What is Knowledge Friction and Why Does It Matter?

Knowledge friction remains a major problem despite billions spent on knowledge management software

We’ve all felt the pain of needing a quick answer at work and spending hours checking different systems to find it — searching around for the right file, attempting to remember the right keywords to use, trying to get time with an already overburdened SME, and feeling frustrated by a lack of results. Then, once you think you’ve found the content you need, you spend more time reading through it, parsing the information to pinpoint the answer to your question. All the while crossing your fingers that the file is up-to-date and the information inside is verified.  

Sound familiar?  

You’re not alone. Pryon recently worked with Unisphere Research to survey a cross-industry group of enterprise leaders and knowledge workers on this problem. The survey found that employees waste hours weekly searching for information scattered across the enterprise. Yet, much of an organization’s content still goes unused. More than one out of five respondents estimate that less than half of the unstructured information in their organization is readily available. And only a handful (6%) reported the complete availability of their organization’s information.  

1 in 5 enterprise leaders report that less than half of their   organization’s content is readily available.

Knowledge friction is the disconnect between enterprise authors and key content consumers. It is a constant consequence to productivity, operations, compliance, and revenue. Content authors — such as marketing, support managers, sales enablement, and product teams — invest high-quality time and effort producing informative content for end users — from salespeople and researchers to operations and customer support teams. Even after all this, end users still struggle to find and access the answers they need.  

While organizations invest billions of dollars every year in content management software and enterprise search systems to try and solve their knowledge friction problems, they've seen little to no results. In fact, introducing too many of these systems compounds knowledge friction. The 2024 Survey on Enterprise Information Discovery found that having multiple systems to search across is the leading obstacle to delivering necessary and timely information to employees, customers, and partners.

Difficulties in searching across systems (56%) was followed closely by problems with information and data silos (55%) and issues with information and data quality (52%) as the leading causes of knowledge friction. Other top obstacles include challenges in finding the correct search terms to locate desired information (46%) and insufficient content sharing (44%).  

What are the symptoms and impacts of knowledge friction?

Knowledge friction can look different and have varying impacts depending on your industry and function. Here are some examples of warning signs to watch out for by department and the negative business outcomes that come with them:

  • Customer service knowledge friction symptoms:  
    • Long resolution times
    • Inconsistent answers provided to customers  
    • High rate of call transfers
    • Failed first contact resolutions
    • Business impacts: Low CSAT scores, high training costs
  • Sales knowledge friction symptoms:
    • Lots of time spent looking for sales enablement content
    • Marketing and sales enablement content goes unused
    • High new rep ramp time
    • Outdated or off-brand information is referenced
    • Business impacts: Limited revenue generating time, ineffective sales meetings, high onboarding costs, brand reputation at risk
  • Operations knowledge friction symptoms
    • Slow execution of projects or initiatives
    • Overburdened SMEs and managers
    • Conflicting answers to simple questions
    • Difficulties maintaining multiple sources of knowledge
    • Business impacts: Delayed releases, higher operating costs, slowed innovation
  • R&D
    • Limited cross-departmental collaboration and innovation
    • Overburdened SMEs and managers
    • No standard feedback process for documents
    • Knowledge gaps and repeated mistakes
    • Business impacts: Delayed releases, poor research productivity, decreases in market share

Anyone can increase these truths from their point of need. And these symptoms and impacts are just the tip of the iceberg. The report from Unisphere Research identified 21 risks of stalled access to business-critical information:

1. Higher operations costs  

2. Lost revenue  

3. Safety risks  

4. Security and privacy issues

5. Conflicting/duplicative information  

6. Poor decision making  

7. Siloed information  

8. Data gaps  

9. Poor client outcomes, unempowered/ill-equipped employees  

10. Competitive disadvantage

11. Loss of customer trust

12. Customer churn  

13. Longer call times  

14. Fewer first call resolutions

15. Supply chain disruption  

16. Delays in important medical processes (life-saving test results, surgeon support, FDA filings)  

17. Compliance violations  

18. Workplace inefficiency  

19. Negative impacts on quality  

20. Longer project cycles  

21. Poor energy efficiency

Since legacy content management systems and enterprise search engines have fallen short, many enterprises are looking to Knowledge AI to tackle knowledge friction. Using cutting-edge technology like natural language processing (NLP) and retrieval-augmented generation (RAG), Knowledge AI swiftly extracts valuable knowledge from existing content, reading it like a human would, and transforming that knowledge into answers. This means no more endless searching through complex systems or wasting time on outdated information. Instead, teams can rely on a Knowledge AI platform for instant access to reliable answers, precisely when they need them.  

