The Verdict is In – Enterprise 2.0 Has Arrived!


gavelThe highly respected Dion Hinchliffe proclaimed late last week that we were in the midst of, “The Year of the Shift to Enterprise 2.0”   I don’t say “highly respected” lightly or with sarcastic intent.  I think Dion has done a fine job of helping us make sense of the whole 2.0 thing.  Also, this particular post cites several data sources of note, including Forrester, Deloitte, TMCnet and IntelliCom.  The data are compelling, although I believe they present a somewhat distorted view given they are largely driven by measurements of technologies rather than outcomes.

If We Provide It They Will Come…

It’s true – many large sites have SharePoint, and more are getting into IM and even blogs and wiki’s.  However, from my experience, much of this is experimental – some of it being deployed following an “if we provide it they will come” strategy.  There are false starts, and for many companies, I believe it will be another 12 months or so before Dion’s eye-catching ZDNet headline is truly deserved.

But, it is an encouraging picture.  It seemed like just a year ago that most large IT shops were actively trying to suppress tools such as IM and social networking.  Today, many are experimenting and some are well past the experiments and are driving real change – some of these with clear competitive impact.  Last week I was at my company’s Enterprise 2.0 research conference in Toronto, and it was clear from the participating member companies (from business and government, representing HR, Sales and Marketing and IT specialties) that their efforts are very real, and some quite mature.  This was not the lunatic fringe – this was business and government who have found new ways to work, to collaborate and to market.

What is your experience?  How real is Enterprise 2.0 at your company?  If not yet getting traction, why not?  What will it take?  Do you think this is all just hype, or do you believe the reality, as Dion claims, “a sea change in the way … businesses conduct collaboration and communication amongst their workers, and to a lesser extent the rest of the world”?

3 thoughts on “The Verdict is In – Enterprise 2.0 Has Arrived!

  1. Right now, it is an illusion in most companies, IMO.
    Lip service, good intentions, but little of what I’d call the basic training has been done, that is: understanding what 2.0 technologies do and do not do; which ones are the most popular/best fit for their organizations; employee involvement in the entire process, from idea to implementation to testing to tweaking to ongoing eval and update (and discard or evolution of some technologies as necessary); selective implementation – e.g., where are they useful? where can they improve people’s work and work life and customer satisfaction?; employee training – here’s what it does, how you can use it, where to go with questions, creation of a buddy system for reluctant, confused, or disinterested users. And, most importantly, creating enthusiasm and momentum around them – NOT by cheerleading and cajoling and chastising, but by one-on-one conversations where necessary. Just because they can doesn’t mean they will.

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  2. Oh, ye of little faith! Of course, you are correct. But the hopeful signs are clearly there – not yet irreversible by any means, but it’s a promising start. Companies need to sort out their “strategic intents” for collaboration. Collaboration for its own sake (if we build it they will come) is not sustainable.

    My hope is (and we’re starting to see some organizations get this) the strategic intents will become clear and compelling. Out of those will form “collaboration intents” (there are many different intents for collaboration, such as connecting previously unrelated ideas, accessing untapped people or ideas, determining group-wide preferences, and so on). When the collaboration intents are surfaced and clarified, then the tools, training, rewards and recognition will follow. That’s my hope – that’s my belief.

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    • Collaboration intents, good point. I think some people in every organization already know the intent for their collaboration efforts; smart companies identify them and empower and enable them to accomplish more and more. They become the reason for collaboration for the rest of the enterprise. Seeing what can be done inspires others to see what’s right in front of them, the opportunities they never noticed before.

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