What is a corporate wiki?
Corporate wiki definition
A corporate wiki is an online platform or website that allows employees within a company to collaboratively create, edit, and share information and knowledge related to the company’s operations, policies, procedures, and projects. It serves as a centralized repository of information that can be accessed and updated by authorized individuals, fostering communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing within the corporate environment.
Why do companies use corporate wiki software?
Internal wikis function much like public wikis—individual people can create pages, add to existing pages, change content, and even delete pages as needed. Permissions can be controlled so that only the product team, for example, can edit product-related pages, but the general idea of a corporate wiki is to let teams manage their own team documentation.
s are leveraged as a strategic tool to pool knowledge across different levels of their organization, giving an entire team access to things like:
- Official corporate logos and pictures for the design team
- Recent product reviews for the marketing team
- Approved corporate statements for the PR team
- Testing results and learnings for the product team
- Current product videos for the sales team
Corporate wiki benefits and use cases
Company wikis can be a convenient way to share organizational knowledge. These private wikis can tap subject matter experts wherever they happen to be, documenting and preserving company knowledge.
- Collaboration and knowledge sharing: Corporate wiki software helps employees collaborate and share information easily, which reduces the chance of duplicating effort.
- Centralized information repository: A wiki allows employees to access relevant company documents, policies, procedures, and other company knowledge and resources in one place.
- Increased productivity and efficiency: Having a single company wiki will save your employees time from having to search through multiple repositories. It will also simplify onboarding for new employees.
- Institutional knowledge retention: Corporate wikis can help prevent knowledge loss when experienced employees leave, preserving company knowledge within the company.
- Customization and scalability: Modern corporate wiki solutions let companies tailor the platform to their specific needs while accommodating growth and changing requirements.
- Cost-effective documentation: Wikis can eliminate the need for physical documentation with digital information that is more easily searchable and shareable.
- Security and access control: Security features let companies control access to sensitive information with user permissions, password protection, and more.
Drawbacks of traditional corporate wikis
While traditional corporate wikis can provide self-service knowledge bases and improve employee productivity, they are also highly dependent on the individuals who use them to make sure these knowledge bases are accurate, organized, and up to date.
- Lack of user engagement: Traditional corporate wikis often suffer from low user engagement. Employees may find them difficult to navigate or may not see the value in contributing to them.
- Outdated information: Without proper maintenance, traditional corporate wikis can quickly become outdated if knowledge gaps aren’t filled in with recent information and learnings.
- Limited collaboration: Traditional corporate wikis can be difficult to navigate, leading to frustration and content gaps when employees give up on them.
- Difficult to search and find information: Because different people may prefer different forms of organization, wikis can become a hodgepodge of systems that lack a cohesive structure.
- Lack of customization: Many traditional wikis were built with specific uses in mind, making them more difficult to customize for unique purposes.
- Learning curve: Employees may require extensive training to learn how to use traditional corporate wikis, leading teams to abandon them in favor of other collaboration tools.
- Lack of integration: Wikis are often limited in their ability to import reports, videos, statistical data, and other critical information. If employees have to make updates manually, they aren’t likely to update and maintain the knowledge base over time.
Corporate wikis vs. knowledge bases
The main differences between corporate wikis and internal knowledge bases come down to the intended purpose and functionality of each one. An internal wiki is more focused on collaboration and creating a culture of information sharing, while a knowledge base is focused on providing quick, easy access to specific information.
Generally speaking, internal wikis are:
- Collaborative: Employees can contribute and edit content, crowdsourcing the knowledge that internal wikis contain.
- Updated in real time: Employees can modify content as needed and save changes immediately, often without review.
- Designed for easy contribution: Corporate wikis are typically used to document workflows, procedures, and organizational knowledge. They encourage employees to contribute their collective expertise and insights.
Internal knowledge base software, on the other hand, tends to be:
- Centralized: Knowledge bases are typically intended to be a single source of truth. They are usually managed by a specific team or department.
- Carefully controlled: Knowledge bases are organized and vetted by the people who oversee them. Proposed changes go through a review process. Updates are not made in real time, but knowledge bases are often better organized, clearer, and more accurate than internal wikis.
- Designed for searchability and accuracy: Knowledge bases provide quick, easy access to specific information. Whether it’s an org chart or product documentation, a knowledge base is designed to provide convenient answers to common questions or information needs.
The evolution of collaboration: introducing the modern intranet
Modern intranet software combines the best aspects of both corporate wikis and knowledge bases. Easy to implement and simple to maintain, they provide scalability, security, searchability, and fast collaboration within well-defined limits. Thousands of employees can use them at once, sharing knowledge in an organized, intuitive format.
Corporate wiki vs. modern intranet: a comparative analysis
Modern intranet systems represent a significant upgrade over conventional corporate wikis, boasting scalable attributes tailor-made for businesses today. The key factors below offer a glimpse into the many enhancements that modern technological advancements have contributed to the evolution of the corporate wiki.
Modern intranet technology offers a far broader range of tools for knowledge sharing than traditional corporate wikis. Video, for example, can be hosted natively in communication systems that mimic the general layout and functionality of today’s social media platforms, so employees can easily pick it up and start using it from day one. These systems also allow for interactive discussions and provide an opportunity for natural leaders to shine, sharing knowledge—and enthusiasm—across teams.
Furthermore, advanced AI allows for deep personalization, adapting to employee searches and use over time and offering up content that’s uniquely relevant to each employee. This level of personalization encourages eager adoption and use, serving up a content strategy that varies from one employee to the next and making everyone feel appreciated and included.
Today’s intranet technology also offers enhanced collaboration features for more seamless teamwork and idea generation. Keep important resources at everyone’s fingertips, and even find colleagues with specific roles or skills. By ingesting data from human resources information systems and crowdsourcing additions to employee profiles, modern intranet software helps employees in different divisions or around the world find and collaborate with each other.
Corporate wikis may allow for real-time updates of various pages, but it does little else to facilitate communication. By contrast, modern intranet software offers employee engagement solutions to enable real-time interaction and efficient information exchange. With centralized news hubs for celebrations and social-media-like channels for live interaction—not to mention communication through multiple integrated channels including Slack, teams, email, SMS, and push notifications—today’s intranet software brings people together in a way that traditional corporate wikis simply can’t.
Along with communication platform integrations, modern intranet software offers a wide variety of integrations with multiple kinds of software and data management systems: Google Analytics, Google Drive, Okta, Oracle, Workday, Salesforce, SAP, Slack, Zoom, YouTube, Vimeo, LinkedIn, Facebook, and many more.
To learn more about how a modern intranet creates a unified, scalable platform for communication and data management, explore case studies from AAA, Eurostar, the United States Olympic Committee, and other enterprise organizations.