We’ve all felt the pain of needing a quick answer at work and spending hours checking different systems to find it — searching around for the right file, attempting to remember the right keywords to use, trying to get time with an already overburdened SME, and feeling frustrated by a lack of results. Then, once you think you’ve found the content you need, you spend more time reading through it, parsing the information to pinpoint the answer to your question. All the while crossing your fingers that the file is up-to-date and the information inside is verified.  

Sound familiar?  

You’re not alone. Pryon recently worked with Unisphere Research to survey a cross-industry group of enterprise leaders and knowledge workers on this problem. The survey found that employees waste hours weekly searching for information scattered across the enterprise. Yet, much of an organization’s content still goes unused. More than one out of five respondents estimate that less than half of the unstructured information in their organization is readily available. And only a handful (6%) reported the complete availability of their organization’s information.  

1 in 5 enterprise leaders report that less than half of their   organization’s content is readily available.

Knowledge friction is the disconnect between enterprise authors and key content consumers. It is a constant consequence to productivity, operations, compliance, and revenue. Content authors — such as marketing, support managers, sales enablement, and product teams — invest high-quality time and effort producing informative content for end users — from salespeople and researchers to operations and customer support teams. Even after all this, end users still struggle to find and access the answers they need.  

While organizations invest billions of dollars every year in content management software and enterprise search systems to try and solve their knowledge friction problems, they've seen little to no results. In fact, introducing too many of these systems compounds knowledge friction. The 2024 Survey on Enterprise Information Discovery found that having multiple systems to search across is the leading obstacle to delivering necessary and timely information to employees, customers, and partners.

Difficulties in searching across systems (56%) was followed closely by problems with information and data silos (55%) and issues with information and data quality (52%) as the leading causes of knowledge friction. Other top obstacles include challenges in finding the correct search terms to locate desired information (46%) and insufficient content sharing (44%).  

What are the symptoms and impacts of knowledge friction?

Knowledge friction can look different and have varying impacts depending on your industry and function. Here are some examples of warning signs to watch out for by department and the negative business outcomes that come with them:

  • Customer service knowledge friction symptoms:  
    • Long resolution times
    • Inconsistent answers provided to customers  
    • High rate of call transfers
    • Failed first contact resolutions
    • Business impacts: Low CSAT scores, high training costs
  • Sales knowledge friction symptoms:
    • Lots of time spent looking for sales enablement content
    • Marketing and sales enablement content goes unused
    • High new rep ramp time
    • Outdated or off-brand information is referenced
    • Business impacts: Limited revenue generating time, ineffective sales meetings, high onboarding costs, brand reputation at risk
  • Operations knowledge friction symptoms
    • Slow execution of projects or initiatives
    • Overburdened SMEs and managers
    • Conflicting answers to simple questions
    • Difficulties maintaining multiple sources of knowledge
    • Business impacts: Delayed releases, higher operating costs, slowed innovation
  • R&D
    • Limited cross-departmental collaboration and innovation
    • Overburdened SMEs and managers
    • No standard feedback process for documents
    • Knowledge gaps and repeated mistakes
    • Business impacts: Delayed releases, poor research productivity, decreases in market share

Anyone can increase these truths from their point of need. And these symptoms and impacts are just the tip of the iceberg. The report from Unisphere Research identified 21 risks of stalled access to business-critical information:

1. Higher operations costs  

2. Lost revenue  

3. Safety risks  

4. Security and privacy issues

5. Conflicting/duplicative information  

6. Poor decision making  

7. Siloed information  

8. Data gaps  

9. Poor client outcomes, unempowered/ill-equipped employees  

10. Competitive disadvantage

11. Loss of customer trust

12. Customer churn  

13. Longer call times  

14. Fewer first call resolutions

15. Supply chain disruption  

16. Delays in important medical processes (life-saving test results, surgeon support, FDA filings)  

17. Compliance violations  

18. Workplace inefficiency  

19. Negative impacts on quality  

20. Longer project cycles  

21. Poor energy efficiency

Since legacy content management systems and enterprise search engines have fallen short, many enterprises are looking to Knowledge AI to tackle knowledge friction. Using cutting-edge technology like natural language processing (NLP) and retrieval-augmented generation (RAG), Knowledge AI swiftly extracts valuable knowledge from existing content, reading it like a human would, and transforming that knowledge into answers. This means no more endless searching through complex systems or wasting time on outdated information. Instead, teams can rely on a Knowledge AI platform for instant access to reliable answers, precisely when they need them.  

