Corporate Wiki’s and the IGC
Corporate wiki’s are increasingly being used by organisations to enhance collaboration and knowledge sharing. In this week’s post, I will discuss how wiki’s can be used to achieve/address some of the objectives/challenges that face the Australian Geoscience Council (AGC) in regards to hosting and attracting a predicted 7,000 delegates to the 34th International Geological Congress (IGC).
What are Corporate Wiki’s?
Wiki’s are collaborative tools that enable users to build web pages where they can edit documents, share ideas, or monitor the status of a project in real-time. Since the introduction of wiki’s in the late 1990’s, wiki technology has only caught on in the last six years and is fast becoming part of the mainstream corporate IT infrastructure. Through the use of wiki’s, employees are able to access the required information in real-time in order for them to be successful.
An example of an organisation that has made use of a corporate wiki is Nokia. In late 2004, Nokia’s Research Centre created two wiki’s – one to collaborate on solving specific product design problems, and the other to explore alternatives to e-mail and collaborative software. Today however, Nokia has estimated that 20% of its 68,000 employees utilise wiki pages to update schedules and project status, and to edit files etc.
In regards to the IGC, a corporate wiki can be a very useful collaboration tool for the organisation itself and for the 7,000 delegates’ attendance prediction. As I mentioned in my previous post, the IGC is a forum for presenting scientific results across the whole spectrum of the geosciences. The IGC facilitates the holding of business meetings, encourages international networking and provides the opportunity to study geological features of interest. The AGC is the organising body responsible for the 34th IGC which will be held from the 5th – 10th August in Brisbane, Australia next year.
Some of the major stakeholders of next year’s IGC include: Australian Geoscience Council (AGC), Australian Government, BHP Billiton, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), The University of Queensland (UQ), Rowland, and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
Collaboration can be thought of as a series of conversations that help reach a strategic goal. It involves gathering people, asking questions, collecting answers and ideas, surfacing information, and receiving feedback. A wiki is exactly the same; however, everything you need is accessible from one place using a strong search capability. According to research firm IDC, employees spend up to ¼ of their day looking for information. The cost of this unproductive time can be as much as 25% of staffing costs. In regards to the IGC, a wiki can be used to keep its followers up-to-date on the progress leading up to the event. The AGC can use the wiki to advertise the event and will be able to post links to their website where visitors can view information regarding the event, what the event is all about, and the conferences included etc. Through the use of a wiki, delegates will have access to a centralised information facility where they will have the ability to search information that they require regarding the event.