2.0 | Lessons Learnt

The recent proliferation of the term ‘2.0’ across almost every domain leaves me with a few questions as my research approaches completion. What is the big deal with ‘2.0’? Why has it suddenly become so important to re-invent so many processes that have been around for ages? Have we gone too far with extending this trend?

Following this, I want to see just how far the term has changed the way we look at traditional processes. As it turns out Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, Health 2.0, Government 2.0, Marketing 2.0, Bank 2.0, Classroom 2.0, Travel 2.0, Identity 2.0, Library 2.0, and Human 2.0 are just some of the trends in this ubiquitous paradigm-shift that has seen us question some of the most fundamental assumptions that have persisted for as long as we have experienced these domains. If you’re wondering what the big deal is, let me try to put this into context.

This decade has witnessed a phenomenal adoption of Agile Software Development processes; certainly Scrum, XP and even basic iterative practices have been around for longer, but the fact remains that this decade has certainly witnessed a tremendous adoption of Agile SD. What makes this relevant to the ‘2.0 movement’ is the basic fact that they have both required significant changes in the way we evaluate processes, with a much higher comfort level towards change. This is perhaps why so many 2.0 initiatives are best run iteratively, in small incremental steps which are more comfortable with an experiment-first-evaluate-later model.

However, it is easy to get carried away with the apparent ease of deploying open source web 2.0 platforms to fit perceived business objectives. In a lot of cases, 2.0 initiatives appear to present the classic situation of a ‘solution looking for a problem’. Research shows that the best approach to experimenting with 2.0 initiatives is to focus on the correct sequence of priorities.

1.       Start at the people. Whether it’s your employees or your customers, they are at the core of your business. Every quantifiable benefit of a 2.0 initiative can be traced back to the actual people it affects.

2.       Then look at the information. Once you figure out the ‘who’, then focus on the ‘what’. What information/data/knowledge is best suited for collaborative consumption?

3.       Finally, work with the technologies. Now you’re ready to get into the whole debate of open-source vs. premium platforms and how you are going to inject these platforms into your existing Enterprise Architecture.

I’d like to propose what I feel is the best approach to experimentation with 2.0 initiatives. From a famous talk by Sir Ken Robinson, ‘School Kill Creativity’:

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original.”


..Robinson, K. 2006. Do Schools Kill Creativity? Retrieved September 29, 2010 from http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

Social Networks in the Enterprise

While the popularity of social networks is undeniable, this particular breed of Web 2.0 platforms seems to be facing the most criticism with regards to its application, relevance and value in organizations today. In any case, also undeniable is the fact that organisations are increasingly adopting social networks for the internal and external networking of employees and customers. Research-in-Motion Co-CEO Jim Balsallie commented at the 2009 GSMA Mobile World Congress, as reported by Dan Farber of ZDNET:

“Once social networking becomes a B2B phenomenon–not unlike IM and texting–I believe every single social-networking user will want a data plan.”

As this is one of three posts on the main E2.0 tools used within the Enterprise – Blogs, Wikis and Social Networks, I would like to borrow from Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business, a fellow at the Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and one of the most influential Enterprise 2.0 Gurus:

“We need to keep in mind that most E2.0 tools are new, and that their acceptance depends on shifts in perspective on the part of business leaders and decision makers, shifts for which the word ‘seismic’ might not be an overstatement. Enterprise 2.0 tools have no inherent respect for organizational boundaries, hierarchies, or job titles. They facilitate self-organization and emergent rather than imposed structure. They require line managers, compliance officers, and other stewards to trust that users will not deliberately or inadvertently use them inappropriately. They require these stewards to become comfortable with collaboration environments that “practice the philosophy of making it easy to correct mistakes, rather than making it difficult to make them” as Jimmy Wales has said. They require, in short, the re-examination and often the reversal of many longstanding assumptions and practices. It is not in the least disrespectful or contemptuous of today’s managers to say that it will take them some time to get used to this.”

Given the rapid increase in the popularity of social networks, Deloitte has the following to say about the trend in 2009:

“While questions grow about consumer social networks’ varying ability to monetize their hundreds of millions of users, enterprises are looking at how they can harness the hierarchy-flattening, information-sharing, teambuilding power of social networks.”