What is Knowledge Friction and Why Does It Matter?

Knowledge friction remains a major problem despite billions spent on knowledge management software

We’ve all felt the pain of needing a quick answer at work and spending hours checking different systems to find it — searching around for the right file, attempting to remember the right keywords to use, trying to get time with an already overburdened SME, and feeling frustrated by a lack of results. Then, once you think you’ve found the content you need, you spend more time reading through it, parsing the information to pinpoint the answer to your question. All the while crossing your fingers that the file is up-to-date and the information inside is verified.  

Sound familiar?  

You’re not alone. Pryon recently worked with Unisphere Research to survey a cross-industry group of enterprise leaders and knowledge workers on this problem. The survey found that employees waste hours weekly searching for information scattered across the enterprise. Yet, much of an organization’s content still goes unused. More than one out of five respondents estimate that less than half of the unstructured information in their organization is readily available. And only a handful (6%) reported the complete availability of their organization’s information.  

1 in 5 enterprise leaders report that less than half of their   organization’s content is readily available.

Knowledge friction is the disconnect between enterprise authors and key content consumers. It is a constant consequence to productivity, operations, compliance, and revenue. Content authors — such as marketing, support managers, sales enablement, and product teams — invest high-quality time and effort producing informative content for end users — from salespeople and researchers to operations and customer support teams. Even after all this, end users still struggle to find and access the answers they need.  

While organizations invest billions of dollars every year in content management software and enterprise search systems to try and solve their knowledge friction problems, they've seen little to no results. In fact, introducing too many of these systems compounds knowledge friction. The 2024 Survey on Enterprise Information Discovery found that having multiple systems to search across is the leading obstacle to delivering necessary and timely information to employees, customers, and partners.

Difficulties in searching across systems (56%) was followed closely by problems with information and data silos (55%) and issues with information and data quality (52%) as the leading causes of knowledge friction. Other top obstacles include challenges in finding the correct search terms to locate desired information (46%) and insufficient content sharing (44%).  

What are the symptoms and impacts of knowledge friction?

Knowledge friction can look different and have varying impacts depending on your industry and function. Here are some examples of warning signs to watch out for by department and the negative business outcomes that come with them:

  • Customer service knowledge friction symptoms:  
    • Long resolution times
    • Inconsistent answers provided to customers  
    • High rate of call transfers
    • Failed first contact resolutions
    • Business impacts: Low CSAT scores, high training costs
  • Sales knowledge friction symptoms:
    • Lots of time spent looking for sales enablement content
    • Marketing and sales enablement content goes unused
    • High new rep ramp time
    • Outdated or off-brand information is referenced
    • Business impacts: Limited revenue generating time, ineffective sales meetings, high onboarding costs, brand reputation at risk
  • Operations knowledge friction symptoms
    • Slow execution of projects or initiatives
    • Overburdened SMEs and managers
    • Conflicting answers to simple questions
    • Difficulties maintaining multiple sources of knowledge
    • Business impacts: Delayed releases, higher operating costs, slowed innovation
  • R&D
    • Limited cross-departmental collaboration and innovation
    • Overburdened SMEs and managers
    • No standard feedback process for documents
    • Knowledge gaps and repeated mistakes
    • Business impacts: Delayed releases, poor research productivity, decreases in market share

Anyone can increase these truths from their point of need. And these symptoms and impacts are just the tip of the iceberg. The report from Unisphere Research identified 21 risks of stalled access to business-critical information:

1. Higher operations costs  

2. Lost revenue  

3. Safety risks  

4. Security and privacy issues

5. Conflicting/duplicative information  

6. Poor decision making  

7. Siloed information  

8. Data gaps  

9. Poor client outcomes, unempowered/ill-equipped employees  

10. Competitive disadvantage

11. Loss of customer trust

12. Customer churn  

13. Longer call times  

14. Fewer first call resolutions

15. Supply chain disruption  

16. Delays in important medical processes (life-saving test results, surgeon support, FDA filings)  

17. Compliance violations  

18. Workplace inefficiency  

19. Negative impacts on quality  

20. Longer project cycles  

21. Poor energy efficiency

Since legacy content management systems and enterprise search engines have fallen short, many enterprises are looking to Knowledge AI to tackle knowledge friction. Using cutting-edge technology like natural language processing (NLP) and retrieval-augmented generation (RAG), Knowledge AI swiftly extracts valuable knowledge from existing content, reading it like a human would, and transforming that knowledge into answers. This means no more endless searching through complex systems or wasting time on outdated information. Instead, teams can rely on a Knowledge AI platform for instant access to reliable answers, precisely when they need them.  

