Consulting Corp., Japan) and Michitaka Kosaka (School of Knowledge Science, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Nomi, Japan)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/IJKSS.2018100103
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This article considers a knowledge management methodology in IT solution services. There are many successful case studies and research studies of IT solution services. However, these studies do not consider knowledge management for creating IT solutions. The most important issue in IT solution services is how to extract and integrate different kinds of knowledge from different people for effective IT solutions. This article analyzed three successful cases. The first case relates to the design office concept and MUSE. The other two are IT consulting cases. From analyzing these three cases, this article shows (1) the importance of what can be termed “Ba” (a knowledge space for the creation of solutions) and (2) the importance of extracting explicit knowledge from implicit field knowledge by using “meta-knowledge.” The service value creation process for IT solution services can be described clearly—and can be executed effectively—by using the results of this research. Additionally, this research will be helpful for designing business information systems using IoT, AI, and other new technologies.
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The importance of service has increased (Lusch & Vargo, 2006). One of them is IT solution services (Sawyer & Tapia, 2005). This article defines IT solutions as solving enterprise issues by utilizing IT and by creating values for enterprises. In order to raise the service value offered by IT solutions, it is essential that (1) the issues of companies should be clearly presented, and that (2) systems and solutions should provide functional ways to solve those issues. New technologies such as IoT and AI have a big impact on service value creation. (Kosaka & Wan, 2016). In utilizing new technologies, it is necessary to clarify what kind of issues the technology can solve (Kosaka et al., 2017). Here, the issue corresponds to users’ needs, and the technology (as seen from the viewpoint of service) corresponds to the service provided.

A conceptualization of the service field has been proposed as a methodology related to the service value creation process (Xu & Kosaka, 2017) The KIKI model (which stands for Knowledge sharing related to collaboration, Identification of the issue to be solved, Knowledge creation for a new service idea, and Implementation of the service idea) has been proposed as being a service value creation process (Zhang, Kosaka, Shirahada, & Yabutani, 2012). This model corresponds to the “SECI model” process of knowledge creation (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995). The effectiveness of the KIKI model has been demonstrated in several cases (Xu, Yabutani, & Kosaka, 2016; Cai & Kosaka, 2017). However, when the KIKI model has been applied to IT solution services, various issues remain to be solved. For instance, Verner (Verner et al., 2005) pointed out that it is not easy to identify the problem to be solved without the customer. In RBOK (the Requirements Engineering Body of Knowledge) domain knowledge, it is necessary to identify the requirement being stipulated. Domain knowledge depends on factors such as the industry to which the customer belongs (Japan Information Technology Services Industry Association, 2009). According to these, in IT solution services, the provided service value using IT technology depends on the business context. Business people understand the importance of context in business but might not be as familiar with IT technology. Conversely, IT professionals who provide IT services might not understand business issues enough. In other words, issues for people who work in companies are not recognized—or even if they are recognized, they are not often shared as explicit knowledge. In addition, there are many cases where the effectiveness of new IT technology is not recognized at the business site. This is because business people and IT professionals have different kinds of knowledge backgrounds and often have difficulties in communicating with each other due to their different specialties. Saide (2017) mentioned that individual factors have a major influence in knowledge-sharing activities. How to manage knowledge in a way that takes the different kinds of knowledge backgrounds of collaborators and directs that knowledge towards the creation of a solution—or how to proceed with service value creation activities—is an issue in IT solution services from the viewpoint of knowledge management.

The purpose of this research is to solve this problem and to improve the KIKI model as a service value creation process for IT solution services.

In this article, the issues of knowledge management (in IT solution services) are clarified first. Next, through analysis of successful cases—which are (1) Value Organizer with MUSE (Methodological Universe for the Services Environment), which is the methodology of service value design; and (2) IT consulting—this article demonstrates how collaborators’ knowledge was explicit and reflected in IT solution services. The result of analyzing these successful cases shows (1) the importance of setting what can be termed “Ba”—definable as the knowledge space shared among the collaborators—and (2) the effectiveness of the utilization of “meta-knowledge” to inform the collaborators' knowledge and know-how. Finally, this article proposes the service value creation process for IT solution service by reflectively using these results to improve the KIKI model.

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