Here is a brilliant example from CIO.com, on how a world leader in innovation – 3M, uses social networks to better develop product ideas.

During the GFC, 3M wanted its employees to focus on the future of its’ product innovations process and not on the economic slowdown. As a result, 3M’s Corporate Knowledge Management group partnered with its Corporate Strategy and Corporate IT groups to create an enterprise social network open to all 75,000 global employees, of which 1,239 people in 42 countries participated to generate 736 ideas grouped into 26 market clusters. This process directly resulted in the identification of 9 future markets enabled only by the increased employee engagement over 8 short weeks!

Another good case of Enterprise Social Networks, reported by Dan Berthiaume from CTOEdge in the article ‘Salesforce.com Embraces Social Networks for the Enterprise’ highlights some of the key features of the platform and the benefits of using Salesforce Chatter, internally. According to Berthiaume:

“Salesforce.com is positioning itself to play a key role in adapting the refined interactive capabilities of online social networks to business enterprise communications.”

Certainly, it is hard to predict how social networks will evolve in tandem with the Enterprise, however it is clear that they are probably the best method in employee engagement, and with their tendency to go viral – are also the most low-cost method of collaboration in the Enterprise.

References

Berthiaume, D. 2009. Salesforce.com Embraces Social Networks for the Enterprise. Retrieved September 19, 2010 from http://www.ctoedge.com/content/salesforcecom-embraces-social-networks-enterprise

Deloitte. 2009. Social networks in the enterprise: Facebook for the Fortune 500. Retrieved September 19, 2010 from http://www.deloitte.co.uk/TMTPredictions/technology/Social-networks-in-the-enterprise.cfm

Farber, D. 2008. 2009: The year of enterprise social networks. Retrieved September 19, 2010 from http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/2009-the-year-of-enterprise-social-networks/7997

McAfee, A. 2007. Enterprise 2.0 May be Fine for the Business, But What About the IT Department? Retrieved September 19, 2010 from http://andrewmcafee.org/2007/11/enterprise_20_may_be_fine_for_the_business_but_what_about_the_it_department/

Swanborg, R. 2010. Social Networks in the Enterprise: 3M’s Innovation Process. Retrieved September 19, 2010 from http://www.cio.com/article/592271/Social_Networks_in_the_Enterprise_3M_x2019_s_Innovation_Process

Wikis in the Enterprise

The internet is abuzz with discussions and posts about the great effectiveness of wikis. Where, social networks and blogs might unearth concerns of information security, wikis provide a powerful way to collectively create, edit, showcase, collaborate and build on the tacit knowledge of the Enterprise. For the uninitiated, wikis are defined by Cunningham in a post by Nathan Matias as the simplest online database that could possibly work”; his article elaborates on some of the salient features of wikis and the reasons for their popularity. Perhaps the most popular example of a Wiki, is Wikipedia, itself. From Wikipedia Since its creation in 2001, Wikipedia has grown rapidly into one of the largest reference websites, attracting nearly 78 million visitors monthly as of January 2010. There are more than 91,000 active contributors working on more than 16,000,000 articles in more than 270 languages.” Therefore, it is not difficult to imagine the possibilities for wiki adoption within the enterprise, if they are successfully implemented.

Though a majority of wiki solutions are basically open source, there are 4 main enterprise wiki solution providers that provide support through the implementation lifecycle with ongoing maintenance support, as reviewed in an article by Ron AndersonAtlassian Software Systems, CustomerVision, JotSpot and Socialtext. Below are the results from his research at the Real-World Labs®, at Syracuse University:

Now, I’ve used Confluence (version, unknown), an Atlassian Software Systems product; it is the enterprise wiki deployment of choice at Sabre Holdings Inc., where I worked until 2008. As a Subject Matter Expert – I have authored several product feature documents and have – therefore – been responsible for maintaining the wiki ensuring that product documentation stays up-to-date. The Sabre-Confluence deployment was a strictly internal wiki, and while the document distribution went through several quality iterations before sharing with customers, the interface was not exactly the most intuitive around, which certainly affected productivity. I have – on more than one occasion – lost current versions of documents that I had been working on for days; support for multiple file types (past the usual .doc, .pdf, .jpg, .png, .gif and a few others) was lacking. Beyond these basic issues, the wiki was still the primary source of information for business analysts, SME’s, and project teams and I can safely say that – at the time – product teams were better informed, transparent and more productive through the use of the Confluence wiki.

