This is the third in a series on wiki adoption, based on my visits with organizations in the midst of wiki adoption. Part 1, Part 2. One of the most interesting things I’ve noticed recently regarding wiki use has to do with how financial services firms are stereotypically perceived vs. how they actually work. Most peoples’ inclination is to think of financial services firms – investment banks, securities trading firms, retail banks, etc. as very conservative, serious, and probably not the most likely to be early adopters of leading edge technology tools.
In my experience, however, the reality is quite different. That’s not to say they aren’t serious – after all, keeping track of peoples’ and organizations’ money is serious business! They are, however, regularly looking for tools that make their work easier since their work is highly regulated and monitored by government agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Congress in the US. As a result, financial services firms are using wikis for maintaining and updating documents containing federal policies and rules that must be followed, and keeping internal policies up to date. These kinds of documents are constantly changing as new laws take effect, rules are updated and changed, so the wiki is an ideal tool for housing this information and enabling it to be quickly changed and immediately accessible so thousands of employees who use it daily. That’s much more efficient than constantly printing and distributing addenda to policies and rules, and vastly more efficient than reprinting and distributing entire documents when enough changes have to be made.
So the lesson here is that in addition to being a great collaboration tool, wikis can also be incredibly useful for keeping information constantly up to date and immediately accessible. In addition to the efficiency of this, think of the cost savings and environmental benefit!

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