What is Knowledge Friction and Why Does It Matter?

Knowledge friction remains a major problem despite billions spent on knowledge management software

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

Why knowledge friction costs enterprises thousands of hours of productivity. Four common approaches to solving the enterprise productivity problem — and why they fall shortHow to unlock the value of AI and solve your productivity problem with a Knowledge AI platform

Knowledge friction: The productivity problem that has plagued organizations for decades.

70% of employees report spending an hour or more searching for a single piece of information.*

Companies are creating more content and data than ever – but most of it isn’t discoverable. This frustrating disconnect between content creators and content consumers is what we call knowledge friction. And it costs enterprises thousands of hours of productivity.  

*2024 Survey on Information Discovery, Unisphere Research.

Four ways enterprises have tried to solve the problem — and how Knowledge AI can help.  

Companies have tried various solutions to generate actionable answers from their existing content, yet the enterprise productivity problem remains. Where web search, legacy enterprise search, homegrown solutions, and AI startups all fall short, Knowledge AI is eliminating knowledge friction once and for all.

Unlock the value of AI with an Enterprise AI Platform

Using cutting-edge technology like natural language processing (NLP) and retrieval-augmented generation (RAG), an enterprise Knowledge AI platform swiftly extracts valuable knowledge from existing content, reading it like a human would, and transforming that knowledge into answers for your teams.

Find out how to unlock the value of AI and solve the enterprise productivity problem for good.

Get the Guide

Power enterprise answers with Pryon

Pryon comprehensively transforms enterprise content into accurate, instant, and verifiable answers.  Get started simply with Pryon AI Labs — a low risk, no-code, lab environment with guidance from our expert solutions team.

For media or investment inquiries, please email info@pryoninc.com.

What is Knowledge Friction and Why Does It Matter?

Knowledge friction remains a major problem despite billions spent on knowledge management software

Insights from public research at the ready

Stop endlessly searching through PubMed to find the right citation, research guidance, or trial data. RAE lets you ask a question, queries millions of information sources, and delivers the right answer in less than a second, pointing you to the source document(s) in case you’d like to gather more context.

Uncover insights from your own research

Your own research data may contain insights that are even more valuable than the information hidden in MEDLINE and other biomedical literature. That’s why RAE allows researchers to upload their own research, such as clinical trial findings, patient data, and internal unpublished research papers.

Highly accurate and trustworthy

RAE delivers  trustworthy, verifiable, always up-to-date answers, which are critical in a research setting. RAE’s best-in-class retrieval model uses advanced machine learning, computer vision, and optical character recognition to read complex information — even handwritten documents and diagrams — like a human would. RAE never hallucinates, since it only pulls from trusted research content, and delivers over 90% accuracy out of the box (with further improvements over time).

Scales to fit the varied needs of any 
research enterprise

For many organizations, life sciences research can comprise tens of thousands of voluminous research articles. RAE’s massive storage and compute resources enable it to ingest terabytes of research data — including PDFs, text files, images, video, and more — and transform that data into accurate answers.

Safe and secure

To ensure private research data and queries remain private, RAE runs entirely on-premises, not in a public cloud environment. RAE comes preloaded with Pryon, a Knowledge AI platform. Pryon’s AI models do not train on your data, so your data remains yours and yours alone. The system additionally ensures security against external parties with a self-contained, SOC 2 Type II-compliant architecture. All running securely on-prem on Dell PowerEdge servers.

Research answer engines can be transformational

“We can’t wait to see how pharmaceutical companies, research institutes, and development organizations use the Pryon | Dell Research Answer Engine. With this solution, life science experts can spend less time searching PubMed and internal resources for answers and more time conducting game-changing research.”

— Alex Long, Head of Strategy, Life Sciences at Dell Technologies

Why use Dell and Pryon’s Research Answer Engine?

