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Digital Transformation

What is Enterprise 2.0?

Tom Austin spoke on Enterprise 2.0 and his views on how it will be implemented successfully for both internal and external audiences.

While Web 2.0 brought into the enterprise may work in some circumstances, in it’s current state, it may bomb.  It may really be about bringing the enterprise to Web 2.0.

Where Can Enterprise 2.0 Succeed?

  • The bigger the organization and deeper the hierarchy the harder it is to introduce Web 2.0 concepts.  In other words, large companies have a lot of cliques and power structures that make some change difficult.
  • But the bigger vendors are introducing tools to help manage this.  (e.g. more audit controls etc to help ease the route to implementation
  • Cultural change is hard.  You have to prepare for it.  This is going to be really hard for IT organizations.
  • You can succeed with web 2.0 in a top down company as long as you take into account web 0.0 concepts.   If you don’t introduce traditional concepts, you will fail.

What forces and trnds are giving power to or are threatening the collective?

  • We’ve all been working with collective intelligence for a while.  Think of cave drawings, the printed press, radio, and TV.
  • But the barriers to entry have decreased significantly. I can create a blog in minutes.  Homeless in San Francisco actually are connected and lead social movements.
  • Connectivity is increasing. North American has hit 74% of the population using the internet
  • Complexity of the networks we use have increased to the point that we cannot control them.  If you have 400,000 employees in your company, you cannot mandate how each of them will connect with each other and how they will work.  You better drop your arrogance at the door because it will cost you.
  • All these changes and new technologies still don’t solve world peace.  You are just getting better at exploiting information.

What is the business impact of the collectives?

  • Your company is interconnected.  Partner and customers are not “them”.  They drive your existence and help you take products to market faster.
  • Concepts like crowd sourcing can help you improve your products
  • Bad experiences with your company can become known.  Go to YouTube and look up United Airlines breaks guitars.
  • You can fail in what you do.  It’s not a guarantee for success. Walmart built “the Hub” targeted at teenagers………….but teenagers needed parents permission to post.  Yeah, that didn’t go over too well.
  • Successful communities provide ownership to the members.  They are relevant. They add value.  You can interact with the community.  focus on people and not technology, trust the community to self-moderate

So in summary, the primary value of enterprise 2.0 is outside the enterprise first and then for your employees second. I can see Tom Austin’s point.  He makes a great case with a lot of examples on how large companies use these approaches externally.   I also see how an internal social network in a formal organization can be fraught with issues.   I do think that there is still potential for the technology internally.

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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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