Another Enterprise Wiki platform of repute of the BizWiki solution by CustomerVision, as reported in an article by Michael Hickins. Perhaps one of the most useful features of this product is that “It also allows users to get authoritative information using an ‘Ask the Expert’ function.” Steven Ollenburg, president and CEO of MWABank, a regional bank based in Illinois, as quoted in the article, explains that “Financial services entities need quick, clear and concise responsiveness to electronic customer inquiries; these cannot take days to be responded to, nor can they build up into a project.” Ollenburg also mentioned that “MWABank has generated “extremely noticeable” cost savings from the use of BizWiki”.

Jotspot, which was acquired by Google in late 2006, reappeared on the market as the better known Google Sites service, part of Google Apps, after a long integration effort to align the service with Google’s Enterprise architecture.

An interesting use of the service by a law firm was recently reported by Anchoris; Anthony, the firm’s IT manger is quoted as saying “We wanted to create extranets for our clients instead to help us collaborate more easily and efficiently with them.” Through a highly effective deployment of the Google Sites solution and its use as a wiki, the firm has witnessed a significant change to their business processes.

“The feedback we have had is that the extranet is very easy to learn and use and that it is a real time saver.”

“The security provided by Google Sites means we can easily yet securely share podcasts relating specifically to a client’s business, as well as create and share podcasts of some of our generic training.”

The case study for this google sites deployment is available here.

There are several driving factors for the increase in wiki adoption within the Enterprise; the most notable of these is knowledge management. If you are looking at wiki adoption in your organisation, here are some great tips for wiki adoption by Sherif Mansour:

  1. Pick a good Wiki
  2. Let your Wiki ‘virally’ grow
  3. Find and empower ‘Wiki Champions’ in each team
  4. Start off as open as possible, worry about guidelines later
  5. Refer people to the Wiki where you can
  6. Bottom up, not top down
  7. Training should not be more than one hour demo

References

Anchoris. 2010. Law firm delivers better service to clients using Google Sites. Retrieved September 13, 2010 from http://www.ancoris.com/company/case-studies/case-studies-cloud-web-email/law-firm-google-sites.html

Anderson, R. 2006. Review: Wikis In The Enterprise. Retrieved September 13, 2010 from http://www.networkcomputing.com/unified-communications-voip/review-wikis-in-the-enterprise.php

Hickins, M. 2006. Social Networking Comes to the Enterprise. Retrieved September 13, 2010 from http://www.internetnews.com/ec-news/article.php/3601356/Social-Networking-Comes-to-the-Enterprise.htm

Mansour, S. 2008. Seven wiki adoption techniques for the enterprise. Retrieved September 13, 2010 from http://blog.sherifmansour.com/?p=200

Matias, N. 2003. What is a Wiki? Retrieved September 13, 2010 from http://articles.sitepoint.com/article/what-is-a-wiki

Wikipedia. 2010. Wikipedia:About. Retrieved September 13, 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About

Blogging in the Enterprise

Blogging. It is here to stay, so if you’re not on board yet, here is something to really push up on your priorities list. A study by Guidewire Group, shows some amazing statistics of the penetration of blogging within the enterprise.

“The vast majority of companies (89%) are either blogging now or planning to blog soon.”

“Blogging has penetrated virtually every industry.”

“55% of corporations have adopted blogs for both internal (91.4%) and external (96.6%) communications, and are finding significant benefit to both forms.”

“No respondent reported launching a blog initiative that was found to be unsuccessful.”

That was in 2005; the blogosphere has certainly gone viral since. In this context, organizations would certainly benefit greatly from the facilitation of blogging and even micro-blogging within the enterprise. One of the main reasons for the high adoption of blogs is the fact that they can effectively facilitate knowledge management across departments, teams and business units.

Let’s look more closely at some examples.

Susan Hanley discusses a study by Ehrlich and Shami, who analysed ‘Microblogging Inside and Outside the Workplace’. The study –summarized by Hanley – clearly shows that encouraged by IBM, employees utilize internal and external microblogging tools productively and ethically. From the study:

“There was no ambiguity about posting confidential information.”

“..there is a greater sense of community amongst internal microbloggers.”

