Wikis are increasingly used internally by companies and public sector organizations, some as prominent as Adobe Systems, Intel, Microsoft and the FBI. Depending on the size of a corporation, they may add to or replace centrally-managed content management systems. Their decentralised nature allows them, in theory, to disseminate needed information across an organisation faster and cheaper than a centrally controlled knowledge repository. Wikis might also be used for project management (better collaboration) and even marketing purposes (wikis for customers).
Features of corporate wikis Edit
For a short overview of what wikis can provide to enterprises compared with traditional CMS, see Wiki#Wikis and content management systems. Features of wikis specifically helpful to a corporation include:
- Allow to glue information via quick-and-easy-to-create pages containing links to other corporate information systems, like people directories, CMS, applications, and thus build up knowledge bases.
- Avoiding e-mail overload. Wikis allow all relevant information to be shared by people working on a given project. Conversely, only the wiki users interested in a given project need look at its associated wiki pages, in contrast to high-traffic mailing lists which may burden many subscribers with many messages, regardless of relevance to particular subscribers. It is also very useful for the project manager to have all the communication stored in one place, which allows to link the responsibility for every action taken to particular team member.
- Access rights, roles. Users can be forbidden from viewing and/or editing given pages, depending on their department or role within the organization.
- Building consensus. Wikis provide a framework for collaborative writing. Particularly, they allow the structured expression of views disagreed upon by authors on a same page. This feature is very useful during writing documentation, preparing presentations and so on.
- Organizing information. Wikis allow users to structure new and existing information. As with content, the structure of data is sometimes also editable by users; see structured wiki. On the other hand wiki is not strictly hierarchical which might be a disadvantage in corporate context.
Corporate wiki solutionsEdit
A large set of corporate wiki solutions are available; see list of wiki software and comparison of wiki software. Wikis with the required feature set include TWiki, PmWiki, MoinMoin, XWiki, TikiWiki CMS/Groupware, Confluence and Socialtext. Their aim is to provide all ranges of companies with ready-made wiki solutions that can be adapted to SMEs as well as multinational corporations. Amongst those companies, the competition lies as much in corporate philosophy as in what the products look like. For example, MoinMoin and Socialtext value simplicity, where TWiki, XWiki and TikiWiki CMS/Groupware put an emphasis on structured wikis where users can create wiki applications. Most of them have adopted an Open-Source mindset and allow developers or even users to create purposed applications.
Wiki software packages not specifically built for corporations are also used at the workplace, such as MediaWiki or DokuWiki. Although they can be used to build simple knowledgebases and internal websites, they often lack enterprise features such as fine grained access control, per page name space for attachments, or integration with other enterprise tools.
See also Edit
- Comparison of wiki software
- Collaborative editing
- Collaborative writing
- Corporate portal
- Enterprise social software
- Wiki application
- Wikinomics (book)
- Wikipedia:Why Wikipedia is so great — specific to Wikipedia, but corporate wikis can function similarly
- Andersen, Espen (2005). Using Wikis in a Corporate Context. In Handbuch E-Learning. A. Hohenstein and K. Wilbers (eds). Cologne, WoltersKluwer. 5.8: 15.
- Guy, Marieke (2006). Wiki or Won't He? A Tale of Public Sector Wikis. Ariadne Issue 49.
- CorporateWikis - a page about corporate wikis on WikiWikiWeb, the very first wiki
- b:Wiki Science/How to start a Wiki#Business Environments
- "Wikis evolve as collaboration tools" - InfoWorld Jan 2007 review of Wiki products designed for enterprise use
- "Corporate Wiki Users: Results of a Survey" — 168 corporate wiki users answered this Survey
- Wikis in Enterprises - survey by the Department of Personnel Economics and Human Resource Management of the University of Cologne.
- ppetr's blog - several articles about wikis in corporate environment.