Top posts for: Enterprise 2.0
Listed below are summaries of several blog posts related to Enterprise 2.0:
- Enterprise 2.0 and the Trough of Disillusionment
- Microblogging Will Marginalize Corporate Email
- Democracies Don’t Suffer Famines: Implications for Corporate Governance
- Enterprise 2.0: Culture Is as Culture Does
- How Much Scale Is Needed in Enterprise 2.0 Employee Adoption?
There is currently a business and marketing fashion wave for collaboration as the miracle cure for all that ails business which isn’t helpful in differentiating good from bad ideas.
Oliver Marks, ZDNet, When Internal Collaboration Is Bad for Your Company…
One thing I find odd is that collaboration is touted as a benefit of social software. Collaboration is an activity. There is no ROI in collaboration itself. What enhanced collaboration produces is the benefit.
And that’s where it’s been tough in the enterprise 2.0 world. A lot of vendors offer tools with wide open use cases. They can be used for any purpose inside an organization, with an eye toward better collaboration. It makes sense, and yet it is challenging to identify specific ROI-grounded use cases.
For the Enterprise 2.0 industry, the Trough means this: focus on solving specific problems with social software. If you can talk pain points of enterprises, you will win. They’re not talking about failures to collaborate enough.
In case you missed it last week, Google CEO Eric Schmidt had this to say about the microblogging service Twitter:
Speaking as a computer scientist, I view all of these as sort of poor man’s email systems. In other words, they have aspects of an email system, but they don’t have a full offering. To me, the question about companies like Twitter is: Do they fundamentally evolve as sort of a note phenomenon, or do they fundamentally evolve to have storage, revocation, identity, and all the other aspects that traditional email systems have? Or do email systems themselves broaden what they do to take on some of that characteristic?
Reflecting both on Schmidt’s statement, and my own use of Yammer at my company, I’m seeing that microblogging is slowly replacing a lot of my email activity.
A useful way to think about the Innovator’s Dilemma in the enterprise software space comes from this blog post, Enterprise Software Innovator’s Dilemma. Existing vendors expand the functionality of their products, heavily relying on the requests of large customers. Over time, this has the effect of creating a robust, highly functional and more expensive offering. This trend is what opens the door for new vendors to come in.
Let’s consider Yammer in this context. Simple microblogging runs along the “low quality use” in some ways. At least in terms of the feature set. But it certainly takes “use case share” away from email.
Amartya Sen, winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics, made this empirical observation:
One of the remarkable facts in the terrible history of famine is that no substantial famine has ever occurred in a country with a democratic form of government and a relatively free press.
Isn’t that powerful? Simplifying things, two reasons for this: (i) organizational responsiveness, and (ii) distributed trend detection.
Both of which describe the realm of what Enterprise 2.0 is about, albeit without the life-and-death issue of starvation. That in itself is interesting enough. But when you try to apply those findings to companies, you realize they don’t quite mesh with today’s corporate governance models.
If only I had a nickel for every time an Enterprise 2.0 stakeholder used the word “culture”. The industry uses the word “culture” constantly in terms of describing when an organization is ready to implement social software. It has become something of a shibboleth.
The question of what exactly is meant by “Culture” got me to thinking about my own experiences thus far in the Enterprise 2.0 field. I put together the graphic below as a framework for thinking about things like culture and adoption. It’s a process flow for pilot deployments of social software, based on some of my experiences. There are actually several different points included in it.
From these posts, other readings and direct customer experience, the following occurred to me:
You don’t need a high level of adoption to get value from some Enterprise 2.0 apps. Others require broad participation.
In some ways, that may seem obvious. Yet I don’t tend to hear this distinction being made. Usually, all social software is lumped together under ‘Enterprise 2.0′ and there is a collective view that wide-scale adoption by employees is a necessity. It’s actually more nuanced than that.