“..the value of reading Twitter was to get access to good information sooner than through other sources.”

“..participants were very conscious of the value of posting information for enhancing their own reputation, as a form of impression management”

“..people commented on the sense of connectedness that came with participation in microblogging.”

This clearly helps to highlight some of the misconceptions about confidentiality as one of the key issues in Enterprise Microblogging. Not only do blogs and microblogs work, they help unlock tacit knowledge in the workforce, reduce time spent in looking for information through increased knowledge management, generate proactive community participation leading to a greater sense of employee engagement, all-the-while keeping the interactions professional and therefore, productive.

(For more information about the specific benefits for IBM in promoting web 2.0 tools, read my blogpost – ‘Enterprise 2.0 | Benefits & Risks’.)

Another really good example of Blogging in the Enterprise is Oracle’s Blog. A very well organized community platform, I’ve found it serves two main purposes.

1.       It serves as a central knowledge hub for all things Oracle containing posts about all their projects, products, insights under the single roof of the blogging platform.

2.       I’m sure the folks at Oracle already know this, but it is also a brilliant showcase for customers, industry experts and even job seekers! The tag cloud on the right, takes you directly into highly specific blogs about SOA, Fusion Middleware, php, Exadata, Siebel CRM, Solaris, etc.

Communities that develop through the collaboration facilitated by the Oracle Blog are closer, more productive and almost always in the best interests of the Enterprise.

Another study by the Department of Computer Science at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology found while studying tweeting patterns that “it’s a surprisingly interconnected network and an effective way to filter quality information”, as reported by MIT’s Technology Review. An analysis of information distribution mechanisms across twitter helps explain ‘Why Twitter Is the Future of News’.

Journalism – probably the oldest and most experienced Enterprise around – is fast becoming dependent on information shared on twitter as a primary source of news stories. Surely 140 characters cannot be considered authoritative or descriptive, but the success behind twitter is that the short messages force customers to focus on brevity, keeping content highly concise & specific and keep us connected to cloud, according to Rohit Bhargava.

There are many lessons to be learnt on the road to effective collaboration in the Enterprise; however blogs and microblogs are a surprisingly effective paradigm that helps organizations succeed at employee engagement.

I welcome the opportunity to discuss this further, so if I’ve piqued your interest please take a moment to comment..

References

Bhargava, R. 2010. 7 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Twitter’s Success. What did YOU learn? Retrieved September 03, 2010 from http://blog.mrtweet.com/7-lessons-entrepreneurs-can-learn-from-twitters-success
Ehrlich, K. and N. Shami. 2010. Microblogging Inside and Outside the Workplace. Retrieved September 03, 2010 from http://www.cs.cornell.edu/~sadats/icwsm2010.pdf

GuidewireGroup. 2005. Blogging in the Enterprise. Retrieved September 03, 2010 from http://www.blogonevent.com/archives/Guidewire%20Survey%20Executive%20Summary%20-%20Blogging%20in%20the%20Enterprise%20-%20Oct%202005.pdf

Hanley, S. 2010. What’s happening? “Micro-blogging” inside the Enterprise. Retrieved September 03, 2010 from http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/59324

MIT Technology Review. 2010. Why Twitter Is the Future of News. Retrieved September 03, 2010 from http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/mimssbits/25128/

Image link: http://www.innovationcreators.com/Structured%20Blogging%20within%20the%20Enterprise-thumb.png

Enterprise 2.0 Legal Risks, Explained..

My last post helped to highlight some of the key Benefits and Risks associated with implementing Enterprise 2.0 within an organization. I’d now like to discuss the specific legal implications of implementing enterprise 2.0 within the banking sector and use the Commonwealth Bank as an example.

Malcolm Burrows, an Associate at Rostron Carlyle Solicitors, recently presented some of the main legal risks that organizations might expose themselves to, as a result of engaging in Web 2.0 networks:

“Loss of confidential information, Trademark infringement and loss of brand reputation, Copyright infringement, Discrimination, Misleading and deceptive conduct, Passing off, Organizational reputation risk, Breach of continuous disclosure obligations for public companies, Defamation, Privacy, Vicarious liability, Negligent misstatement, Occupation and industry specific risks as they are embodied in organization specific legislation.”

