Thursday, March 27, 2008

Corporate Web 2.0

Gartner analysts Tom Austin and Anthony Bradley presented on "Enterprise 2.0: The Business Side of Web 2.0" at the Gartner Portal and Collaboration Conference.
Enterprise 2.0 is inevitable because the digital native is entering the customer base and the workforce. They expect the technology they have experience amongst the best that the Internet has to offer.
A Gartner survey metric indicates that over 17% of employees across the USA are using external wikis and blogs to work with people outside their enterprise.
Web 2.0 is social whether publishing, networking or collaboration. Technology-wise this is built using rich internet applications in the browser. Mashups are also not just a technology but a business approach that takes the form of revenue sharing in the delivery of solutions built from disparate sources.
Enterprise 2.0 using Andrew McAfee's definition is about our social and informal interaction. Structure and insight is something that emerges through use. Every time I think about this concept I have a hard time believing that Sharepoint is an emergent platform. I see Sharepoint implemented as a structured set of databases and lists with pre-determined validation for values that can be entered in to many of the fields.
This frustrates me no end because we are starting from a position of allowing the participants to abdicate responsibility for their contribution. Errors are the fault of the system. The opposite of this is where "Less is more" and trust is placed in the hands of the systems users and through that trust comes responsibility.
Work in the enterprise is moving to the unstructured, ad-hoc activity where we end up working 24x7. Enterprise 2.0 is not Knowledge Management re-worked. Knowledge Management focused on the artifacts. Enterprise 2.0 focuses on the people and their interactions.
Sidebar: I have a question to those companies that block access to social networks and other Web 2.0 tools. 
How would you feel if your employees blocked access to your company on their home network so you could only reach them when they were in the office from 9 to 5?
Increasingly Enterprises will have to reach outside the firewall and engage with customers and partners. 

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