Enterprise2.0 – bringing it back down to earth

By December 21, 2006 2 Comments


After yesterday’s rather cerebral post these passages might help ground things a bit.

This sentence is probably redundant, but if not it is well overdue.  At the highest level, when I talk about Enterprise 2.0 I am talking about enterprises using of social software, like blogs, wikis and social bookmarks.

These two sentences from the FastForward blog help explain what enterprise 2.0 is all about:

The paradigm-shift from content-focused architectures to user-centric models

Web 2.0 and how its exploding consumer-oriented applications are relevant for the enterprise

Also from FastForward Ten questions companies should be asking themselves about enterprise 2.0

1. How do we find the people in my organisation that get this stuff and get them to trust us enough to help make it work?

2. How do I get my IT guys’ heads around the technologies without scaring them off?

3. How do we balance the possibilities of greater networking capability and openness with the constrictive reporting legislation we are currently subject to?

4. How do I capitalize on the female qualities of this new world and move away from the dominance of male characteristics in the workplace?

5. How can we increase the chances that the behaviours in these new environments will be better than those that have gone before?

6. How can we ensure that we achieve the diversity and engagement required for the wisdom of crowds to operate?

7. How can we ensure that our legacy “knowledge” is accessible enough that this connected world can breathe life into it again?

8. How do we get over the fact that this stuff doesn’t cost much money?

9. How do we attract the right people with the right skills before our competitors do?

10. How can we be honest about the impact on our business to enable it to reinvent itself before current business models collapse?

And Top ten management fears about enterprise 2.0

Technological Barriers

1.  How can I be certain that the information that is gathered and shared behind the firewall stays behind the firewall?

2.  How do I control who has access to particular levels of  information and databases?

3.  How do I protect the integrity of the information from malicious tampering by disgruntled employees or managers?

4.  How can I be sure that information is being “tagged” properly for efficient retrieval later? 

5.  What kind of training do employees need before they can effectively use the technology?

Cultural Barriers

6.  How can I monitor the system to make certain that what individuals are saying and sharing reflects company policy?

7.  What are the legal dangers in saving and sharing so much loosely supervised input?

8.  How do I distinguish “productive” use of the technology from horsing around?

9.  How do I “manage” the gathering and disseminating of so much unstructured information?

10.  How do I know if I’m getting my money’s worth out of the investment in technology?

And finally from Euan Semple‘s personal blog talking about consultants helping companies implement Enterprise2.0 technologies:

In the same way as managers are going to have to move from command and control to the much subtler art of influencing so too those involved in helping organisations from the outside need to be much subtler in their approaches and a million miles away from the learned dependency of traditional consulting.

These passages capture several issues which will be important over the coming year as Enterprise 2.0 starts to break out into the mainstream (assuming it does), many of these I have mentioned before:

  • Enterprises re-organising around people with a culture of true delegation
  • Management struggling with a change from control to co-ordination and as a result resisting enterprise 2.0 technologies
  • Early adopters struggling to demonstrate the value of their new tools (kind of like conferences – hard to prove the value, but you know its there)
  • IT struggling with the lack of certainty that is a feature of this new paradigm