..Burrows, M. 2010. Submarines online – legal risks of social networking for organizations. Retrieved 22/08/2010 from http://www.rostroncarlyle.com/legalarticles/social-media-law-articles/submarines-online-legal-risks-of-social-networking-for-organisations.html

While – possibly – all of these might apply to a financial institution such as the Commonwealth Bank, I would like to focus on some of the main risks, I believe are important considerations in E2.0 deployments.

Trademark Infringement

Commonwealth Bank, (CommBank) like most Australian banks has been slow to join the social media bandwagon and – more specifically – does not seem to have an official Facebook presence. There are several pages on Facebook that have the name – ‘Commonwealth Bank’, none of which appear to have any official support/administration by the financial institution. This exposes a major risk in trademark infringement for the institution. Facebook users, who don’t appear to have any official affiliations with the institution, are running communities that utilize the organization’s trademark, without its consent; this allows potentially malicious content to be posted on the communities by Facebook users, about the bank. The Commonwealth Bank needs to look into this issue and work with Facebook to remove the multiple, misleading pages and to create a new brand image for the bank on Facebook. This will enable the bank to connect with its national customer base on Facebook, and possibly use the service to promote bank services and collect feedback about its operations.

Breach of continuous disclosure obligations

CommBank staff might also expose the organization to legal liability through their online presence/activity. For example, if they specifically endorse/recommend old colleagues on networking sites such as LinkedIn, who might be considering jobs in CommBank, which might be represented legally as a clear conflict of interests. Also, tweeting about daily tasks might reveal sensitive information about the operations of the bank, which might be easily analyzed by the competition. To safeguard against such issues, it is best to implement an effective social media policy which lays loose guidelines surrounding the use of social media for personal/professional purposes. Bank employees need to be instructed in the basic do’s and don’ts of information sharing on social platforms.

Reputation risk

One particular problem with social media is the possibility of disgruntled customers or ex-employees posting defamatory content that directly harms the brand image of the organization. For CommBank, in particular – this poses a particular problem which is difficult to control, especially taking into account, the nationwide customer base. If a customer were to post a blog/twitter update about a bad service experience with CommBank, it could possibly go viral, if left unchecked. It is therefore important for CommBank – and indeed, all financial institutions – to setup social media teams that can monitor content posted online across multiple social networks and develop frameworks for transparent, rapid issue resolution. These teams can then be used to analyse, recommend and initiate the best response in accordance with the social response framework.

This blog on legal risks for financial institutions such as CommBank is far from exhaustive, but the main object is to get the dialogue started. How can we develop better enabling frameworks for Banking 2.0? If this article ever gets to CommBank, or other banks in Australia, I would like to bring their attention to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald which highlights the inadequate social-web presence of financial institutions in Australia, as compared to other industries such as telecommunications & airlines:

..Knight, A. 2010. FB friends with your bank? Retrieved 22/08/2010 from http://www.smh.com.au/money/on-the-money/blogs/well-heeled/fb-friends-with-your-bank/20100615-yckf.html

Enterprise 2.0 | Benefits & Risks

In my last post, I discussed some case studies which highlight how Enterprise 2.0 is being utilized in organizations such as Citrix and Emergent Solutions Inc. A closer examination of the increasing adoption of Enterprise 2.0 best practices exposes several factors that need to be considered while determining the viability of enterprise-wide adoption. We will now take a closer look at the specific benefits and risks for Enterprise 2.0 implementations, as highlighted in a variety of case studies, as also the specific risks that organizations face when employees are not afforded Web 2.0 enabled communication platforms. The key questions to consider are:

What will Enterprise 2.0 do for my organization?

How can I sell/pitch Enterprise 2.0 to ‘Corporate’?

What would happen if my organization decides to block/ban access to Web 2.0 platforms?

Are there any risks in implementing Enterprise 2.0? How can we overcome them?

Enterprise 2.0 | Cause_and_effect

There are certainly benefits to be had, through successful Enterprise 2.0 implementations; these are broadly identified as: Increased productivity/efficiency, Knowledge Management, Increased Reputation / Brand Image and Employee Engagement.

