Choosing between a company wiki and a Work Hub
Knowledge management has evolved far beyond simple documentation. Now, information is created and shared across dozens of apps — emails, project management tools, internal comms, files, folders, you name it.
Companies often turn to wikis like Notion and Confluence as a solution. These tools help you centralize knowledge (to an extent) and ensure everyone has access to the information they need. However, wikis like this have some major limitations, which is why more and more businesses are looking for alternatives.
So what are the benefits and drawbacks of company wikis? And why might Work Hubs be the future? Let’s dive in.
The benefits of a company wiki
Company wikis help businesses to simplify their knowledge management and help employees find the information they need quickly. Some of the benefits include:
Create a single source of truth for your company
Company wikis let you organize all your information in one place, so everyone from your organization can find the information they need and contribute to it. And (just like Wikipedia), company wikis use internal linking to connect knowledge — the idea is that you can access any information you need by navigating the platform.
Equal access to information across the company
When you have teams or departments that work in silos, it’s important to synchronize your knowledge sharing. Otherwise, you’ll end up making decisions without all of the necessary information.
If you’re planning to do sales outreach, for example, it’s important to know what campaign marketing is running to nurture your audience. Or, if you work in product development, you’ll want to know what feedback customers are sharing with the support team. This will help you plan future updates and prioritize features.
Company wikis should allow anyone to access the information they need, which helps to increase transparency.
Enable a self-serve culture
Qatalog’s Killing Time at Work report revealed how employees prioritize flexibility, and their expectations have evolved in favor of asynchronous communication (meaning that they don’t have to be at the same place at the same time).
Nearly half of employees expect to have more flexibility in terms of when they work in the next three years, and creating a self-serve culture is key to this.
To make this happen, your employees need access to critical information without having to ask (and disturb) their colleagues or feeling the pressures of presenteeism.
A company wiki should help with this.
The downsides of a wiki
Company wikis start to solve some of the most common knowledge-sharing woes, but they’re far from perfect. Some of the downsides include:
A big time investment to set up
Setting up company wikis can take up a lot of time for several reasons. First, since these tools cater to a very general audience, they come with a large volume of features and customization options. The idea is to give you enough flexibility to create your own customized platform for knowledge sharing, but it can be overwhelming for the uninitiated.
You’ll likely need to familiarize yourself with the different interfaces, dashboards, modules, relationships, views, and integrations your wiki has to offer. Then, after learning how the platform works, and how to customize it, you’ll need to properly organize your data. This means planning out information hierarchies (what are your core categories and subcategories, for example?) and the relationship between different information.
You’ll also need to consider your organization’s structure — how big your company is, how fast you’re scaling, and who should have access to what — to make sure you properly configure the system to meet your requirements.
Needs to be continuously updated in order to stay relevant
When your team members or colleagues from different departments need to make decisions, it’s crucial that they have recent, relevant information. This means you have to actively make sure the information in your wiki is up to date, and that new information is added promptly when it comes in.
This may sound simple enough, but when large teams or multiple departments are contributing to your wiki, it can quickly become an administrative headache. A very strong documentation culture is usually needed. Everyone has to be clear about how documents are created, where they’re stored, and when (and how) they’re accessed and updated.
They lack structure
Knowledge management is about more than just creating a big repository of information. You also need to have a structure in place that enables your team to create, store, and navigate all this information effectively. Otherwise, chaos ensues. Just think about a library without a clear system for organizing the books. You wouldn’t be able to find anything!
Unfortunately, while company wikis are great for creating documents, they struggle with structure. As organizations grow and more team members get involved, there’s lots more knowledge created and more team members who can edit the wiki, and things start to fall apart very quickly.
Let’s take Notion as an example, since many companies use it for knowledge management. The tool has two core building blocks, pages and tables, which you can link in different ways, giving you lots of flexibility. You can edit and customize your wiki however you want. But this isn’t always a good thing.
When your team gets beyond 50 people, the number of users who can freely edit your wiki or change the structure often causes the platform to break. Typically, the only way to avoid this fate is to introduce strict oversight and monitoring of how people use the wiki, which isn’t fun for anyone, and is very time consuming.
Enter Work Hubs.
How wikis and Work Hubs are different — and why Work Hubs are better
A Work Hub is a single, structured platform that’s part of your day-to-day workflow. It’s where your team stores information, shares and manages projects, allocates tasks, provides feedback, and makes decisions.
Here’s why Work Hubs are a big improvement on company wikis:
We polled over 100 software companies and found that 77% have no process for documenting and storing information. So when your People or Ops teams adopt a company wiki, they not only have to think of how to structure and organize knowledge, but also how to create a documentation culture.
In contrast, Work Hubs are living knowledge management systems. Information is constantly updated as people work, whether they’re sharing updates or project details or uploading files. Your Work Hub becomes richer in information with minimal extra work.
There’s a lot more context around knowledge
Context is massively important in knowledge sharing, especially when different teams or departments tend to operate in silos. When team members access information, having context around it helps them make better, more informed decisions.
A Work Hub links your organization’s knowledge in a way that makes it easy for people to get more context. For example, because everything is connected, it’s easy to see which projects and discussions a particular file or pitch deck is related to, which account a specific campaign is for, or who’s working on a given task or project. Having context increases your team members’ visibility into each other’s work, encouraging them to collaborate better and fueling their decision-making.
Set-up is quick and easy
Traditionally, custom software has been mostly exclusive to tech giants, like Shopify, Meta, Google, etc. Meanwhile, the average business has been using off-the-shelf software that requires lots of customization and doesn't reflect the way their teams work.
Qatalog’s Work Hub democratizes access to custom software, providing you with a tailored platform to fit your business. Your Work Hub will reflect your organizational structure, the way your teams work and collaborate, the internal lexicon you use, and more. It’s your platform for work, which makes adoption a lot easier, as the platform is intuitive for your team.
It’s also much quicker to set your Work Hub up because Qatalog AI automatically generates a custom platform that’s tailored to your needs. You can then fine tune it to meet your exact specifications, or we can help you.
Permissions are easier to manage
Since your Work Hub reflects your organization’s structure, it’s also much easier to manage access and permissions. Instead of giving everyone permission to edit and customize your Work Hub, you can have a structure that reflects people’s responsibilities. So you don’t have to worry about your Work Hub breaking down as you scale.
Work Hubs replace a bunch of other tools
Qatalog’s Work Hub is one of the quickest, most effective ways to reduce the number of tools you use. Instead of adding another platform to the pile, a Work Hub lets you manage projects, store and share knowledge, collaborate on documents, manage customer relationships, share company updates, and much more, in one place.
Work Hubs: The bottom line
As we’ve learned, wikis are a good start, but they’re painful to set up, hard to use, require constant upkeep, and often break once your company reaches a certain size.
Qatalog’s Work Hub addresses all these problems with a structured and scalable platform that’s built to your specific requirements so that it’s easy for everyone to use.
To find out how Qatalog could replace your company wiki, book a call with one of our team today.