RAE helps accelerate the research process by enabling researchers to quickly get answers to their questions directly from trusted sources, such as MEDLINE and private research. Life science researchers no longer need to waste time and energy hunting for valuable information when they could instead be helping develop new treatments.

Ready to get started?

Request a demo or email  lifesciences@pryoninc.com

Learn more about Dell in Healthcare at Dell.com/Healthcare

What is Knowledge Friction and Why Does It Matter?

Knowledge friction remains a major problem despite billions spent on knowledge management software

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN:

- Where stalled information access is holding enterprises back
- The leading barriers to delivering business-critical information to end users
- The top AI use cases enterprise leaders are exploring for 2024
- Strategies for implementing AI solutions without exposing your organization to risk

Rapid information access is a must-have in today’s digital economy

92% of enterprise leaders agree that access to fast, accurate information from unstructured content is vital to their business.

Information remains out of reach for end users

70% of leaders report that employees in their organization spend more than an hour looking for a piece of information, with nearly a quarter (23%) spending more than 5 hours.

Enterprises are looking to AI for help

The two leading use cases for AI involve helping users better understand and get answers from information spread across the enterprise.

Explore all the insights in the 2024 Survey on Enterprise Information Discovery from Unisphere Research

Power enterprise answers with Pryon

Pryon comprehensively transforms enterprise content into accurate, instant, and verifiable answers.

Get started simply with Pryon AI Labs — a low risk, no-code, lab environment with guidance from our expert solutions team.   

What is Knowledge Friction and Why Does It Matter?

Knowledge friction remains a major problem despite billions spent on knowledge management software

We’ve all felt the pain of needing a quick answer at work and spending hours checking different systems to find it — searching around for the right file, attempting to remember the right keywords to use, trying to get time with an already overburdened SME, and feeling frustrated by a lack of results. Then, once you think you’ve found the content you need, you spend more time reading through it, parsing the information to pinpoint the answer to your question. All the while crossing your fingers that the file is up-to-date and the information inside is verified.  

Sound familiar?  

You’re not alone. Pryon recently worked with Unisphere Research to survey a cross-industry group of enterprise leaders and knowledge workers on this problem. The survey found that employees waste hours weekly searching for information scattered across the enterprise. Yet, much of an organization’s content still goes unused. More than one out of five respondents estimate that less than half of the unstructured information in their organization is readily available. And only a handful (6%) reported the complete availability of their organization’s information.  

1 in 5 enterprise leaders report that less than half of their   organization’s content is readily available.

Knowledge friction is the disconnect between enterprise authors and key content consumers. It is a constant consequence to productivity, operations, compliance, and revenue. Content authors — such as marketing, support managers, sales enablement, and product teams — invest high-quality time and effort producing informative content for end users — from salespeople and researchers to operations and customer support teams. Even after all this, end users still struggle to find and access the answers they need.  

While organizations invest billions of dollars every year in content management software and enterprise search systems to try and solve their knowledge friction problems, they've seen little to no results. In fact, introducing too many of these systems compounds knowledge friction. The 2024 Survey on Enterprise Information Discovery found that having multiple systems to search across is the leading obstacle to delivering necessary and timely information to employees, customers, and partners.

Difficulties in searching across systems (56%) was followed closely by problems with information and data silos (55%) and issues with information and data quality (52%) as the leading causes of knowledge friction. Other top obstacles include challenges in finding the correct search terms to locate desired information (46%) and insufficient content sharing (44%).  

What are the symptoms and impacts of knowledge friction?

Knowledge friction can look different and have varying impacts depending on your industry and function. Here are some examples of warning signs to watch out for by department and the negative business outcomes that come with them:

  • Customer service knowledge friction symptoms:  
    • Long resolution times
    • Inconsistent answers provided to customers  
    • High rate of call transfers
    • Failed first contact resolutions
    • Business impacts: Low CSAT scores, high training costs
  • Sales knowledge friction symptoms:
    • Lots of time spent looking for sales enablement content
    • Marketing and sales enablement content goes unused
    • High new rep ramp time
    • Outdated or off-brand information is referenced
    • Business impacts: Limited revenue generating time, ineffective sales meetings, high onboarding costs, brand reputation at risk
  • Operations knowledge friction symptoms
    • Slow execution of projects or initiatives
    • Overburdened SMEs and managers
    • Conflicting answers to simple questions
    • Difficulties maintaining multiple sources of knowledge
    • Business impacts: Delayed releases, higher operating costs, slowed innovation
  • R&D
    • Limited cross-departmental collaboration and innovation
    • Overburdened SMEs and managers
    • No standard feedback process for documents
    • Knowledge gaps and repeated mistakes
    • Business impacts: Delayed releases, poor research productivity, decreases in market share

