Intranet, Wiki, or Knowledge Management Platform: What’s the Difference?
, Alexandre Caulier
One of the best ways to increase productivity in your organization is to provide your employees with a single source of truth—a place where they can easily get all the information they need to perform their tasks better.
Studies show that employees spend about 7 hours of their work week searching for and gathering the information they need to perform their duties. That’s time that could be used more productively.
That’s why you need to have a knowledge sharing system in place. But with technology advancing so fast, there are many options available.
Let’s look at three different types so you can decide which is best for your business.
Intranet, wiki, or knowledge management platform?
You can’t run an organization without internal knowledge sharing and collaboration. However, not all knowledge sharing is created equally.
What is an intranet?
Intranets have been around for decades and have been used by organizations to help employees communicate, collaborate, and perform their roles. Unlike the Internet, which is public, an intranet is privately owned and is only accessible to its employees.
Pros of an intranet
- Easy file management
- Easy communication and collaboration
- Connects your organization across locations and time zones
- Reduces the need for meetings and emails—two things that are known to disrupt productivity
Cons of an intranet
- Implementation can be complicated and costly
- Most intranets are outdated and have limited functionality
- Use and management requires training
- Poor user experience can lead to low user adoption
The case for intranets in the workplace
Where do intranets fit into your organization?
For one, you can use your intranet as a content management platform. It will help you manage your organization’s digital content more effectively.
Another way to use an intranet is to use it as a social platform for your staff. This is important as it helps employees openly share knowledge and transfer skills to others.
What is a wiki?
Much like Wikipedia, a corporate wiki is a website an organization uses as a central knowledge database. You can store all your internal documentation on processes, projects you’re working on, or conversations had during sales calls.
Anyone on your team can edit a corporate wiki. Ideally, the purpose is to encourage as much knowledge sharing as possible. By getting everyone involved, you increase your team’s collective knowledge. As a result, the time wasted by employees searching for help from one another is reduced.
Pros of a wiki
- Good way of preserving knowledge
- Offers a centralized database of company knowledge and information
- Improves and increases collaboration
- Users can link to other resources, improving user experience
Cons of a wiki
- May require technical knowledge and the ability to use special markup
- Poor search functionality
- Editing content is time-consuming
The case for wikis in the workplace
Wikis are a great way to collaborate and to manage all your information. However, they’re best suited for organizations whose staff is on the tech-savvy side. If you can get past the learning curve, Nonetheless, corporate wikis are excellent tools for many business functions. For one thing, they can help make employee onboarding easier. They’re also excellent tools for knowledge retention.
What is a knowledge management platform?
Similar to a wiki, a knowledge management platform is a software designed to enable content curation inside organizations. One difference, however, is that a good knowledge management platform is populated with content created by subject matter experts (SMEs) throughout the company.
The main function of a knowledge management platform is to serve as a repository of information that your team can access whenever they need to. It can include anything from your company’s offerings, policies, services, and much more.
Pros of a knowledge management platform
- Enhanced content quality due to expert writers creating and curating content
- Gives you more control of the information shared as roles and responsibilities are clearly defined
- Ease of use, even for users without any technical knowledge
- Reliable search function makes it easier to find specific content
- Analytics integration gives insight into your most popular content and areas where there are content gaps
Cons of a knowledge management platform
- You need to have buy-in from SMEs who will create and edit content
The case for knowledge management platforms
One of the biggest selling points for knowledge management platforms is that they offer the best of intranets and wikis without their limitations. They’re a more flexible solution to information management and knowledge sharing for organizations.
So, what’ll it be: intranet, wiki, or knowledge management platform?
The solution you choose is largely dependent on your organization’s needs and the capabilities and bandwidth of your employees in creating content. However, a knowledge management platform is likely your best option. The right platform will offer ease of use and greater control over content, ensuring more accurate and reliable information.
Elium goes beyond all three. More than simply a knowledge management platform, it’s a knowledge sharing tool. Elium allows you to empower _all _employees—not just SMEs—with internal content creation. Your content is never static, and is always up to date. Take a quick tour of our platform and see how we differ from intranets and corporate wikis.
Let us help you streamline your information management. Sign up for a 14-day free trial and experience Elium for yourself.