Main disadvantages of a corporate wiki
While using a wiki for your company knowledge might sound like a good place to start to encourage knowledge curation and collaboration between your team members it comes with some critical disadvantages, such as:
Limited search functions
Wikis come with poor or even no search capabilities. In a modern world where everyone is using search engines such as Google and expects to find information in one click, it can really harm your employees' engagement with your company's knowledge.
Think of your employees as customers of your knowledge. A fast, reliable search is vital for your knowledge to be consumed. A great search will provide great customer support and improve discovery while reducing the time spent retrieving information. That's something you should be looking for in a knowledge base.
Hard to edit content
In most cases, your employees will need to know markup language rules as HTML to edit content within a wiki. It makes it harder for the content to stay fresh and often ends up with no one using it at all.
Modern software for knowledge base provides "wysiwyg" ("What you see is what you get") real-time editors. This allows for greater user experience. Furthermore, your non-technical team members won't be excluded from using it.
Inconsistent content and time-consuming to maintain
As everyone is able to edit your wiki content this often leads to inconsistency across your knowledge documents. And you can even end up with inaccuracy and gaps in your knowledge, as you have no ways to control who can edit what.
Modern knowledge base softwares now provide more flexibility. Depending on the control you want to apply over the content being produced and stored you can define roles for writing and accessibility. The marketing team, for instance, might be able to read the product team content without editing it and the product team can have an overview of the general marketing plan in return.
Furthermore, with comments features embedded in tools such as Slite, everyone can collaborate actively without leaving the content.
Inefficient employee onboarding
If you send your new employees out in the wild of a wiki, they will probably end up overwhelmed by the lack of structure. A wiki is great for discovery but might not play its best role when it comes to ease your employee onboarding. You'll need to be able to direct them quickly to the right content and if necessary restrict their access to it. And there's where our onboarding checklists.
No separation of private vs. public information
Every user of a classic wiki will have access to all the content within it. You won't be able to create different types of users. Every bit of information will be available to everyone. There is no option to create a private wiki.
You might have to create different platforms to separate private and public information. You won't be able to centralize all your company information in a single place.
This makes content management harder and more time-consuming. It often leads to miscommunication, inconsistent data, and harder to share information across your whole team.
Little to no analytics
A feedback loop is key to improve your process and knowledge management system. Wikis provide little or no analytics about how your team consumes the content.
It will make it harder to improve your content over time, spot content gap and follow your team engagement.