The success of an organization is attributed to the quality of communication internally of a corporation as well as externally. Communication conducted is generally with employees, shareholders, suppliers and/or clients (consumers). Methods used for this communication has evolved throughout the years. In the past businesses were only able to communicate and facilitate projects and other activities through face-to-face communication, mail services as well as traditional television or print advertising. Those methods were affective, however, they were also costly, time consuming and restricted to specific jurisdictions. With the creation of the Internet and specifically email, communication was made easier and more efficient. Individuals are able to send documents, advertisements and/or communicate with numerous individuals regardless of the area in which they reside in through email, which most importantly is FREE!
Although there are numerous advantages to using email, there are many disadvantages as well:
- Using email for working on large organizational projects can be tedious and time consuming, as one would need to combine information between multiple individuals
- There is a delay with emails
- Some emails get lost or moved straight to trash
- Email services generally restrict the size of an attachment that can be sent
In order to facilitate projects; have access to company information or personal contact lists from any location and any mobile or computer network; or to facilitate meetings instantly it is recommended that organizations utilize wikis. A wiki is a platform that enables users to exchange information, update it or edit it instantly. The benefits of utilizing wikis is that one can utilize the platform without any lag, without any real administrative effort and without the problems that emails generally have (Babauta, 2007) .
The following are some ways in which a wiki benefits an organization internally:
- Project Management
Wikis are useful for business organizations, whereby projects require communication and input by multiple persons . It can be utilized for project management as tasks can be assigned on the platform, a timeline can be made, notes and images can be added/edited or deleted as well as various other media can be used. This is particularly convenient, as all information is stored online and is easily accessible for users, especially when individuals are unable to meet face to face regularly to work on projects or other tasks.
- Lowers Labour and Material Costs
Wikis can be used in organizations as a means of reducing labour hours as well as the costs of printing and updating materials that need to be shared amongst employees. This is accomplished; for example, as firms can reduce costs by using wikis to store and update all information, that would otherwise, require employees to come into work for conferences. Furthermore, the cost of printing updated operation manuals and various other work updates can be reduced and be enforced immediately, by posting them directly onto a wiki site instead of spending time and money printing and distributing them.
Wikis are convenient for individuals and organizations as it can be used for storing contact information of all clients, suppliers, employers etc. This is useful as the contact information can be easily accessed from any computer and smart phone anywhere around the world (on condition there is no firewall preventing it and one has access to the internet).
The following are ways a wiki benefits an organization externally:
- Inform and Communicate
A wiki can be used to communicate with suppliers and shareholders to inform them about the organization’s operations or to request products etc. Using the wiki will enable communication between the parties, regardless of the location or time zone.
- Update Consumers
Organizations can utilize wikis as a platform whereby they can post products, promotions and other such information, geared towards consumers. In addition, this platform can be made public and have the options for consumers to be able to contact the organization on this platform. The benefit of using this media tool, instead of or in addition to a website, is that the tool enables users to update or made changes to specific pages instantly, whereas a website would require a longer time frame.
- Free Advertising
Organizations can post items, such as, promotions and video clips online. By posting these items on a wiki, consumers are able to share the wiki URL, specific photos, clips etc., with their friends and family on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. This strategy would enable the organization to have their information shared and distributed into new markets, thus increasing their market exposure.
Hope you found the post informative. As mentioned, wikis are a useful tool, which if used correctly can reduce an organization’s costs and improve its functioning.