Certainly, harnessing these benefits requires an adjusted focus towards ‘losing control’ over employees. IBM, a mammoth organization that employs over 400,000 people worldwide, has very effectively relinquished this control by empowering employees to engage in social media such as blogs, Socialblue, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. With – literally – hundreds of thousands of employees across these networks, it is little wonder then that the IBM brand attracts over 500,000 people worldwide during crowdsourcing jams. This scale of employee engagement leads to a massive surge in productivity and initiative. The 2006 Innovation Jam, led to the selection of 10 best ideas which IBM funded with $100M, leading to Smarter Planet. Initiatives such as this are a good example of organizations harnessing collective intelligence by engaging network effects without any need for control or policing. Which, in turn, leads to greater knowledge management and enhanced brand image for the organization without any direct corporate direction or input.

..Hibbard, C. 2010. How IBM Uses Social Media to Spur Employee Innovation. Retrieved 16/08/2010 from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-ibm-uses-social-media-to-spur-employee-innovation/

..IBM. 2006. IBM Invests $100 Million in Collaborative Innovation Ideas. Retrieved 16/08/2010 from http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/20605.wss

Perhaps the IBM results might be viewed as an inevitable triumph in an organization believed to employ highly motivated IT professionals. So , here’s an example from a domain that is always described as highly rigid & governed – SBAB, a government owned bank in Sweden. Using the basic steps to Enterprise 2.0 success – Management Sponsorship, Starting Small, Maintaining Informality and Clarity of Vision, SBAB was able to rollout a highly successful Enterprise 2.0 platform for employees in September, 2009. The metrics speak for themselves:

‘A single business unit with 74 contributing users generating over 4000 Wiki articles in just 5 months!’

SBAB E2.0 Growth

Not only does this address all the benefits Enterprise 2.0 has to offer, but it also demonstrates that E2.0 works even for the most rigid organisations with a very high stake in information security and control.

..Hansson, R. 2009. Pizza & Beer – a successful E2.0 launch. Retrieved 16/08/2010 from http://www.e20-blog.com/post/pizza-beer

However, the rapid increase in visibility into Enterprise 2.0 successes is rather marginalizing the documentation of Enterprise 2.0 failures, or so I’ve found. Few organizations would want to admit that they’ve not been able to implement E2.0, at least not successfully. Also, Enterprise 2.0 is best implemented in an organization when there is exists an approved case for it; an emergent risk with this trend is the evolution of E2.0 into a solution-looking-for-a-problem.

..Patel, S. 2010. Articulating the Business Case. In Enterprise 2.0 Prepares for Relevancy. Retrieved 16/08/2010 from http://www.pretzellogic.org/2010/06/21/enterprise-2-0-prepares-for-relevancy/

It therefore becomes important to discuss the risks associated with implementing Enterprise 2.0.

Ross Dawson, a leading Enterprise 2.0 Evangelist, as interviewed by the Australian Financial Review acknowledges that “there are some real dangers in an increasingly transparent world”. However, in his opinion, one of the most common perceived risks is decreased productivity, due to employees ‘wasting time’ on social networks. While this may be a reality, the risks in implementing Enterprise 2.0 call for an abstracted, higher view into the organizational drivers for Enterprise 2.0 implementation and the risks they create. Dawson’s Enterprise 2.0 Governance Framework lists the main risks organizations face as – Productivity, Information Loss, Reputation, Network Penetration, Culture.

..Dawson, R. 2008. An Enterprise 2.0 Governance Framework – looking for input! Retrieved 16/08/2010 from http://www.rossdawsonblog.com/weblog/archives/2008/02/an_enterprise_2.html

One such blaring example that highlights a lot of the risks mentioned, is that of the twitter user – ‘theconnor’ – who was offered a job at Cisco; due to an imprudent tweet, ‘theconnor’ was fired from the organization even before being inducted, as reported by Helen A.S. Popkin, of MSNBC.

..Popkin, H. 2009. Twitter gets you fired in 140 characters or less. Retrieved 16/08/2010 from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29796962/

There are certainly risks with implementing Enterprise 2.0 in your organization, which result from the heightened visibility into the organization. However utilizing this as one of the sole reasons towards refraining from jumping on the E2.0 bandwagon, can also prove to be counter-productive. Euan Semple, a Social Media consultant quoted in a whitepaper by Melcrum, mentions:

“It’s better to do something than to do nothing, particularly when it comes to large organizations and giving employees a platform to share their views and discuss their working lives.”

Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business in the MIT Sloan School of Management, and a fellow at the Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, states in his blog (in relation to potential security concerns of implementing E2.0) that “people already know how to behave appropriately, and they’re not going to be driven suddenly wild by the appearance of the new platforms.”

..McAfee, A. 2006. Enterprise 2.0 Insecurities. Retrieved 16/08/2010 from http://andrewmcafee.org/2006/11/enterprise_20_insecurities/

I will discuss some specific risks, in more detail, in my next post. Please feel free to comment.

Enterprise 2.0 Case Studies

The benefits of implementing Enterprise 2.0 are innumerable with more organizations looking to invest in what is arguably the best method of unlocking the tacit knowledge of employees. However, successful Enterprise 2.0 initiatives require business models that are customizable and as radical as the concept, itself. The Wikinomics Model is widely hailed as a dependable set of Enterprise 2.0 principles. It includes the 4 simple concepts of Peering, Being open, Sharing & Acting Global. The following case studies will help highlight this better.

citrix with movabletype

Citrix is a world leader in Remote Desktop Access (RDA), Web Conferencing and Cloud Computing services with products such as GoToMyPC®, GoToAssist®, GoToMeeting®, etc. With record employee growth in recent years, managing the tacit knowledge of employees was fast becoming a challenge for Citrix; a tool that could serve as a single Knowledge Management repository might possibly be the way ahead. Sufficient research by Citrix led them to the perfect solution – Movable Type, an open source, Enterprise 2.0 service. Movable Type enabled Citrix Online to create an internal blogging platform and also provided support for its secure LDAP integration, which was a critical success factor for procurement. This directly enabled peering within Citrix Online by integrating its massive employee base and legacy LDAP systems with the new service, driving easy enterprise-wide adoption. Citrix Online was also looking for an open, web based solution from the start, which could therefore be platform independent and feature rich. The success of the initial deployment led Citrix Online to share the service, enterprise wide. This deployment has enabled Citrix to compete in a global environment by investing in a powerful knowledge management system, which protects the intellectual capital of the company.

socialtext with emergentsolutions

Emergent Solutions is a global consulting firm specializing in leadership and strategy consulting. Relying on a team with specialist consulting and subject matter expertise distributed worldwide, it is little surprise that as the organization expanded, the need to ‘Harness Collective Intelligence’ assumed strategic importance. Christine Cavanaugh-Simmons (Founder & Managing Partner, Emergent Solutions) was quick to envisage the potential benefits of deploying Socialtext as both – a knowledge management solution for consultants and a highly effective service delivery platform between consultants and clients. To enable peering, a Socialtext Workplace was setup to allow consultants/coaches to host project information and collaborate through the service delivery effort. This – essentially – facilitated collaboration not just internally, but also externally with clients. In addition to this, internal communities were setup to enable social networking targeted at ‘lessons learnt’ through consulting projects. Sharing the content and project experiences openly helps foster a feeling of team spirit which enhances productivity. Emergent Solutions currently establishes individual Socialtext Workplaces for all its customers, globally. Emergent Solutions also deployed Socialtext Signals – an Enterprise Microblogging solution from Socialtext – to share project updates and news as well as customer successes. These lessons learnt have helped Emergent Solutions establish itself as a Consulting 2.0 pioneer, globally.

There are several highly successful Enterprise 2.0 deployments, worldwide. However to create enabling frameworks for Enterprise 2.0 successes, it is important to highlight the associated critical success factors. According to Andrew McAfee, these factors basically involve Technologies, Support and Culture. Carefully selected tools which are freeform, egalitarian and social, support for initiatives with incentives and clear goals and organizational culture based on trust, support and information sharing, go a long way in ensuring success in this emerging organizational trend.

Please Comment..

References:

McAfee, A. 2008. What’s Most Important for Success with Enterprise 2.0? Retrieved 08/08/2010 from

http://andrewmcafee.org/2008/02/whats_most_important_for_success_with_enterprise_20/.

SocialText .2010. Citrix internal blogs. Retrieved 08/08/2010 from

https://www.socialtext.net/cases2/index.cgi?citrix_internal_blogs.

SocialText .2010. The Transformation To Consulting 2.0. Retrieved 08/08/2010 from

http://www.socialtext.com/customers/casestudy_emergent.php.

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