Thursday, April 24, 2008

Creativity v. Control in the Enterprise

At the Web 2.0 Expo Anant Jhingraan and Lauren Cooney of IBM and Stephen O'Grady of Redmonk led a session on "Creativity vs. Control: The Debate Continues—Can Enterprises Have Both?"
"Creativity is at the heart of Web 2.0, and has been the key factor in growing this phenomenon on the Web and throughout the enterprise for the past four years. With enterprise organizations adopting Web 2.0 (coined Enterprise 2.0), there is a new level of “control” that customers and users may want to include in their applications, while preserving the creativity of the application users and creators. But the question remains: is control stifling creativity? Will Enterprise 2.0 succeed if employees are forced to comply with certain rules and regulations of the enterprise? Who wins here, and is it possible for both to live within the enterprise ecosystem?"
The IT function is moving from creator of applications to the provider of good data and platforms, such as Enterprise Mashups.
Two types of people:
  • Those who want to do the job
  • Those who want to get the job done
What should be controlled in the Enterprise? Is it more a case of what can be controlled?
  • Employees will find ways around even the most onerous and draconian policies.
Highmark CEO quote "we do not allow access to any web mail, im and see no material impacts to employees" This just indicates that there is a major disconnect between the leadership and the employee base.
This is an interesting discussion with two opposing points of view but it seems to miss the point. The solution is not technology. The solution is really about setting a framework for behavior.
They haven't even addressed the impact of mobile in circumventing control.
The comparison of SOAP and REST was cited as an example of the relative success of complex controlled solutions.
I just had to speak up in this session - In many cases organizations that apply tight controls on their networks and filter internet content. Yet at the same time those same organization issue mobile devices that allow their employees to circumvent those very controls.
This session made me think. There is a balance of trust and commitment that organizations need to consider. Let me explain: If companies expect their employees to be available outside normal hours then employees should have access to the services they need during business hours.