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Digital Transformation

Andrew McAffe – Coiner of Enterprise 2.0

Andrew McAfee is principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business in the MIT Sloan School of Management.

So Andrew McAffee, Harvard Professor and generally well known internet guru spoke at the Gartner Portal Conference.  He spoke on Enterprise 2.0 and had a number of interesting observations.   I think he does the best job of capturing the value of this social software revolution.   It starts with the definition of Enterprise 2.0

Enterprise 2.0 is the use of emergent social software platforms by organizations in pursuit of their goals

If you look at the world of social software, you see a large numbers of players in the market.  It’s not just IBM and Microsoft. Google, Oracle, SAP, and a host of smaller players are pushing products to market.   What’s interesting if you look at the McKinsey Web 2.0 study, users are reporting 20-35% improvements in things like access to knowledge, ability to find colleagues etc.   In other words, something is happening.

by Lew Platt, former CEO of HP

If only HP knew what HP knows, we would be three times more productive

In other words, the knowledge implicit in our organizations is not being leveraged.   (Note, I personally go to clients to perform roadmaps and at least once per workshop, our IT guys are saying, “we can already do what you ask.  I don’t know why you didn’t know about that.”)  So what is the solution?  2.0 era technologies (as opposed to 1.0 equivalents) help improve collaboration.

Enterprise 1.0 approaches and issues


  • Intranet searches cannot even match the results that you get from wild cowboy internet
  • Content management systems are “Knowledge Coffins”
  • KM Systems have too much structure and there isn’t enough incentive to put content in.  The inventor of the wiki said that we don’t know enough about what to capture so any metadata capture was guaranteed to be not important. (Ward Cunninham)


  • You email your friends with strong ties…………but email is where knowledge goes to die. No one can harvest my email.
  • Communities of practice were in essence, “walled gardens”.  Sharing becomes more difficult with this approach.
  • Note the trend, technologists want to build structures with a problem that’s hard to pin down…………
  • Note that the search part of this was frustrating.  The systems were incomplete at best.   The ask (email, friends, communities) was extremely limiting)

Enterprise 2.0 contrasting approaches


  • Dynamic Intranet
  • Blogs and Microblogs: You narrate your work here.   You tell people what kind of person you are as regards quality and expertise.  AND they are easy to use.
  • Social Networking software.  Dave Weinberger uses the term, “Small pieces loosely joined”.  Multiple services but are joined by tags or pointing.


  • Microblog
  • Social Networking Software
  • Forums
  • Note that search and ask finally have overlap of technologies
  • Note this is a broadcast search.  You put out the question without defining who will be able to answer it

So this Enterprise 2.0 has some common descriptions like social, freeform, frictionless, and emergent.

Other key differences between 2.0 and 1.0

  1. Navigation fades.   Search is the dominant way to get to content
  2. Content is common.   e.g. more people have access to it and also that it can come from a variety of sources like blogs, forums, and communities
  3. Asking improves searching.   Putting out a question on tweet leaves a trace which can be captured and used later.
  4. Searching improves asking.
  5. Tie strength becomes less important.   Not necessarily your close colleague that will answer your question.  Strong, weak, and potential ties now help.
  6. The organizations knows what it knows.

But a couple cautions……….

  • This will goe more slowly than you’d like.  Asking to change entrenched patterns.
  • Benefits of doing this will leap off the page.  It’s harder to quantify the value of an organizations that, “knows what it knows”

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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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