Anyone can increase these truths from their point of need. And these symptoms and impacts are just the tip of the iceberg. The report from Unisphere Research identified 21 risks of stalled access to business-critical information:

1. Higher operations costs  

2. Lost revenue  

3. Safety risks  

4. Security and privacy issues

5. Conflicting/duplicative information  

6. Poor decision making  

7. Siloed information  

8. Data gaps  

9. Poor client outcomes, unempowered/ill-equipped employees  

10. Competitive disadvantage

11. Loss of customer trust

12. Customer churn  

13. Longer call times  

14. Fewer first call resolutions

15. Supply chain disruption  

16. Delays in important medical processes (life-saving test results, surgeon support, FDA filings)  

17. Compliance violations  

18. Workplace inefficiency  

19. Negative impacts on quality  

20. Longer project cycles  

21. Poor energy efficiency

Since legacy content management systems and enterprise search engines have fallen short, many enterprises are looking to Knowledge AI to tackle knowledge friction. Using cutting-edge technology like natural language processing (NLP) and retrieval-augmented generation (RAG), Knowledge AI swiftly extracts valuable knowledge from existing content, reading it like a human would, and transforming that knowledge into answers. This means no more endless searching through complex systems or wasting time on outdated information. Instead, teams can rely on a Knowledge AI platform for instant access to reliable answers, precisely when they need them.  

Ready to kickstart your AI Strategy?

Reach out to us today!

What is Knowledge Friction and Why Does It Matter?

Knowledge friction remains a major problem despite billions spent on knowledge management software

We’ve all felt the pain of needing a quick answer at work and spending hours checking different systems to find it — searching around for the right file, attempting to remember the right keywords to use, trying to get time with an already overburdened SME, and feeling frustrated by a lack of results. Then, once you think you’ve found the content you need, you spend more time reading through it, parsing the information to pinpoint the answer to your question. All the while crossing your fingers that the file is up-to-date and the information inside is verified.  

Sound familiar?  

You’re not alone. Pryon recently worked with Unisphere Research to survey a cross-industry group of enterprise leaders and knowledge workers on this problem. The survey found that employees waste hours weekly searching for information scattered across the enterprise. Yet, much of an organization’s content still goes unused. More than one out of five respondents estimate that less than half of the unstructured information in their organization is readily available. And only a handful (6%) reported the complete availability of their organization’s information.  

1 in 5 enterprise leaders report that less than half of their   organization’s content is readily available.

Knowledge friction is the disconnect between enterprise authors and key content consumers. It is a constant consequence to productivity, operations, compliance, and revenue. Content authors — such as marketing, support managers, sales enablement, and product teams — invest high-quality time and effort producing informative content for end users — from salespeople and researchers to operations and customer support teams. Even after all this, end users still struggle to find and access the answers they need.  

While organizations invest billions of dollars every year in content management software and enterprise search systems to try and solve their knowledge friction problems, they've seen little to no results. In fact, introducing too many of these systems compounds knowledge friction. The 2024 Survey on Enterprise Information Discovery found that having multiple systems to search across is the leading obstacle to delivering necessary and timely information to employees, customers, and partners.

Difficulties in searching across systems (56%) was followed closely by problems with information and data silos (55%) and issues with information and data quality (52%) as the leading causes of knowledge friction. Other top obstacles include challenges in finding the correct search terms to locate desired information (46%) and insufficient content sharing (44%).  

What are the symptoms and impacts of knowledge friction?

Knowledge friction can look different and have varying impacts depending on your industry and function. Here are some examples of warning signs to watch out for by department and the negative business outcomes that come with them:

  • Customer service knowledge friction symptoms:  
    • Long resolution times
    • Inconsistent answers provided to customers  
    • High rate of call transfers
    • Failed first contact resolutions
    • Business impacts: Low CSAT scores, high training costs
  • Sales knowledge friction symptoms:
    • Lots of time spent looking for sales enablement content
    • Marketing and sales enablement content goes unused
    • High new rep ramp time
    • Outdated or off-brand information is referenced
    • Business impacts: Limited revenue generating time, ineffective sales meetings, high onboarding costs, brand reputation at risk
  • Operations knowledge friction symptoms
    • Slow execution of projects or initiatives
    • Overburdened SMEs and managers
    • Conflicting answers to simple questions
    • Difficulties maintaining multiple sources of knowledge
    • Business impacts: Delayed releases, higher operating costs, slowed innovation
  • R&D
    • Limited cross-departmental collaboration and innovation
    • Overburdened SMEs and managers
    • No standard feedback process for documents
    • Knowledge gaps and repeated mistakes
    • Business impacts: Delayed releases, poor research productivity, decreases in market share

