6 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Corporate Wiki

Choosing a company wiki is one of the best decisions you can make, as this can help you to streamline your operations and boost time efficiency within your organization. For example, should you need to send an email to a number of people within your business, you can easily do so by putting all of the data in your corporate wiki. This is just one example of many when it comes to using a wiki.

From boosting productivity to enhancing communication, it is not hard to see why wiki software comes highly recommended. However, to experience all of these benefits, you will need to select with care. So, let’s take a look at the different factors to consider.

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1. Select a Software Delivery Model for Your Needs

There are three different options to select from when choosing and managing a corporate wiki.

  • Appliance wiki: A combination of both on-premises and hosted wikis. It is a popular solution, as it can bring you the best of both worlds.
  • Hosted wiki (SaaS): Involves using a software vendor who will use their own servers to store your data.
  • On-premises wiki: Software is installed by yourself, and all of the data is stored on your own servers.

2. Consider User Authentication

It is vital to make sure that a wiki is integrated with your current authentication environment, which could include LDAP or a single sign-on. There cannot be any anonymity when it comes to who is editing. Your enterprise wiki must verify every user’s identity so that edits can be attributed to the right user with ease. The activity must be traceable, clear, and transparent.

Furthermore, any corporate wiki needs to have a way for you to set access. For instance, there are some wikis that should only be accessed, edited, and read by a group of executives, whereas others may be open to everyone working at your business.

3. Make Sure IT Gets What It Wants

If you have selected an on-premise corporate wiki, you probably decided to go for this option because a certain set of IT requirements would be filled, with regard to integration with your current enterprise systems and storage. If this is the case, you will need to talk with your IT team so you can find out everything you need to know regarding what will and will not work during installation.

You may realize that they have a certain framework or set of standards they prefer for web applications, so it is going to be critical that any wiki falls into this category. Irrespective of the architecture, all IT administrators want a wiki that gives them the ability to track usage and assess how much server space is being utilized.

4. Consider Extra Features

You also need to assess what value-added features your wiki vendor offers, and how these features could resonate with your users. For instance, if you work with a multinational corporation, wikis that provide multilingual support can help in terms of bridging communications between departments that speak various languages.

You can also find some solutions that give you the ability to make the wiki accessible using a widget that can be embedded onto a personalized web page, like iGoogle. The ability to attach documents is another useful feature that a lot of teams would benefit from. This is especially the case if you intend to use your wiki as a document management system.

Ultimately, you need to consider what your team needs and your intended use for the corporate wiki, and then you will be able to figure out which features make the most sense.

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5. Plan for Mistakes

Next, it is important to plan for mistakes, as accidents can happen when people use a wiki. For example, the majority of wikis give multiple people the ability to edit a document at the same time. However, when the save button is hit by the first person, their edits are saved — but the other person editing loses their work.

Of course, this is just one example of a very specific problem, but we hope that it helps you gain some understanding. You need to make sure that the wiki has a way of tracking all of the amendments that happen and that you can revert back to an older version if needed to locate valuable edits that accidentally got lost during the saving process.

After all, there is nothing more frustrating than spending time working on something only for all of your work to be lost. Therefore, you need to make sure you consider how you are going to prepare for mistakes, and what sort of features the wiki has to deal with issues like this.

6. Consider Built-In Search Features

Last but not least, it is important to choose wiki software that comes with a built-in search capabilities. You only need to look at the research to see why this is critical. A McKinsey study has revealed that 19% of an average workweek is spent looking for the information needed to complete a task. Moreover, productivity can be boosted by 35% with a searchable internal knowledge base.

By selecting a corporate wiki that has a built-in search feature, you make it easy for employees to find what they need and boost productivity considerably.

As you can see, there is a lot that needs to be considered when choosing a corporate wiki. If you want to leverage all of the benefits associated with this software, carefully consider the six key elements above to ensure success.

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Kerry Harrison

Kerry Harrison is a freelance content writer with over a decade of experience. She graduated with honors with a BA in Multimedia Journalism, and she has been enjoying writing professionally ever since.