With CES happening this week, there’s been a lot of buzz around the Internet of Things, or as Cisco terms it, the Internet of Everything, and connectivity. On the CEA blog, @JosephMBradley of Cisco writes that the intersection of people, data and things will  “increase global aggregate corporate profits by about 21 percent.”

And yet, on PCWorld, @markhachman writes that there is still a fundamental problem:

“While it’s true that the Internet of Things ….may represent the Next Big Thing in computing, the fundamental problem hasn’t changed: how to take data, assimilate it, and apply it to make our lives more productive. Simply put, information needs to be constantly available, close at hand, and contextual.”

This basic truism extends aptly to knowledge management within businesses.

We believe that the opportunity for enterprise value creation from connecting people with contextual information, and through this contextual information, with other people (and yes, perhaps in the future with things, which is really a productivity play) is huge — and additive to the 21% increase in profits predicted by Joseph Bradley. Enabling the Long Tail of Collective Enterprise Knowledge — a way to solve this fundamental challenge — can unlock what has been estimated conservatively at 33% of the value of an organization’s intangible capital, which in itself represents 80% of the value of an average business, according to @MaryAdamsICA with Smarter Companies. As Mark Hachman wrote, the key is contextual information. For without context there can be no relevance. Without relevance, data and information may be useless to the knowledge worker, and this tremendous asset will remain dormant.

We propose that one of the goals of Knowledge Management should be (as Mark so elegantly put it), to:

[Make information] “constantly available, close at hand, and contextual.”

Would you agree? And, as we continue to think about and discuss a new definition of knowledge management–should the concept of contextualization be included?