Anyone can increase these truths from their point of need. And these symptoms and impacts are just the tip of the iceberg. The report from Unisphere Research identified 21 risks of stalled access to business-critical information:

1. Higher operations costs  

2. Lost revenue  

3. Safety risks  

4. Security and privacy issues

5. Conflicting/duplicative information  

6. Poor decision making  

7. Siloed information  

8. Data gaps  

9. Poor client outcomes, unempowered/ill-equipped employees  

10. Competitive disadvantage

11. Loss of customer trust

12. Customer churn  

13. Longer call times  

14. Fewer first call resolutions

15. Supply chain disruption  

16. Delays in important medical processes (life-saving test results, surgeon support, FDA filings)  

17. Compliance violations  

18. Workplace inefficiency  

19. Negative impacts on quality  

20. Longer project cycles  

21. Poor energy efficiency

Since legacy content management systems and enterprise search engines have fallen short, many enterprises are looking to Knowledge AI to tackle knowledge friction. Using cutting-edge technology like natural language processing (NLP) and retrieval-augmented generation (RAG), Knowledge AI swiftly extracts valuable knowledge from existing content, reading it like a human would, and transforming that knowledge into answers. This means no more endless searching through complex systems or wasting time on outdated information. Instead, teams can rely on a Knowledge AI platform for instant access to reliable answers, precisely when they need them.  

What is Knowledge Friction and Why Does It Matter?

Knowledge friction remains a major problem despite billions spent on knowledge management software

We’ve all felt the pain of needing a quick answer at work and spending hours checking different systems to find it — searching around for the right file, attempting to remember the right keywords to use, trying to get time with an already overburdened SME, and feeling frustrated by a lack of results. Then, once you think you’ve found the content you need, you spend more time reading through it, parsing the information to pinpoint the answer to your question. All the while crossing your fingers that the file is up-to-date and the information inside is verified.  

Sound familiar?  

You’re not alone. Pryon recently worked with Unisphere Research to survey a cross-industry group of enterprise leaders and knowledge workers on this problem. The survey found that employees waste hours weekly searching for information scattered across the enterprise. Yet, much of an organization’s content still goes unused. More than one out of five respondents estimate that less than half of the unstructured information in their organization is readily available. And only a handful (6%) reported the complete availability of their organization’s information.  

1 in 5 enterprise leaders report that less than half of their   organization’s content is readily available.

Knowledge friction is the disconnect between enterprise authors and key content consumers. It is a constant consequence to productivity, operations, compliance, and revenue. Content authors — such as marketing, support managers, sales enablement, and product teams — invest high-quality time and effort producing informative content for end users — from salespeople and researchers to operations and customer support teams. Even after all this, end users still struggle to find and access the answers they need.  

While organizations invest billions of dollars every year in content management software and enterprise search systems to try and solve their knowledge friction problems, they've seen little to no results. In fact, introducing too many of these systems compounds knowledge friction. The 2024 Survey on Enterprise Information Discovery found that having multiple systems to search across is the leading obstacle to delivering necessary and timely information to employees, customers, and partners.

Difficulties in searching across systems (56%) was followed closely by problems with information and data silos (55%) and issues with information and data quality (52%) as the leading causes of knowledge friction. Other top obstacles include challenges in finding the correct search terms to locate desired information (46%) and insufficient content sharing (44%).  

What are the symptoms and impacts of knowledge friction?

