Saturday, March 25, 2006

Wikis at Nokia

Info Week interviewed me about wikis at Nokia :

At Nokia, the first wiki was brought in as an experiment by the Corporate Strategy team without consulting the IT department. Stephen Johnston, our contact in the department, told us, "After installing it we were told that it was probably against company policy." According to Johnston, resistance from the IT team stemmed from misgivings about overhead costs, the delegation of control to users, and the fear that wikis were a fad. However, the wiki (built on an open-source platform) quickly proved to be an effective means of saving time and effort previously dedicated to the task of distributing and storing corporate intelligence.

Johnston says wikis have proliferated within Nokia since the initial test. The company has purchased 200 seats of Socialtext, and four wikis, on both open-source and proprietary platforms, are being used by between 1,000 and 1,500 employees. As a result of the wikis' success, Nokia has agreed to fund and support a companywide wiki as well as a host of other collaborative tools. A skunkworks, or new technology project team, has also been established "to provide new tools such as wikis within days to business groups that ask to test new tools," says Johnston.
According Nokia's Johnston, the test wiki implemented by the Corporate Strategy department was part of a larger initiative to harness the power of social software – blogs, for example, are also very popular within the department. Nokia's wikis are part of a long-term transition to two-way communication, what Johnston calls "a world of read-write rather than just read." His comment highlights one of the raisons d'être of the social software movement – the desire to use computers to create a means of open discourse and introduce feedback into formerly static environments.

Read the whole story.