Knowledge friction can look different and have varying impacts depending on your industry and function. Here are some examples of warning signs to watch out for by department and the negative business outcomes that come with them:

  • Customer service knowledge friction symptoms:  
    • Long resolution times
    • Inconsistent answers provided to customers  
    • High rate of call transfers
    • Failed first contact resolutions
    • Business impacts: Low CSAT scores, high training costs
  • Sales knowledge friction symptoms:
    • Lots of time spent looking for sales enablement content
    • Marketing and sales enablement content goes unused
    • High new rep ramp time
    • Outdated or off-brand information is referenced
    • Business impacts: Limited revenue generating time, ineffective sales meetings, high onboarding costs, brand reputation at risk
  • Operations knowledge friction symptoms
    • Slow execution of projects or initiatives
    • Overburdened SMEs and managers
    • Conflicting answers to simple questions
    • Difficulties maintaining multiple sources of knowledge
    • Business impacts: Delayed releases, higher operating costs, slowed innovation
  • R&D
    • Limited cross-departmental collaboration and innovation
    • Overburdened SMEs and managers
    • No standard feedback process for documents
    • Knowledge gaps and repeated mistakes
    • Business impacts: Delayed releases, poor research productivity, decreases in market share

Anyone can increase these truths from their point of need. And these symptoms and impacts are just the tip of the iceberg. The report from Unisphere Research identified 21 risks of stalled access to business-critical information:

1. Higher operations costs  

2. Lost revenue  

3. Safety risks  

4. Security and privacy issues

5. Conflicting/duplicative information  

6. Poor decision making  

7. Siloed information  

8. Data gaps  

9. Poor client outcomes, unempowered/ill-equipped employees  

10. Competitive disadvantage

11. Loss of customer trust

12. Customer churn  

13. Longer call times  

14. Fewer first call resolutions

15. Supply chain disruption  

16. Delays in important medical processes (life-saving test results, surgeon support, FDA filings)  

17. Compliance violations  

18. Workplace inefficiency  

19. Negative impacts on quality  

20. Longer project cycles  

21. Poor energy efficiency

Since legacy content management systems and enterprise search engines have fallen short, many enterprises are looking to Knowledge AI to tackle knowledge friction. Using cutting-edge technology like natural language processing (NLP) and retrieval-augmented generation (RAG), Knowledge AI swiftly extracts valuable knowledge from existing content, reading it like a human would, and transforming that knowledge into answers. This means no more endless searching through complex systems or wasting time on outdated information. Instead, teams can rely on a Knowledge AI platform for instant access to reliable answers, precisely when they need them.  

What is Knowledge Friction and Why Does It Matter?

Knowledge friction remains a major problem despite billions spent on knowledge management software

Read this guide to:

  • Understand the knowledge friction problem in federal agencies and its impact on daily tasks and mission-critical scenarios.‍
  • Learn how GenAI solutions can democratize knowledge access, streamline workflows, and enable decision advantage.‍
  • Discover the four critical requirements for implementing GenAI solutions securely at the federal level.‍
  • Get introduced to the Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG) framework and its benefits in delivering accurate and secure responses.

A sneak peek into the report:

Federal agencies have a knowledge friction problem.

Government agencies need to ensure employees, service members, and citizens quickly and easily receive the answers they need to drive productivity and enable decision advantage.‍

Internal content authors work diligently to produce and update content, including policies, procedures, and lessons learned. Yet staff, managers, and senior leaders still lose valuable time wading through pools of siloed information to find answers. As a result, the gap between critical information and those who need it most continues to widen.

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Eliminate knowledge friction with generative AI.

Government agencies need to ensure employees, service members, and citizens quickly and easily receive the answers they need to drive productivity and enable decision advantage.‍

With the right GenAI solutions in place, staff and service members can take on challenges with greater speed and intelligence.

4 core considerations to implementing GenAI in a federal agency.

Not every GenAI solution on the market is fit to meet the specific needs of government agencies. Implementing GenAI in a regulated environment requires careful consideration of four critical factors to ensure success:

  1. Accuracy
  2. Security
  3. Scale
  4. Speed
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A phone, tablet, and desktop computer screen are shown displaying a computer product

Retrieval-Augmented Generation: The answer to GenAI implementations for government.

Many federal agencies are turning to Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG) to support their GenAI solutions. RAG is a framework that combines retrieval and generative capabilities to deliver accurate and trustworthy responses.

This approach mitigates common issues with GenAI tools, such as hallucinations and ensures that responses are based on authoritative content with clear source attribution.

Find out how to unlock the value of AI for federal agencies, while ensuring accuracy and security.

Enable decision advantage with Pryon.

Pryon’s GenAI solutions, supported by a robust RAG framework, are uniquely designed to meet the rigorous demands of government operations.

Using best-in-class information retrieval technology, Pryon securely delivers accurate, timely answers for decision advantage.

Request a custom demo today.